Sunday, December 30, 2012

Tatarstan: A "Can-Do" Culture

Tatarstan: A "Can-Do" Culture
President Mintimer Shaimiev and the Power of Common Sense
Ravil Bukharaev 2007
Global Oriental Kent, UK
ISBN: 978-1-905246-45-8
194 pages

here are some copies on Amazon

Kazan and Moscow

Kazan and Moscow
Five Centuries of Crippling Coexistence under Russian Imperialism (1552-2002)
Shafiga Daulet 2003
Kase Press Hudson, New Hampshire
ISBN 0-615-12254-X
826 pages (!)

The Peremech Lounge has a copy of this. 
Abe books is reliable here

Friday, December 28, 2012

Şurale in Several Languages

Şurale - in Fifteen Languages
Kazan - Tatar Kitap Nashriyate 2011
Шүрәле ;әкият / поэма 15 телдә - Габдулла  Тукай
Казан - Татарстан Китап Нәшрияты 2011
ISBN 978-5-298-02003-9 

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Bolgar Monster - Angered by Christmas

Okay now tell us this doesn't resemble that controversial statue that was made for that museum in Bolgar?  He doesn't look too happy about the Christmas clothing...

Friday, December 21, 2012

Monday, December 17, 2012

Tatar Graffiti

Nureyev and Miss Piggy in Sauna

The Model of Tatarstan - Bukharaev

The Model of Tatarstan - Ravil Bukharaev
Curzon 1999
ISBN 0-7007-1216-X

Of Khans and Kremlins - Graney

Of Khans and Kremlins - Tatarstan and the Future of Ethno-Federalism in Russia
Katherine E. Graney, Lexington 2009
ISBN 10 0-7391-2635-0

This book is at Google books here:


Here is something from the above author...

The Crisis in Georgia Is an Opening for the West: The Case for Tatarstan

By Katherine E. Graney

Besides sending shock waves through the international system and shaking up conventional wisdom about the post-Cold War European balance of power, the recent and brief Russo-Georgian war and Russia 's subsequent recognition of the independent states of South Ossetia and Abkhazia has also led to speculation about Russia's own ethnic homelands and about its future as an ethno-federal state. In the wake of these events, independence-minded activists inthe Russian national republics of Tatarstan and Ingushetia have made prominent claims that if Russia is willing to recognize the right of self-determination of Georgia's former constituent ethno-federal units up to and including the right to independence, it must also logically do so for its own ethno-federal units. Such claims, while provocative, and useful as reminders that Russia is both in fact and by law and a multi-ethnic federation where fully one-fifth of the population is non-ethnic Russian and fully one-quarter of the over 80 federal constituent units in Russia has some form of designation as an ethnic homeland (as does Quebec in Canada), should not be taken as evidence that Russia is about to find itself ablaze in secessionist ferment. Rather, they should point us to look more closely at Russia's ethno-federal situation, and in particular to realize that the quest for autonomy on the part of some of
Russia's constituent ethno-federal units, particularly Tatarstan, provides an opportunity
for the United States and its Western allies to reaffirm and strengthen our ties with some of the most pro-Western, pro-federalist, pro-liberal democratic forces in Russia.

Since declaring itself to be a sovereign state in August 1990, the Republic of Tatarstan, under the able leadership of its first and only president, Mintimer Shaimiyev, has embarked on a remarkably diverse yet consistent set of initiatives aimed at fulfilling that declaration with real meaning while simultaneously avoiding the type of destructive claims to independence and secessionism that helped lead to the two wars in Chechnya and to the civil wars in Georgia of the early 1990s. Taking as its model the successful drives for meaningful sovereignty within an ethno-federal framework negotiated by Quebec in Canada and Catalonia in Spain during the 1980s and 1990s, Tatarstan's leadership has
also sought to take on as many of the administrative, cultural and economic attributes of a modern nation-state as it can while staying within (if also attempting to expand) the legal boundaries of Russia's post-Soviet ethnofederal system. These include innovative legal reforms and economic policies that have resulted in Tatarstan having one of the highest standards of living in the Russian Federation and recently led the Russian-language version of Forbes magazine to name Kazan, Tatarstan's capital, as the third-best city in Russia for foreigners to do business. Tatarstan's leadership has also pursued what is at once both the most ambitious program of ethnic revival for a non-Russian people in Russia (in terms of promoting the Tatar language and culture and Tatar history among Tatars both in the republic and in the rest of Russia and the CIS) and the most sincerely multi-cultural program of cultural revival for other non-Russian peoples living in Tatarstan (including Bashkirs,
Mari, and Udmurts). Tatarstan's leadership has claimed, rightly, that in the absence of a
meaningful commitment by the federal government in Moscow to protect and promote the cultural and linguistic rights of non-Russian minorities in Russia (despite the presence of such protections in the Russian Constitution), it has a moral obligation to provide for these needs.

