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FW: [tatar-l] Tatar-Bashkir Report Archive-6 November 2001

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  • Marat Devlet-Kildeyev
    Hi, Reshat, Unfortunately, life is a struggle. Unfortunately, one has to overcome difficulties all the time. This lawsuit is another difficulty. However, to
    Message 1 of 2 , Nov 6, 2001
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      Hi, Reshat,

      Unfortunately, life is a struggle.  Unfortunately, one has to overcome difficulties all the time.  This lawsuit is another difficulty.  However, to be objective, when I visited Kazan last summer, I could hardly hear anybody speaking Tatar - everybody around spoke Russian.  This was my first visit to Kazan, which I had been planning for the last 16 years!!  You can imagine my disappointment, when I discovered that Kazan looks like a typical Russian provincial city with, having all the idiotic provincial features described by Gogol and Shchedrin in the XIX century.  Overall, the visit was ultimately boring: I could have visited Smolensk, Voronezh and/or Ryazan and see a more or less the same picture.  The only highlights of the trip were: Kul-Sherif (still being constructed), several Mosques, an odd street or store sign in Tatar and my visit to the souvenir and tapes/CD's departments of the local TSUM (can you imagine that?), whose monthly sales plans were met after my spending spree, and a lone MacDonald's on Bauman Street :))! 

      When, in the same TSUM, I asked the books department sales clerk whether they had any books in Tatar, she responded negatively and gave me such a look, that I immediately understood that I looked and sounded like a good prospect for the local psychiatric hospital.  I looked backed in contempt (and what else could I do?), since her response reflected her ignorance and lack of any inter-ethnic sensitivity.

      In fact, despite what we read in papers, Kazan impressed me as a city, where the provincial Russian way of life and doing things seems to remain predominant to the detriment of its attractiveness as a tourist destination.  I was in a desperate search of anything Tatar, but my appetite was never satiated.  And I believe this is very bad for Kazan's tourist industry, because why would anyone on Earth would want to waste his/her life looking at faceless provincial landmarks?  On the contrary, Tatar ethnic component can make Kazan very different from the rest of it's Russian peers and attract countless crowds of tourists not only from Muslim countries, but mainly from the West.  Why go to Bukhara and Samarkand, when there is a similar place a few hours flight away from London or Paris or Berlin?  Even the Kazan Kremlin is a replica of the Pskov Kremlin, which looks absolutely fine in the North where I am from, but its presence on the banks of the Idel is absolutely ridiculous.  It is no wonder that some of the Russian residents still believe that Tatar things are no more than a nuisance and may be a temporary occurrence.  They still remember the times, when there was only one (1) Tatar school in Kazan.

      Another important thing is that the language issue is being resolved through the courts.  Nobody is rushing to close down the Tatar schools and the Government of RT, to the best of my knowledge, is not rushing to report to Moscow that all the nationalists have been eradicated and their tongues have been cut off to eliminate the Tatar language.  This is progress, one can't deny that.  And after all, it is a legitimate right of a disgruntled citizen to seek protection in court, isn't it?

      On the other hand, I am sure it was the zealous communist Tatars, who closed our schools and not necessarily the Russians.  We, ourselves, have shown the weaker sides of our character, bending over to be .....   Let's each of us ask ourselves a few simple questions:

      1. How many things Tatar have we purchased lately (books, CD's, tapes, paintings, etc.)?  Obviously, nobody will produce these things if we don't buy them.

      2. How many children do we have? 

      3. Do they speak Tatar?  

      4. Are they interested in the Tatar history and culture?

      I must admit, that I am personally good only with item 1.  I am  losing the battle with respect to 1-4, but still hope to win (I am not married yet :))) despite my respectable age.  How about other participants of the list?

      The reason why I asked the above 4 questions is very simple: until Tatars go through a demographic explosion, develop a strong affinity with their language and culture, there is no way to forcefully impose the Tatar language on some 49% of the non-Tatar population of Tatarstan.  There will always be lawsuits, complaints and rejection.  Non-Tatars should WANT to learn Tatar and the only way to achieve that is through making the Tatar culture so strong and advanced, that local Russians will feel compelled to learn about it.  And I mean all aspects of culture: literature, art, music, cuisine, nightclubs, restaurants, etc.

      Regards,

      Marat Devlet-Kildeyev      

      -----Original Message-----
      From: Reshat Sabiq [mailto:idil_ural@...]
      Sent: Tuesday, November 06, 2001 11:34 PM
      To: tatar-l@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: Re: [tatar-l] Tatar-Bashkir Report Archive-6 November 2001


      hi,

      This is an interesting logic. All universities require
      russian literature exams with rediculous emphasis on
      how many books one has read and punctuation puzzles.
      At the same time, Tatarstani universities do not
      require Tatar literature or even language exams.
      Tatar children are required to study Russian language.
      And after there was only 1 Tatar school left in Qazan
      in 1985, when there is a legitimate attempt to teach
      Tatar language on Tatars' land, somebody tries to
      prevent it. If this court goes with that, it will only
      prove the corruption of the Moscow-controlled legal
      system.

      P.S. A tangent matter is how the language is
      perceived. If the right alphabet was accepted, and the
      power of Tatar language in communicating with more
      than 150 million Turk(ic) peoples was reflected, the
      language perception would improve.

      Regards,
      Reshat.

