Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Rail Davletbayev

A Holiday
Rail Davletbayev


Nurkhatim Bikulov

Preparation for a Holiday
Nurkhatim Bikulov


Kazan from Lonely Planet

pop 1.1 million

Kazan is the capital of Tatarstan, home to the descendants of the nomadic Turkic tribe that wreaked particular havoc in ancient Rus. The atmosphere of this intriguing autonomous republic is redolent of Central Asia. The spires of many mosques dot the skyline - including the grand Kul Sharif Mosque inside the historic kremlin.

Nationalism is strong here - as evidenced by the bilingual signposts and the ubiquitous green, white and red of the Tatar flag. Ethnic pride was particularly passionate during 2005, when the city celebrated 1000 years since its founding. Many parks and buildings received a massive makeover in anticipation of the celebration, so the city centre is looking better than ever.

Kazan, one of Russia's oldest Tatar cities, dates back to 1005. Capitol of the Kazan khanate in the 15th and 16th centuries, it was famously ravaged in 1552 by Ivan the Terrible, who forced the Muslim khan to become Christian. St. Basil's Cathedral in Moscow was built to celebrate Kazan's downfall. The city later flourished as a gateway to Siberia.

During Soviet times, Kazan became the capitoal of the Tatar Autonomous Republic. In autumn 1990, this oil-rich region (now renamed Tatarstan) declared its autonomy from the rest of Russia, launching several years of political warfare with Moscow.

Kazan's city centre is flanked in the north by the Kazanka River and in the west by the Volga; the train station is on the east bank of the Volga. About 500m east of the Volga shore, a canal bisects the town centre, separating the train station and surrounding gritty residential area from the principle commercial area. The main drag, ul Baumana, is just east of the canal, running from the kremlin in the northwest down to busy ul Pushkina. South of the canal, ul Pushkina changes name to ul Tatarstan and continues south to the bus and river stations.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Volga Watershed with Kama

Tatars of Kazan

A lithograph representing the Tatars of Kazan. F. K. Pauli, Description ethnographique des peuples de la Russe (St. Petersburg, 1862)

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Young Tatars in Japan - Kobe

There was a Tatar school next the Mosque in Kobe.
These pics are from the late 1940's, early 1950's.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Aksu Media Production Studio

Aksu Studio Kazan

This is the page of a media production company in Kazan that does concert sound and video and audio production. The link above is a page of streaming Tatar songs.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

ATTA New Website


We're happy to announce that the ATTA in Burlingame California has a revamp of their website. You should take the time to investigate it as it's very well done with loads of content, and slick!

naked peremech

Peremech on a white paper plate.
These "naked" peremech (peremeches?) are begging for a condiment.

I always taste the first one plain. These ones were skillfully prepared by ladies of the ATTA for Kurban Bayram.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Tatars from Crosswalk Outreach

Location: While most of the Tatar people live in Volga region of Russia, there are sizeable colonies in every republic in the former Soviet Union.

Population: There are approximately 5,416,000 Tatar people in Russia. Around the world, there are approximately 6,719,000 Tatar people.

History: The Tatar have had a strong civilization since the tenth century. Their culture survived the Mongol invasion of the thirteenth century and the Russian conquest of the sixteenth century. In the 1800′s, Tatar cities ranked among the greatest cultural centers of the Islamic world. Today, the Tatar are a settled people, mostly peasants and merchants, who have completely lost their traditional tribal structure. Many of those in the Volga region work on community farms where they raise grains, hemp, legumes, and other fodder crops.

Culture: “Among the Tatar, the father is the legal head of the household. He is also in charge of the family income and how it is spent. The women usually cook, carry water, wash clothes, and tend to the livestock, while the men do more strenuous labor in the fields. Most Tatar are well educated. There are 1800 libraries in Tatarstan, having over 20 million books in Tatar. The Tatar people enjoy the arts – especially theatre, the orchestra, opera, and ballet. Although the Tatar are primarily Islamic, many still observe sabantuy, or “rites of spring.” This is an ancient agricultural festival that is celebrated simultaneously with the anniversary of the founding of the Russian Tatar Republic on June 25. These celebrations have their origins in Shamanism (the belief in an unseen world of gods, demons, and ancestral spirits). The younger generation of Tatar wear contemporary city-style clothing. However, the older, collective farm members wear traditional dress. Many Tatar will identify themselves as Muslims before they will identify themselves as Tatar. Unlike devout Muslims, however, 25% of the Tatar will eat pork, and very few observe the prescribed Islamic fasts.” (see below)

Language: They speak Tatar, however, in urban areas more than 30% of them primarily speak Russian.

Religion: Most are Hanafite Muslim. Some beliefs in supernatural powers such as the “evil eye” still exist from their pre-Islamic days. Islam has had a stronghold on the Tatar people since the ninth century, but their beliefs are typically much more liberal than Orthodox Muslims of Central Asia. Some examples of this are that prayer times are modified in some places so as not to conflict with work schedules, and women are sometimes encouraged to join men at the mosques for prayer.

march 30 2010

Florida Ismagilova - Kuz Timasen-Флорида Исмагилова

Ете кыз (original) - Башкортостан "Башклип"

Bashkir Personal adornment and costume is so beautiful.

