Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Sabantuy San Francisco 2012

The Tatars in the above pic are from North America, Australia and Finland.

Sabantuy is a Tatar and Idel-Uralian summer festival, that dates back to the Volga Bulgarian epoch. At first Sabantuy was a festival of farmers in rural areas, but it later became a national holiday and now is widely celebrated in the cities. In 2012, Kazan Sabantuy was celebrated on June 23.

Sabantuy (Сабантуй, [sʌbɑnˈtuɪ]), or, more correctly, Saban tuyı (Сабан туе, [sʌˈbɑn tuˈjɯ]) is a Tatar name for the holiday. Its plural form is Sabantuylar [sʌbɑntuɪˈlɑr]).

The holiday is also celebrated by other Turkic peoples living along the Volga. In Bashkir, it is known as Habantuy (Һабантуй), in Chuvash — as Akatuy (Акатуй).

The holiday's name means "plough's feast" in Turkic languages. Sometimes, it is also referred to as "plough's holiday", or Saban bäyräme (Сабан бәйрәме [sʌˈbɑn bæɪræˈme]).

Sabantuy traces its origins to the pre-Islamic epoch, when it was celebrated before the sowing season. The presence of Sabantuy was noticed by ibn Fadlan as early as in 921. Traditional songs and other customs of the Sabantuy probably had a religious connotation at that time.

Later, with the spread of Islam among Tatars and Bashkirs and Christianity among Chuvashs, it became a secular holiday. In each region, villages took turns to celebrate the holiday.

In the beginning of the 20th century Sabantuy gained recognition as the national festival of the Tatars. The Soviet authorities approved of this festival probably due to its humble rural origin. However, they moved Sabantuy to the after-sowing season, thus merging it with the ancient summer festival Cıyın (Cyrillic: Җыен, [ʑɯɪˈɯn]).

Recently, Moscow announced plans to nominate Sabantuy for the inclusion into the Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity list in 2007.

The main distinctive elements of Sabantuy include the traditional sporting competitions such as köräş (Tatar wrestling), horse racing, race-in-sack, pillar-climbing, egg-in-spoon-in-mouth-racing, sacks-battle on the crossbar, pot smashing, finding a coin in a qatıq (a beverage made from sour milk), and other contests. Such activities take place on the mäydan, which would usually be located at the edge of a forest.

A tradition, called sörän, was held to collect a fare for guests of the festival and prizes for the winners of the contests. Qarğa botqası (Rook's porridge), a ritual porridge, was cooked before the Sabantuy to treat children in the village. Another tradition was praying at the cemetery.

In the recent years Sabantuy is also often combined with the folk and pop music festivals, as well as accordion music festivals, named Play, accordion! (Uyna, ğarmun!).

Kurash (Tatar:Көрәш)
The Tatar wrestling (Tatarça köräş), is the main competition of Sabantuy. Wrestlers use towels and the aim is to knock down the opponent.

Usually young boys start the competition. At the end of Sabantuy, the main event of the festival is the final of köräş. The winner becomes the batır, the hero of the Sabantuy. The prize varies from a ram in small villages to a car at big cities' celebrations.

Calendar of the festival
Sabantuylar do not have a set date. The festivities take place approximately from June 15 to July 1, and usually fall on a Sunday. Initially, Sabantuylar are arranged in villages, followed by Sabantuylar in rural districts, and the final ones taking place in major cities. The last Sabantuy is held in Kazan, the capital of Tatarstan. A similar schedule is applied for Akatuy in Chuvashia and Habantuy in Bashkortostan.

In the last few years the Russian government arranged federal Sabantuylar in Moscow. Many cities in Europe and Asia that have major Tatar diasporas, such as Moscow, Saint Petersburg, Tallinn, Prague, Istanbul, Kiev and Tashkent, also hold Sabantuylar.

Today Sabantuy can be characterized as an international festival attracting many people of various ethnicities who participate in Sabanuylar, both in Tatarstan, and all over the world.

Political traditions
Sabantuy is a symbol of Tatarstan. This is why every Russian president visiting the republic takes part in the Sabantuy held in Kazan. During his visit to Kazan in the mid-1990s Boris Yeltsin became the center of attention at a Sabantuy when he took part in a traditional competition in which the participants try to crash a clay pot while being blindfolded. Vladimir Putin took part in a humorous competition during which he tried to dip his face into a jar full of sour milk in order to fish out a coin without using his hands.

Here is another blurb about Sabantuy

"One of the unique, colourful and especially popular Tatar festivals.  It takes place at the end of May in the villages and district centres and completes its progress through the Republic in the towns at the end of June. Sabantuy (from the Turkic saban - plow) and tuy (festival) brings together many traditional games and competitions which have developed over the centuries on the squares at the centre of which is a pole with a national embroidered cloth attached to it.  Everyone can take part in racing wearing a yoke which holds pails full of water, sack races, smashing pots while blind folded, running while holding between the teeth a wooden spoon with an egg and not breaking it and tug of war competitions, or try their luck at clambering up a pole for a pair of embroidered shoes,.  Also very popular is Tatar wrestling and horse racing ... agility, proficiency at overtaking and kissing a girl at the gallop - is rewarded with special gifts."

from "Tatarstan" Petit Fute - Travelguide...