The other significant aspect of Tatarstan's quest for sovereignty over the past two decades is its
extremely pro-Western and internationalist character. Since 1990, Tatarstan has taken the lead in establishing contacts between Russian ethno-federal units and their European counterparts, participating since 1990 in the activities of the Assembly of Regions of Europe and Committee of the Regions of the European Parliament. It has also sought closer ties with other all-European institutions, such as the EBRD, which held its annual meeting of shareholders in Kazan in May 2007, the first time it had been held anywhere in Russian since 1994. In its attempt to construct some sort of international personality that will help it to further its stated goal of building a meaningful form of federalism in Russia, Tatarstan has also instituted firm ties with the United States, Canada including Quebec), the United Nations and, as befitting a state where the 50% ethnic Tatar population is almost entirely self-declared Muslim, the Organization of the Islamic Conference, where the OIC's 2001 invitation for Tatarstan to join the OIC as an observer state paved the way for Putin's decision in August 2003 to pursue OIC membership for the Russian Federation. Indeed, another important part of Tatarstan's attempt to institute its cultural, political and economic autonomy in the name of building a real and functional federalism in Russia is its self-promotion as a the home of Euro-Islam, an ecumenical, tolerant form of Islam, whose experience Tatarstan feels can be useful for the West in terms of both their domestic and international issues with Islam.

While Tatarstan's leadership is not the crystal clean beacon of democracy that it often claims to be, plagued as it is by the same types of nepotism, corruption and authoritarianism that characterize all post-Soviet leadership in Moscow and the rest of Russia, on the matter of the liberal democratic commitment to federalism as a way of increasing representation in general and ethno-federalism as a way of ensuring the protection of the cultural rights of ethnic minorities in particular, Tatarstan's leadership is the most consistent and authentic, and quite nearly the only, voice left in Russia today. Tatarstan's leaders have also consistently turned to the West for support in their quest to make Moscow live up to its constitutional commitments to protect and promote a democratic form of ethno-federalism in Russia. The Georgia crisis has given us the opportunity to remember these requests, and honor them.

Katherine E. Graney is Associate Professor and

Chair of the Department of Government at Skidmore

College in Saratoga Springs, New York. Her book,

Of Khans and Kremlins: Tatarstan and the Future

of Ethno-Federalism, was published by Lexington Books in November.

This editorial was posted to the Rowman andLittlefield Publishers Blog at:

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Teachers of the Tatar School in Hailar - China

back row: Fidot Evdakimoviç? Isakin?? (elbow out), Şahzam Kiruşev Tamari-san, Hadiçe Fomina (became Hadiçe Kuguşeva)
seated:  Fatima Kosova? (became Fatima Akçurin) , Zuhre Kuguşeva (became Zuhre Kiruşeva - then Zuhre Kiriş), Safiye Akçurin - (became Safiye Kudeki).

Fatima, Zuhre, Safiye

Safiye Akçurin - Zuhre Kuguşeva (1938)

Three sisters in the front  Rauza, Mahira, Hanife (Kuguş/Kuguşeva Sisters)
Behind them left to right - Safiye Akçurin, Zuhre Kuguş, Tamari-San?

Here is a pic of another group in front of the school in Hailar.
Here is another pic of the same school from 1922

The Elusive Empre - Kazan and the Creation of Russia

The Elusive Empre - Kazan and the Creation of Russia  1552-1671
Matthew P. Romaniello 
University of Wisconsin Press 2012
ISBN 978-0-299-28514-2

Tatars of the Crimea - Allworth


Tatars of the Crimea
Their Struggle for Survival
Edward Allworth
Duke University Press 1988
ISBN 0-8223-0758-8

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Kazakhstan - Born to Move

This video is excellent and without commentary - An hour and a half of Kazakhstan.

