In order to generate interest in learning Russian language through acquaintance with the life and achievements of the Russia’s greatest figures of science and culture, the Miklouho-Maclay Foundation, with the support of the Ministry of Education of the Russian Federation, launched the project “Russian Cultural Luminaries and Their Worldwide Legacy” on November 5, 2020. The project was launched online for both Russians and citizens of the ASEAN countries.
Within the framework of this project, the first scientific conference was held, which united Russia and Malaysia. It was dedicated to the history of bilateral relations, voyages to this region in the XIX century by the humanist N.N. Miklukho-Maclay, the state of the Russian language in Malaysia and the existing stereotypes about it. During the conference, the participants shared their practical experience in the field of international education and the study of Russian as a foreign language.
The conference was held in an online format with the support of the Embassy of the Russian Federation in Malaysia and the assistance of the Russian Center of Science and Culture in Kuala Lumpur. The Conference has reached more than 200 people.
The Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Russian Federation to Malaysia Nail Latypov expressed confidence that the online conference will lay a solid foundation for the program of celebrating in Malaysia the 175th anniversary of the Russian traveler and scientist N.N. Miklouho-Maclay.
“Thanks to the information on the website and regular publications in social networks prepared by experts, the project “Russian Academic and Cultural Luminaries and Their Worldwide Legacy” shows the significance of the contribution to the study of the world and to the development of a progressive society made by Russians. The project introduces the traditions and the culture of Russians, and establishes an intercultural dialogue. On the eve of the 175th birth anniversary of our great compatriot Nikolai Miklouho-Maclay, we must note that his progressive ideological legacy about the equality of races and peoples, the inadmissibility of the violent suppression of cultures, and the imposition of stereotypes, and the implementation of colonial policy and violent cultural expansion is extremely important. This is exactly what Miklouho-Maclay was struggling with and this is important to remember nowadays.”, – said the founder and director of the Miklouho-Maclay Foundation, top specialist of the Center for Southeast Asia, Australia and Oceania of the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences Nickolay Miklouho-Maclay.
The remote opening of the Educational and Methodological Center of the Russian Language at the Russian Center of Science and Culture in Kuala Lumpur became an important part of the online conference. The head of the representative office of Rossotrudnichestvo in Malaysia Svetlana Kovaleva noted that in the future, the Center will have a stand dedicated to the life and scientific heritage of N.N. Miklouho-Maclay.
A member of the youth advisory council of the Miklouho-Maclay Foundation Artyom Garin made a presentation on Miklouho-Maclay’s voyage to Malaysia.
The announced topics of the conference attracted the attention of leading Russian specialists in Southeast Asia – E.S. Kukushkina (Head of the Department of Philology of the Southeast Asian countries of the Institute of Asian and African Studies, Lomonosov Moscow State University), V.A. Pogadaev (orientalist, historian, translator, Vice President of the Nusantara Society), E.V. Revunenkova (Doctor of Historical Sciences, Lead Researcher of the Australia, Oceania and Indonesia Department of the Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography of the Russian Academy of Sciences).
The issues of the Russian language were highlighted in the reports of the Doctor of Philology, Professor of the Russian Language Department of the Russian State Pedagogical University named after A.I. Herzen, V.A. Efremov, candidate of pedagogical sciences, teacher of Russian language as a foreign at the University of Kuala Lumpur V.V.Kytina, teacher of the Russian language of the Russian Centre of Science and Culture in Kuala Lumpur A.V. Belozertseva.
Interesting comments and additions were made by the sculptor, designer of the bust to N.N. Miklouho-Maclay in Malaysia G.V. Pototsky, professor of anatomy at UNIMAS University, chairman of the Association of Russian Compatriots in Malaysia M.Yu. Kapitonova, and Datuk Nargiz Safarova.
The conference was in the Russian language with simultaneous translation into English. Recording of the conference is available for all registered participants and on the project website: https://cse.mikluho-maclay.ru/conference-in-malaysia/