Travel is one of the important modes of identity construction. It is influenced by individual choices as well as by macro-contexts of institutional practices and changes. Based on the study of the accounts of young middle-class Polish travellers to the former Soviet Union countries, this article attempts to demonstrate the ways in which macro-processes of systemic transformation and European integration affect the identity-building processes. After offering a discussion of the cultural meanings of emphasising the uniqueness of their experience and difference from 'mainstream tourists' by the travellers, the article turns to the interpretation of the role of the encounter with local dwellers as an important identity-formation related experience. The analysis of the acceptance or rejection of food from local dwellers demonstrates the ambiguous attitude of travellers to the local dwellers and attempts to place this ambiguity in the macro-context.
Shahnoza O. Madaeva
This article examines the impact of social and political factors on the spiritual transformation of society. Analysing sources and field research, the study aims to present an objective picture of the spiritual and mental transformation of the Uzbek people based on the oral history method of the 1920-1930s. Using the integration method, the author seeks to explain historic facts through the prism of philosophical reflection. At the same time, the research provides an overview on the processes of self-identification and integration, as well as on the development of state policies, in post-Soviet countries.
The Case of Belarus
There is a stereotype that such former Soviet republics as Russia, Ukraine and Belarus are totally Orthodox. However, this statement is not entirely correct, as part of the population in these countries belong to many different churches, while a large part have rather eclectic religious and para-religious beliefs. In the case of Belarus, a major part of the population belongs to two Christian confessions, Orthodox and Catholic, while many other confessions and new religious movements also exist. Religious pluralism is a practical reality in Belarus which has the reputation of the most religiously tolerant post-Soviet country. Contemporary laws provide the legal basis for the tolerant relations in the country, and there is a historical tradition of religious tolerance in Belarus. Research data from the EVS studies and national surveys are used.