Central Asia - The Bridge Across Forever - Tajikistan

The Tajik people of Central Asia are not of the Turkic family.  Their language is more closely related to Persian.  Samarkand and Bukhara are fascinating and rich in history.
Although this film is produced as Indian diplomacy, it's still worth a view.

Bulgar notes from "The Serbs"

In this book of Serbian history we came upon this, relating to the Bulgar empire:

"...since it is impossible to follow further Serbian history without some knowledge of the Bulgars, let me now pause to consider that people.

The first point to grasp about the Bulgars is that, unlike the Serbs and Russians, they were originally not Slavs at all.  Their early history is wrapped in considerable mystery, but we may say roughly that they entered the Balkan peninsula in the seventh century, as a Mongolian central Asiatic race, akin to the Huns and Turks.  Of recent years, since Serbia and Bulgaria have become usually hostile and always suspicious towards each other, many Bulgarian writers have rejoiced to emphasize their people's Tartaric origin.  Pure Tartars, however, they certainly are not.  Once settled south of the Danube they accepted the language and customs of the Slavs amongst whom they found themselves.  The old Bulgarian language disappeared and their present speech is pure Slavonic.  They were converted to the Slav form of Christianity and they intermarried with the Slav race, so that in the West of Bulgaria, where the survival of the Slavs was most widespread, there is little difference between the Bulgar and his Serbian neighbour over the frontier."

Mexican Mennonites in Tatarstan

Ancestral Russia lures land-hungry Mexican Mennonites

Here is something different about events in Tatarstan.  We'd never heard of such a thing.

Thanks, David

Monday, December 10, 2012

Russian Imperial History - Land Of The Tsars

There's plenty mention of Tatars in this documentary. 
Some of it is quite insulting, which gets tiring...
We also were unaware that Peter the Great brought along with him on his grand tour of Europe, a troupe of dwarves.  How ridiculous is that! and why? (1:07:58)

Also mentions 1774 when Pugachev's Volga basin rebellion was crushed and he was killed. There is also discussion of the taking of the Crimea in 1784 by Gregory Potemkin under Catherine the Great, fulfilling Russian desire to have a Black Sea stronghold against the Ottoman Empire. She declared him (Potemkin) to be "Prince of Crimea".

Gabdelfat Safin - Kerezle Telefon

Габделфәт Сафин - Кәрәзле телефон

Nationalism and the Drive for Sovereignty in Tatarstan, 1988-92

Nationalism and the Driver for Sovereignty in Tatarstan, 1988-92
Origins and Development
Sergei Kondrashov, Macmillan Press Ltd. 2000
ISBN 0-333-73376-2

This book printed in UK, discarded from the Bowling Green State University (Kentucky).
Tatar Nationalism discarded?  I think not!

click to enlarge above map of Tatarstan location

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Perks of Being Tatar

Being Tatar has many benefits.  At the top of my list would be Tatar home cooking.  Tatars know how to cook and cook hearty, delicious foods.  It's not difficult to throw together a quick list of Tatar perks.  Today she served me up a plate of hot piruk, right from the oven.  (Piruk may technically be Russian, but we're not arguing).

Great Tatar Cuisine
Charming Tatar music
Rich literary culture - colourful language
Beautiful cities with historic architecture
Ancient and rich, unique history
A peaceful model of coexistence amid multi-ethnic population
Many Tatars are beautiful.  Pretty girls and handsome guys.
Tatars are friendly, generous, honest people.

Last visit, she made Peremech and Kebeste Belish.  With a hot tea and her Tatar mother's touch, life is good.

SF City Hall - World Tatar Congress

Hey let's just say that San Francisco City Hall is illuminated yet again in tribute to Tatarstan and the World Tatar Congress.  Congratulations from San Francisco and the Peremech Lounge!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Par At - Tatar State Folklore Ensemble

Татарстан республикасының фольклор музыкасы дәүләт ансамбле (җитәкчесе Айдар Фәйзрахманов) башкаруында «Пар ат» җыры.

Татар халык көе, сүзләре Габдулла Тукайның «Пар ат» шигыренә нигезләгән.

Rehmet Zulya! Bu bek matur!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Business Profile - 2007

Google E-Book here

We found this interesting document online.  It's from 2007, but still worth a look.

Turks of Central Asia - Czaplicka

The Turks of Central Asia in History and at the Present Day
Marie Antoinette Czaplicka
Oxford / Clarendon 1918 
ISBN 1113487607

Here is a google snippet view of the above text.