Penza held inter-regional forum “Russia is our common home”
Penza, 24 March 2015. PenzaNews. Nearly 500 representatives of different nationalities and religious confessions took part in the inter-regional youth forum “Russia is our common home” that took place at the Penza Lermontov Regional Library on Tuesday, March 24.
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Along with people from Penza, the event attracted guests from Mordovia, Tatarstan, St. Petersburg and the North Caucasus.
During a truly multinational and multicultural forum, the members of many communities acquainted each other with their culture through art performances, folk art and crafts exhibitions, and tasting of national dishes.
The event featured four discussion platforms, and the results of the discussions were drawn up at the plenary session.
In his speech about the ability of the peoples in Russia to live together in peace, Vasily Bochkarev, governor of the Penza region, cited the example of the Second World War, when they managed to defeat fascism through joint efforts.
“Of course, there are many problems today, but they can be solved if we meet together, discuss them, set goals and achieve positive results,” he said.
In his turn, Ivan Belozertsev, chairman of the Legislative Assembly of the Penza region, spoke how important it is to bring up their children as patriots who would contribute to the country’s development.
The Archbishop of Penza and Nizhny Lomov Seraphim also spoke in support of the idea that a variety of different cultures of the peoples contributes to their unity rather than divergence.
“Today, one of the biggest challenges thrown down by the Western society is probably the existence of a certain common culture that imposes common values. But it is these shared values, faceless, nation-less, devoid of faith and religion, that lead to destruction of states and countries that we currently witness,” he stressed.
“Our strength is in diversity,” the Archbishop added.
“At present, it is very important to preserve our national and religious backgrounds, and such education should first focus on the young. Traditional cultures and traditional religions should be a priority for our country in the education of young people,” said the head of the Penza Orthodox Church branch.
Addressing the gathering, Fagim Shafiev, mufti of the Central Spiritual Board of Muslims in Mordovia, explained that they plan to hold several large-scale youth forums in four cities: Penza, followed by Samara, Kazan and Saransk.
“I believe that speeches of the participants have reaffirmed the status of the Volga Federal District as the zone of agreement and historical unity of the peoples, which it rightfully sports,” he said, adding that “never have our differences caused military conflicts, radical territorial claims and social outbursts” in the region.