      >
      > Individual Claims That
      Tatar Lessons Are Taught
      > Illegally
      >
      > A Vakhitov district
      court in Kazan is preparing to
      > consider a suit by one of the city's
      residents
      > claiming
      > the Tatar language is illegally taught
      in
      > Tatarstan's
      > schools, RFE/RL's Kazan Bureau reported on
      5
      > November.
      > The plaintiff wants children to be given the
      choice
      > of
      > whether to study Tatar, while currently all
      are
      > required
      > to study Tatar language and literature to the
      same
      > extent
      > as Russian language. Strana.ru information
      service
      > has
      > suggested that Tatar was being forcibly taught
      in
      > schools
      > and quoted unnamed legal experts predicting that
      the
      > Tatarstan Education Ministry would lose the suit.
      >
      >
      Russia To Provide Real Estate Loans To Refugees In
      > TR
      >
      >
      The Tatarstan branch of Russian ethnic and migration
      > policy ministry
      began distributing 10-year,
      > interest-free, property loans to refugee
      families
      > living
      > in the republic. A ministry representative
      in
      > Tatarstan,
      > Nikolai Vladimirov, on 5 November said the
      Russian
      > budget
      > has earmarked 4 million rubles ($136,000) for
      such
      > loans
      > in
      2001.

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    • Reshat Sabiq
      hi, I agree with you one many counts. But i think, #1 issue to be resolved is the alphabet and the perception of the language. My suggestions are: 1. Optimal
      Message 2 of 2 , Nov 7, 2001
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        hi,

        I agree with you one many counts. But i think, #1
        issue to be resolved is the alphabet and the
        perception of the language. My suggestions are:
        1. Optimal (non-bastardized) alphabet.
        2. Attractive national TV, radio, and press.
        3. Advertising Tatar language's strength in
        communicating w/ other Turk(ic) people.

        This is a beginning, w/o which other steps won't come
        easily.

        Why didn't this fellow citizen come in 1985 when
        chauvinist policies (i do not agree that Tatars were
        responsible for this) left only 1 Tatar school in the
        capital of Tatarstan, and say that Tatars have a right
        not to study Russian and study in Tatar? Our language
        has all but got killed. And we don't even have a right
        to try to save it? Is that just?

        I believe the lawsuit is based on chauvinist ideology.
        I will agree to Tatar language's being optional in
        Tatarstan's secondary schools, when Russian language
        is optional in secondary school as well, and when
        Tatar kids can take exams on Tatar language (similar
        to the US SAT-verbal) when applying to Tatarstani
        universities. Without this equal approach, a court's
        ruling to abolish mandatory Tatar language classes
        while keeping mandatory Russian language requirements
        without which one can't get any kind of a career (and
        all this being on the "land of Tatars"), would show
        the that the Moscow-controlled legal system promotes
        chauvinism.

        Regards,
        Reshat.

        > 1. How many things Tatar have we purchased lately
        > (books, CD's, tapes,
        > paintings, etc.)? Obviously, nobody will produce
        > these things if we don't
        > buy them.
        >
        > 2. How many children do we have?
        >
        > 3. Do they speak Tatar?
        >
        > 4. Are they interested in the Tatar history and
        > culture?
        >
        > I must admit, that I am personally good only with
        > item 1. I am losing the
        > battle with respect to 1-4, but still hope to win (I
        > am not married yet :)))
        > despite my respectable age. How about other
        > participants of the list?
        >
        > The reason why I asked the above 4 questions is very
        > simple: until Tatars go
        > through a demographic explosion, develop a strong
        > affinity with their
        > language and culture, there is no way to forcefully
        > impose the Tatar
        > language on some 49% of the non-Tatar population of
        > Tatarstan. There will
        > always be lawsuits, complaints and rejection.
        > Non-Tatars should WANT to
        > learn Tatar and the only way to achieve that is
        > through making the Tatar
        > culture so strong and advanced, that local Russians
        > will feel compelled to
        > learn about it. And I mean all aspects of culture:
        > literature, art, music,
        > cuisine, nightclubs, restaurants, etc.
        >
        > Regards,
        >
        > Marat Devlet-Kildeyev
        >
        > -----Original Message-----
        > From: Reshat Sabiq [mailto:idil_ural@...]
        > Sent: Tuesday, November 06, 2001 11:34 PM
        > To: tatar-l@yahoogroups.com
        > Subject: Re: [tatar-l] Tatar-Bashkir Report
        > Archive-6 November 2001
        >
        >
        > hi,
        >
        > This is an interesting logic. All universities
        > require
        > russian literature exams with rediculous emphasis on
        > how many books one has read and punctuation puzzles.
        > At the same time, Tatarstani universities do not
        > require Tatar literature or even language exams.
        > Tatar children are required to study Russian
        > language.
        > And after there was only 1 Tatar school left in
        > Qazan
        > in 1985, when there is a legitimate attempt to teach
        > Tatar language on Tatars' land, somebody tries to
        > prevent it. If this court goes with that, it will
        > only
        > prove the corruption of the Moscow-controlled legal
        > system.
        >
        > P.S. A tangent matter is how the language is
        > perceived. If the right alphabet was accepted, and
        > the
        > power of Tatar language in communicating with more
        > than 150 million Turk(ic) peoples was reflected, the
        > language perception would improve.
        >
        > Regards,
        > Reshat.
        >
        > >
        > > Individual Claims That Tatar Lessons Are Taught
        > > Illegally
        > >
        > > A Vakhitov district court in Kazan is preparing to
        > > consider a suit by one of the city's residents
        > > claiming
        > > the Tatar language is illegally taught in
        > > Tatarstan's
        > > schools, RFE/RL's Kazan Bureau reported on 5
        > > November.
        > > The plaintiff wants children to be given the
        > choice
        > > of
        > > whether to study Tatar, while currently all are
        > > required
        > > to study Tatar language and literature to the same
        > > extent
        > > as Russian language. Strana.ru information service
        > > has
        > > suggested that Tatar was being forcibly taught in
        > > schools
        > > and quoted unnamed legal experts predicting that
        > the
        >
        === message truncated ===


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