Mintimer Shaimiyev: ‘We have managed to raise the memory and revive our people’s cultural heritage’
The republic will host hundreds of contests and festivals in the Year of Mother Tongues
During this jubilee year for the republic, 14,000 events have taken place in Tatarstan. Over 9 million people have participated in them, while citizens from 107 countries have been here despite the pandemic-related restrictions. The year was summed up in the Kazan Kremlin on 18 December. In 2020, the 100th Anniversary of the TASSR has been celebrated and plans for the future Year of Mother Tongues and National Unity have been made, 143 events have already been planned for 2021. Read more in Realnoe Vremya’s report.
Citizens of 107 countries have visited Tatarstan
Tatarstan President Rustam Minnikhanov moderated the joint meeting of two organising committees — for the celebration of the republic’s jubilee and organisation of the Year of Mother Tongues and National Unity in 2021 — as well as Council for Interethnic and Interfaith Relations on 18 December. Vice head of the Federal Agency for Ethnic Affairs Mikhail Mishin greeted the audience in Tatar and apologised for his accent.
“No problem, we will teach you,” Rustam Minnikhanov joked setting a friendly tone to the communication.
Keeping joking, the Moscow guest paid attention to the fact that analytic agencies suggested Tatarstan became a very popular place for Russians who try to come here for youth festivals.
“So the hospitable hosts won’t be able to relax,” the speaker assured the audience.
“Citizens of 107 countries have visited Tatarstan this year, which is especially strange amid those events we had together with the whole world,” Chairman of the Russian Civic Chamber’s Commission for Harmonisation of Interethnic and Interfaith Relations Vladimir Zorin surprised at the popularity of the republic during COVID-19 restrictions.
Mikhail Mishin mentioned the successes the republic achieved in strengthening the national unity, conservation of the spiritual legacy, cultural and linguistic diversity. In his opinion, Tatarstan’s accomplishments in Islamic education rest on traditional principles of Russian society. “It has become possible to resist massive external attempts to create schism on national and religious grounds thanks to graduates of the Russian theological school this year,” the vice head of the federal agency said.
Vice Authorised Representative of the Russian president in Volga Federal Okrug Igor Panshin read his boss Igor Komarov’s telegram. He congratulated Tatarstan citizens with the milestone. Komarov noted that despite all difficulties and trials our country and the whole world have faced this year “you have proved once again that Tatarstan doesn’t have impossible tasks and you have hosted all key events dedicated to the republic’s jubilee at a decent level”.
Rustam Minnikhanov thanked the country’s President Vladimir Putin and the government of Russia for supporting Tatarstan, including in the organisation of festivities.
“Despite the coronavirus pandemic, a lot of important social and cultural, infrastructural facilities that have adorned the appearance of our cities and settlements and will serve people have opened. The award of City of Labour Valour to Kazan has been a memorable event. Our republic has covered a long road of development from an agrarian region to one of the most developed industrial centres of the country in 100 years. Most importantly, people who selflessly worked to lay the foundation of modern Tatarstan were behind all these accomplishments,” the leader of the republic stressed.
A serious job has been done by historians, archaeologists, ethnographers — this jubilee has allowed looking at history from a new angle, evaluating the heroic labour of the previous generations, the Tatarstan president noted. New books, exhibitions, films that have been prepared this year are dedicated to people’s contribution to Tatarstan’s development. According to Rustam Minnikhanov, for Tatarstan citizens, the republic’s jubilee became a reason for unity and proud. All republican ministries and agencies, federal structures, municipalities of the republic, enterprises, scientific, educational, public organisations have actively participated in the preparation for the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the TASSR, the head of Tatarstan noted and thanked all residents of the republic for the joint fruitful work.
“We have managed to raise the people’s memory”
First President of the republic, State Adviser to Tatarstan Mintimer Shaimiyev named the acknowledgement of Bolgar, Sviyazhsk and the Kazan Kremlin as revival of national heritage by UNESCO. He noted this as an achievement of the last years but stressed that the merit of the previous generation was also huge. Mintimer Shaimiyev reminded the audience that a huge work had been done in 2020 to restore the Our Lady of Kazan Cathedral with a cave church, which is a construction of world significance.
“We have managed to raise the memory and revive our people’s cultural heritage,” the state adviser to Tatarstan concluded.