Pictures of Tatar Cuisine

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Tatars and Soviet Architecture

"the building of the Kazansky Station, built in Moscow from Shchusev's design. Started in 1913, its construction was completed in the Soviet period, essentially by 1926. Combining the building's volumes, a delicate exercise resulting in a certain surfeit of contrasts, the effect is very much akin to that in Art Nouveau structures, although it was intended to imitate a group of buildings dating from different periods, a feature of old Russian architecture. This intention is borne out by the nature of the decor - prototypes dating from different periods were used for the structure's different components. The station's main tower is an accurate (accurate?) reproduction of the tiered tower of the Kazan Kremlin, intended, as it were to symbolize the final destination of a journey from this station. "

"the suprematist techniques of arranging the components of the building are, perhaps, even more in evidence in the composition of the Press House, which combines publishing and printing houses in the city of Kazan, built between 1933 and 1937 by the architect Semyon Pan (1897-1970). The symmetry of the overall arrangement is perhaps the only traditional feature of the building. The emphasized plasticity of its several heavy volumes, which adds dramatism to the composition, was characteristic of that period."

"Large circus buildings...were also multifunctional. There is a special expressiveness in the volume of the circus in the city of Kazan, a reinforced concrete lens hoisted onto a flattened, broadly glassed podium: built in 1967, it is the work of the architect Gennady Pichuyev, and the engineers I. Berim, and B. Rudny. The image here is created precisely by the expressiveness of the volume's form."

from "Russian Architecture of the Soviet Period. Ikkonikov 1988

Declaration On The State Sovereignty of the Republic of Tatarstan

on the state sovereignty of the Republic of Tatarstan

The Supreme Soviet of Tatar Autonomous Soviet Social Republic,
-realizing the historical responsibility for the fortunes of multinational peoples;
-expressing respect to sovereign rights of all peoples, inhabiting the Russian Federation and the USSR;
-realizing the incapability of the status of Autonomous Republic, and the interests of future political, economic, social and spiritual development of the multinational peoples;
-ensuring the inherent rights of Tatars, of the whole population of the Republic to self-determination;
-aiming at the creation of legal democratic state,
1. PROCLAIMS Tatar state sovereignty and reforms the Autonomous Republic into the Tatar Soviet Socialist Republic (Tatar SSR) - The Republic of Tatarstan.
2. The land, its natural resources and other resources on the territory of the Tatar SSR shall be the exclusive property of Tatar people.
3. Irrespective of nationality, social origin, belief, political convictions and other differences, Tatar SSR shall guarantee all citizens of the Republic equal rights and freedoms. Russian and Tatar shall be state languages and shall be equal in Tatar SSR, the maintenance and development of languages of other nationalities shall be ensured.
4. The official state name in the Constitution, in other legal acts and in state activity shall be "Tatar Soviet Social Republic" ("Tatar SSR" or "The Republic of Tatarstan"). Republic's Supreme body of power shall be named "The Supreme Soviet of the Tatar SSR" and its enacting acts shall be named: acts of the Supreme Soviet of the Tatar SSR.
5. The present declaration shall be the basis for Tatar Constitution, for Tatar legislation, for participation of Tatar SSR in drafting and signing the Union Treaty, for agreements with the Russian Federation and other republics. It also shall be the basis for the presentation of the most important questions of state formation of Tatar SSR, its relations with the USSR, with the Russian Federation and other republics for the consideration of its people. The Constitution and the acts of Tatar SSR shall be supreme on the territory of Tatar SSR.
6. Before the adoption of new Constitution of Tatar SSR, other laws and regulations of Tatar SSR, acting laws of Tatar SSR, of the Russian Federation and the USSR remain valid on the territory of Tatar SSR, unless they contradict the Declaration on the state sovereignty of the Tatar SSR.
The present Declaration shall come into force from the date of its adoption.

M. Shaimiev,
Chairman of the Supreme Soviet of Tatar Soviet Social Republic
Kazan, August 30, 1990

Another Peremech Recipe - UK

Tatar Meat Pies

These succulent meat pies are Tatar in origin, very much like the Kayakh belyashi enjoyed throughout Russia. These peremech, typical for a Tatar meal, should be eaten right from the frying pan, juicy and hot.
Makes 2 dozen meat pies.


6 tablespoons single cream
2 eggs, beaten
Pinch salt
4 fluid oz (120 ml) soured cream
Pinch sugar
10 oz (280 g) plain flour


1 lb (450 g) boneless lean beef chuck
1 onion
1 clove garlic
1 teaspoon salt

Beat the eggs until light, then beat in the soured cream, single cream, salt, sugar and flour. Knead until smooth and elastic. Wrap the dough in waxed paper and refrigerate overnight before using.

In a food processor or mincer, mince all the filling ingredients together finely.

Prepare the meat pies: working with one-quarter of the dough at a time (leave the rest in the refrigerator), roll out each piece into a 12 in (30 cm) rope. Cut each rope into 6 pieces, then roll the pieces into balls between the palms of your hands. Flatten the balls slightly, and on a floured surface roll each ball out into a round 3½ - 4 in (9-10 cm) in diameter. Spread 1 tablespoon of meat mixture on each round, leaving 1 in (2.5 cm) around the edges.

To shape the meat pies, gather the dough in little pleats all the way around the patty, using an upward, folding motion. The result should be a round, flat pastry with a hole the size of a five pence piece in the middle. As each patty is made, place it on a linen cloth and cover with another cloth so that the pastries do not dry out.

Pour vegetable oil into a large frying pan to a depth of ½ in (12 mm). Heat it, and once it is hot add the peremech, a few at a time, hole side down. Cook the meat pies, turning once, for about fifteen minutes or until golden brown.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Burlingame - California Tatars April 1979

Here's a nice pic from our archives. It's from our Tatar Din Dersler classes from 1979.
Shemsiye Apa and Tahir Absi our teachers.