SPEECH BY MR MEVLÜT ÇAVUŞOĞLU,
PRESIDENT OF THE PARLIAMENTARY ASSEMBLY,
ON THE OPENING OF THE EXHIBITION « YOUNG MULTINATIONAL RUSSIA »
(Strasbourg, Thursday 29 April 2010, 13h00, PACE Lobby)
Dear colleagues, Dear friends,
We thought the Palais de l’Europe was big enough to contain the whole of Europe. The organizers of this exhibition proved us wrong: it cannot even fit a traditional Tatar yurt! They had to install it outside the building, on the lawn, next to the Blue Restaurant.
Some countries discovered multiculturalism in recent times, by welcoming migrants from countries far away. Others have been multicultural all their life. Russia is not only multicultural, but even “multinational”. Today as in the past, it is indeed a mosaic of nations, ethnicities, cultures, languages and beliefs. Its very Constitution begins with the words “We, a multinational people of the Russian Federation…”.
Strange as it may seem, the idea that all cultures and ethnicities deserve equal treatment is relatively new. That is why we still have to work hard to promote this principle. In many countries, the older generations grew up in a situation where a culture was dominant and the others had to adapt to it. On the other hand, the youth has to deal more and more with a diverse, multicultural society. I find it particularly interesting to learn how the Russian Federation’s youth is dealing with this. Let’s find out, by visiting this exhibition.