Армянофобия в Азербайджане. Борьба с ксенофобией.

Армянофобия в Азербайджане. Армения Азербайджан, Ксенофобия
| Content >>
| Applications >>
| Download >>
| Discuss >>

Chapter 17. Azerichild.info

Children acquire behavioral stereotypes in the early years of their lives, i.e. the sense of affiliation to an ethnic group is not innate but is gained through socialization.[477]

The shaping of the national identity conventionally occurs in three stages.

1) At the age of 6-7, a child gains his/her first knowledge, albeit fragmentary and unsystematic, of his/her ethnic affiliation. At this stage, the child's family and immediate social environment have the utmost significance for the child rather than his/her country and ethnic group.

2) At the age of 8-9, a child already clearly identifies himself/herself with his/her state, can recognize the fundamentals of such identification (the nationality of his/her parents, the place of residence and the mother tongue); dormant national feelings surface.

3) At the age of 10-11, the national identity is fully shaped, the child knows the peculiarities of various peoples and can designate the uniqueness of their history, the specific character of their daily life, including their ethnic culture.

Over the course of his/her life any person acquires a multitude of stereotypes about other ethnic groups, nations and peoples. In the event of children, the shaping of stereotypes bears the impact of the older generation and parents as detailed in the foregoing chapter.

This fertile soil is cemented by the state propaganda at the next stage. Over time, ethnic stereotypes become so perpetuated in the mind of a child that it is extremely hard to abandon them even if there is a wish to do so and an awareness of the problem. In the events where the reference groups continue to exert pressure on the individual by planting these stereotypes, it becomes virtually impossible to get rid of them.

The individual may be under the impression that his/her views of any given ethnic group represent a personal opinion where in fact, he/she re-circulates the opinion of his/her reputed reference group (ethnic group, people). The ethnic stereotypes mostly manifest themselves on subconscious level; however, they can imperceptibly affect the self-awareness of the person. One such manifestation consists in perceiving information matching the ingrained mindset and confirming the stereotype, while rejecting everything else.

The education is one of the most efficient ways of instilling the "image of the enemy" in the public mind. The teacher is an authority in the eyes of a pupil, while the information derived from books is perceived by the children as an indisputable truth and is instantaneously assimilated without any critical analysis. The statements of the teacher become even more convincing for the children if these are not at odds with their views and stereotypes imported to school from their families, television programs, fellow peers in the courtyard, etc.

Thus, it can be claimed that children and teenagers represent the most vulnerable group most exposed to the anti-Armenian propaganda in Azerbaijan. Such state policy further exacerbates the ethno-religious, cultural and territorial conflict between the two nations.

Numerous fairy tales and children's drawings appearing on the website of Azerichild.info project which clearly reflect the image of the Armenian enemy and virtually always portray Armenians as negative characters give an example of a product of the armenophobic propaganda among the children of Azerbaijan. The main subject of the children's drawings is the brutal killing of the Azerbaijani children and women by the Armenian military.

Let us examine a specific example: the story entitled Armenian[a] recognized by Azerbaijan's Ministry of Youth and Sports as the Story of the Year in 2008 and authored by Elkhan Zeynalli, member of the Union of Azerbaijani Writers contains 65 instances of negative depiction of Armenians manifested through the use of various clichés, such as: "blood-sucker", "base", "double-faced", "kill all Armenian dogs", "set all Armenian men on fire", "rape all Armenian women", "strangle the Armenian children", "inhuman Armenians", etc. Instead, all references to the Azerbaijanis are exclusively in the positive vein with 23 favorable epithets, such as: "forgiving", "kind", "respectful of parents", "courageous", "friendly", "caring", "tolerant", etc.

This story, which arouses hostility and contains unabashed armenophobic propaganda, is incorporated into Azerbaijan's school curriculum for home reading.

Overall, the study of about 50 literary works and 100 children's drawings has revealed that the state indoctrination of the propaganda against Armenians occurs at an early age in Azerbaijan. Constantly recurring negative rhetoric can exert and impact even on adults, let alone on yet immature minds of children.

It is of note that such propaganda of hatred and the emotive character of the communicated information reflect the covert fears of the Azerbaijani society, with the country's domestic situation projected onto the Armenian society. In their turn, the aggressive exhortations and labeling help cope on the verbal level with psychological problems and the inferiority complex inherited from the time of Azerbaijan's defeat in the Karabakh war.

However, raising their children in the spirit of hatred, aggression and hostility, the authorities of Azerbaijan foster an individual who can become perilous for their own society, as in the absence of other targets for venting his/her aggression such individual will take revenge on the weak: their wives/husbands, children, old people, etc. Alcohol, drugs and suicide can also become a vent. In today's Azerbaijan, all of these categories display a statistic spike.

Another emblematic point is that the Armenians appear on the drawings as formidable warriors brandishing weapons. This means that the image of Armenians formed in the child's mind portrays a powerful, united and militarized enemy eliciting, as a result, fear of this image. And if in peacetime this image of Armenians helps consolidate the Azerbaijani society, in wartime, the fear of the image can become a serious problem. The Azerbaijani authorities may not realize that such propaganda thwarts the society's natural psychological development, generates socially dangerous individuals and reduces the combat efficiency of the army.

Paintings of azerbaijani pupils  
xocali03.jpg xocali_2.jpg
Made mostly in bright colors, red is distinguishing, which indicates the presence of aggression. O the Left is depicted the military in Soviet form, who is going to kill the peaceful Azerbaijani family, not sparing neither women nor children. The painting shows the inscription "Khojaly" laid from burning buildings. This picture predominantly made in red, aggressive colors. The painting depicts the Armenian tanks, surrounded on all four sides "Khojaly" and shoot on houses in fire of Azerbaijanis.
իւ.jpg xocali.jpg
In the painting are depicted "the events in Khojalu." Armenian in the guise of a monster with bloody dagger in one hand, in other hand - a bomb with an inscription «Ermeni» («Armenian"). The tip and the tongue of monster's dagger are bleeding, that blood fills the whole city. From the painting, it is clear that the child associate the Armenians with the monsters, who drowns his homeland in the blood. People in the military Uniform with weapons in arms attacked peaceful citizens, killing one of them, while the enemy tank is trying to raze the car of azerbaijani. Peaceful azerbaijanis standing with outstretched hands in the air, hoping to make concessions, cooperation.
Mariam Hakhnazaryan, holder of a master's degree from the Chair of Social Psychology
of the Yerevan State University.


previous _____________________________________________________ next


[a] «Armenian». See Attachment