Tartar Steak

... and again, Tartar Steak has nothing to do with Tatars.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Kereshen Tatar Song

"Ах-ну, зиләйлүк!" (керәшен татарлары җыры)
Ah Noo, Eyleyluk! (Kereshen Tatar Song)

A few years back someone told me of Christian Tatars. I told him, "Those are NOT Tatars". The Volga / Kazan Tatars I know are predominantly Sunni Muslim. I discovered how wrong I was and that Kreshen/Christian Tatars are in fact very Tatar and they have a slightly different accent and mode of dress. Their songs are beautiful.

Chuvash Wedding

This video is of a Chuvash Wedding. Chuvashia is a neighbor of Tatarstan and there are Tatars in Chuvashia and vice-versa. The feel is of a Tatar village wedding and very sweet.

Don't Forget the Parents!

Онытмагыз ани атиларне

Tatar Dance Lessons - in Russian

1-нче дәрес
2-нче дәрес
3-нче дәрес
4-нче дәрес

Kazan Kreml - Fortress

Why have we never seen this delightful image?

Pugachev in Kazan

Pugachev Exercises Justice At Kazan- G. Goreloff, Russia, 1928

Emelyan Pugachev (approx 1730 - 1777)

The leader of the peasants' revolt in 1744 who declared himself Czar.  The battle for Kazan, a significant episode in the history of the city and the whole area, was the culmination of the revolt and ended in defeat for Pugachev.  However the personality and fate of this popular hero were to draw both his contemporaries and future generations to Kazan like a magnet.  Two poets, Derzhavin and Pushkin, came specially to Kazan to collect material about Pugachev, one as an officer on a secret assignment, the other in preparation for his future classic, "The Captain's Daughter". 

The rebel himself
Here is the thorough wiki article on the Pugachev Rebellion

Le Pavillon du Tatar

- Livre de poche N°6001


Comment Miranda, la petite sauvageonne
qui ne demandait qu'à vivre tranquillement sur son ile americaine,
aurait-elle pu prévoir qu'un destin ausi extraordinaire l'attentait ?

Qu'elle allait épouser
Jared, le meurtrier de son père, briller dans les salons londoniens,
devenir l'esclave en Crimée d'un prince tatar, la favorite d'un
harem à Istanbul...

Mais au milieu des plus invraisemblables
péripéties de son existence et des pires horreurs, elle ne
pense qu'à une chose : retrouver l'homme qu'elle aime, le seul homme
qu'elle ait jamais aimé et auquel on l'a arrachée.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Monday, July 9, 2012

Ринад Камалетдинов - Renat Kamaletdinov

Renat Kamaletdinov
"Тары жире,киндер жире"- Ринад Камалетдинов

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Şakirov on a Sunday

The Peremech Lounge is an "old school" kind of place and we are always happy to bathe in the classical richness of iLham Şakirov's voice. The song is "Imyannar Shawliy". The lyrics are sentimental and just brilliant.

If we could only sing like that!
Ильхам Шакиров-имянняр шаулый

Thursday, July 5, 2012

George Albert Frost - Tatar Girl

Zulfiya in Pennsylvania sent us this link to this lovely painting by George Albert Frost.

George Albert Frost (December 23, 1843 – November 13, 1907) was an American artist of the 19th century. He was born in Boston, Massachusetts and had a studio in North Cambridge, Massachusetts for several years. He studied under Nicolas de Keyser at the Academy Royale de Belgique in Antwerp. His paintings were mostly landscapes, and he is considered a member of the White Mountain art group of painters

Frost was born in Boston in 1843. He left school at age eleven to work on a farm where he had no opportunity to follow his artistic inclinations. At the outbreak of the Civil War, he enlisted and served for more than two years.

In 1865 he joined Colonel Franklin L. Pope's division of the Western Union surveying party to British Columbia for which he produced sketches. In 1866 he was assigned to Siberia with the purpose of selecting a route to connect a telegraph line from San Francisco to Moscow (Russian-American telegraph). He exhibited at the San Francisco Art Association in 1874, then studied at the Belgian Royal Academy of Fine Arts, Antwerp, with Nicolas de Keyser from 1874 to 1876, and for the next ten years had a studio in North Cambridge, Massachusetts. In 1883 he produced his earliest known White Mountain work.

In 1885 he accompanied George Kennan on a second trip to Siberia to record the life of Russian exiles, during which time Frost painted several Siberian scenes. The trip was commissioned by The Century Magazine, and Frost and Kennan took numerous photographs which later were given to the Library of Congress and are now housed in the Library's Prints and Photographs Division. Selections from the George Kennan Collection in Meeting of Frontiers consists of 256 photographs taken in a wide range of locations in Siberia. The photographs from the trip were also used to illustrate Kennan's book, Siberia and the Exile System.