Who do Western Siberia Tatars consider themselves to be?

The answer “Tatar” turned out to be the most popular during a social survey of the Tatar population in Western Siberia. The survey was done by a group of scientists of the Marjani Institute of History of the Tatarstan Academy of Sciences and the Research Centre for Siberian Tatars’ Historical and Cultural Heritage of the Mendeleyev Tobolsk State Social and Pedagogical Academy. Nearly 2,000 residents of Novosibirsk, Omsk, Tomsk and Tyumen oblasts told them about their ethnic identity. Head of the Ethnic Research Department of the institute Gulnara Gabdrakhmanova writes more about it.

In 2014, a group of scientists of the Marjani Institute of History of the Tatarstan Academy of Sciences and the Research Centre for Siberian Tatars’ Historical and Cultural Heritage of the Mendeleyev Tobolsk State Social and Pedagogical Academy did a large-scale sociological survey of Western Siberia Tatars. 1,817 people living in Novosibirsk, Omsk, Tomsk and Tyumen oblasts (59 settlements) were surveyed. A quota sample representing the general population in such parameters as city or countryside, age, gender was used. Representatives of Siberian Tatars — people coming from the settlements where the survey was carried out — were attracted as interviewers in the survey.

The survey included the so-called open question about the respondent’s ethnic identity, that’s to say, they weren’t offered answers and they put their nationality (one, two, three) themselves, moreover, they often did this without the interviewer (on their own).

The answer “Tatar” turned out to be the most popular.

98% of the respondents in Novosibirsk Oblast living in cities and 83% in the countryside, 91% in Omsk in cities and 85% in the countryside respectively, 92% and 97% in Tomsk Oblast, 71% and 64% in Tyumen Oblast wrote this down into their questionnaire.

A smaller number of respondents called themselves Siberian Tatar: 2% citizens and 16% countrypeople in Novosibirsk Oblast, 9% and 15% in Omsk Oblast, 2% and 3% in Tomsk Oblast, 28% and 33% in Tyumen Oblast.

No more than 2% of the respondents expressed simultaneous identification, that’s to say considering themselves Tatar or Siberian Tatar. The research discovered a combination of other ethnic identifications too. The Russian-Tatar identity was the most popular. One in four respondents in cities (4% in the countryside) chose it in Novosibirsk Oblast. The number of double, Russian-Tatar identity turned out to be notably smaller in other regions: 8% in Tomsk Oblast, 4% in Tyumen Oblast, 3% in Omsk Oblast.

The ethnonym Tatar dominates in Western Siberia Tatars’ consciousness

So the ethnonym Tatar is the main, dominating market of Western Siberia Tatars’ consciousness. A small part of them identify themselves as Siberian Tatars and this is spread only in some areas of this region. The data on dual (Russia-Tatar) identity of Tatars in Novosibirsk Oblast where their urbanisation is by far higher outline prospects when the unified urban environment absorbs not only the general Tatar but also first of all the local identity.

The survey done by world scientific standards applied for sociological surveys and providing respondents the right of free choice of their nationality during the survey prove the unbiased conclusions about the ethnic identity of Western Siberia Tatars.

Gulnara Gabdrakhmanova
Reference

The author’s opinion does not necessarily coincide with the position of Realnoe Vremya’s editorial board.

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