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The Geography of Chechnya

The Geography of Chechnya | Geography Education | Scoop.it
The Caucasus region, dominated by the imposing Great Caucasus mountain range and stretching between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea, has long been known as one of the world’s ethnically and linguistically most diverse areas.
Seth Dixon's insight:

After this weekend it has become glaringly obvious that many are painfully ignorant of the geography of Chechnya and the surrounding Caucasus Mountain region.  This article from GeoCurrents discusses the linguistic diversity of the region and this Geography in the News article outlines the contentious geopolitical situation of Chechnya within the Russian Federation. Also, the Washington Post published an article entitled, 9 questions about Chechnya and Dagestan you were too embarassed to ask.   


I do not post these materials to lay blame to an entire ethnic group, religion or region for the terrorists acts of two individuals.  On the contrary, I post these articles because I find this to be a teaching moment where we as educators can clarify the geographic context of an unknown part of the world to our students.  As we teach this context, quick labels and lazy narratives become harder to maintain and our students can become less prejudiced and critically think about the situation with greater depth and clarity.

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Rebecca Farrea's curator insight, October 17, 2013 12:01 PM

Using this article helps to teach ourselves, students, and others about particular places in the world that are unknown or very little known.  We can use articles such as this one to be less prejudiced and more apt to think about these places of the world in a different context rather than just a negative, terrorism-related one.

Marissa Roy's curator insight, November 19, 2013 7:16 AM

Most Americans had never heard Chechnya before the Boston bombing in April 2013. Now, most think that it is full of America-hating terriosts. However, Chechnya is so very complex and diverse a place, that it is ludacris to think that. Over 100 languages are spoken in the country. The southern half speaks languages such as Georgian, Svan and Mingrelian. Turkish, Iranian and Chechens are the languages you will probably hear in the North. Another misconception is that there are many Christians in Chechnya as well as Muslims. This country is made up of so many different groups, it is incredible. 

Elizabeth Bitgood's curator insight, March 3, 6:27 AM

It is amazing to consider such a small area (the size of New England) could hold such a vast area of languages.  The mountainous region certainly helps in creating such diversity as it isolated villages from each other in the ages before modern communication and travel.

Geography Education
Global news with a spatial perspective:  Interesting, current supplemental materials for geography teachers and students.
Curated by Seth Dixon