While astronauts Anatoly Ivanishin and Ivan Vagner greeted hospitable and hard-working people of Tatarstan directly from the ISS and enumerated the republic’s achievements that were written down to the country’s history.
Tatarstan has hosted over 14,000 festivities where more than 9 million people have participated, Vice Premier of Tatarstan Vasil Shaykhraziyev summed the year up. More than 12,000 citizens of the republic have been awarded the badge 100th Anniversary of the TASSR. Tatarstan authorities have congratulated 341 people who celebrated their 100th jubilee since 2017. Now 100 such people live in the republic.
4,400 social and cultural facilities have been repaired and open in 2020: schools, kindergartens, sports venues, municipal archives, cultural centres in regional centres and villages, theatres. The next section of Big Kazan Ring has been launched, work on the second line of the Kazan metro has begun. The National Library of Tatarstan has opened in a reconstructed building, the Naberezhnye Chelny Drama Theatre and many other cultural centres have been restored. Multilingual complexes have opened in Kazan and Yelabuga.
Over 700 km of roads have been laid, 2,800 km of regional roads have been repaired, 85 bridges have been built. Moreover, the first MI-38 helicopter has been handed over to the client, the first passenger Chaika ship running on liquefied natural gas has been transferred to the water. While the Tatarstan State Archive has opened electronic samples of more than 125,000 documents, including those dedicated to the history of the creation of the TASSR, Vasil Shaykhraziyev enumerated just some of the events that have happened during the year.
“Best teacher who speaks Udmurt”
“The territory of Tatarstan has been a place of peaceful existence and creative cooperation of Tatars, Russians, Chuvash people, Udmurts, Maris, Mordvinvs and other peoples for centuries. Such a cultural diversity requires careful attention to providing citizens with the right to conserve and develop mother tongues, cultures and traditions. The decision to declare the next year as Year of Mother Tongues and National Unity was made considering the public opinion to conserve and develop mother tongues, cultures and traditions of representatives of peoples living in Tatarstan, strengthen the unity of the multiethnic people of the republic,” Rustam Minnikhanov explained who chaired the organising committee preparing the events next year.
He noted that the organising committee includes representatives of different agencies of power and the public. During the Year of Mother Tongues, 143 events will take place, including Russian, Tatar, Chuvash, Udmurt, Mordovian, Mari holidays and festivals, Minister of Culture of Tatarstan Irada Ayupova said. She emphasised that the youth are interested in music, instrumental competitions. Tatarstan has the only online portal with a lot of content Tatar Music Century, which is also in high demand.
Next year, festivals of school theatres, Olympiads, meetings and contests are planned for Tatarstan schoolchildren. Minister of Education and Science of Tatarstan Ilsur Khadiullin talked about the conservation of mother tongues among schoolchildren and students.
“A network of schools learning mother tongues has developed in Tatarstan in the last decade, a line of textbooks has been created, methods, training system and staff retraining have been introduced, a big work is done together with neighbouring republic to provide the activity of ethnic schools,” the minister enumerated.
He said that children in Tatarstan schools are taught in five languages, while they learn seven languages. Moreover, children in 42 departments of Sunday schools in the republic learn languages of 25 nationalities. Kazan Federal University trains staff for multilingual complexes, 386 people learn to teach subjects in several languages. However, the issue of staff training is still topical, noted the minister. In his opinion, the introduction of an electronic mother tongue learning system needs to be seriously improved. Khadiullin reminded the audience that events were scheduled within The Russian Language in the Republic of Tatarstan target programme in 2021-2023, a state programme designed to conserve, learn and develop official languages of Tatarstan and other languages of the republic for 2023-2030 was created and approved by the Tatarstan Cabinet of Ministers.
Chairman of the Tatarstan Civic Chamber’s commission Andrey Bolshakov noted that the cultural autonomy of Udmurts recently developed an initiative. And next year it is planned in Tatarstan to host The Best Teacher of Educational Establishment Speaking Udmurt as Mother Tongue, Education and Upbringing republican competition with authorities’ support.
At the end of the meeting, Rustam Minnikhanov addressed theological, educational and youth organisations, the People’s Assembly of Tatarstan as well as public and industrial staff and urged them to include events to develop mother tongues to the plan for the next year.
“Both communists and other parties will support us,” the head of Tatarstan said smiling and looking at the regional leader of the CPRF Khafiz Mirgalimov.