Book from TAIF — best gift

Results of the XII Gabdulla Tukay International Recitation Competition have been summed up on the stage of the Kazan Actor's House named after Marsel Salimzhanov

Book from TAIF — best gift
Photo: Dinar Fatykhov/

For almost 2 months, since March 1, passions have been running high in Tatarstan and far beyond its borders: the qualifying stages of the Gabdulla Tukay International Recitation Competition were underway, the main topic of which this year has been “Gasyrlar asha...” / “Through the ages...”. On April 17, the final of the competition, which brought together the best, started on the stage of the Kazan Actor's House. On April 21, the results were summed up in the format of a gala concert: winners and prize-winners rose to the stage for gifts from TAIF. Read the details in the material of Realnoe Vremya.

“Time to say thank you”

“The Gabdulla Tukay International Recitation Competition is primarily aimed at preserving the national cultural heritage. But at the same time, it is aimed at popularising modern poetry, including author one. We even have the Own Writing block within the framework of the competition, where participants have the opportunity to broadcast their poems that coincide with the main topics of this year's competition, but written by themselves. We also have very vivid cases when classical poetry is presented in a special, author's interpretation, author's presentation, up to such a 'poetic rap," the organisers of the contest explained to the journalist of Realnoe Vremya in the Union of Theatrical Figures of the Republic of Tatarstan.

Gabdulla Tukay International Recitation Competition is aimed at preserving the national cultural heritage. Photo: Dinar Fatykhov/

The recitation contest itself, which united fans of Tatar literature of different ages — from elementary school students to university students, was held for the first time in 2011. Then the number of participants did not amaze the imagination: dozens. In 2016, when the Tukay readings acquired an international scale, it was about hundreds of participants.

Today, the competition annually gathers hundreds of talented schoolchildren and students, including from abroad. Photo: Dinar Fatykhov/

Today, the organisers are forced to limit the flow of applicants in all five age categories: junior schoolchildren — from 1st to 4th grade, middle group — to 8th grade inclusive, senior — 9-11 grades, and two professional groups: students of universities and colleges in the field of culture, as well as university students in the “teacher of native language and literature” specialty. No more than one winner of the qualifying competition in each category from one educational institution.

The restriction is a forced measure, the organisers admitted:

“The whole of Tatarstan is represented in our competition — all regions of the republic, and besides, we have a lot of universities, and students, including from other countries, studying here, have also been actively participating in our competition for a long time. Besides, the autonomies of the Tatars are in almost all regions of the country.

On the stage of the Kazan Actor's House, the best of the best, who have passed the sieve of qualifying rounds, gather. Photo: Dinar Fatykhov/

In other words, in Kazan, on the stage of the Actor's House, already the best of the best gather. The more difficult the task of the jury is, consisting of honoured theatrical figures of Tatarstan. For the five days that the finale is going on, they are literally living the stage. They not only listen, watch and evaluate, but also teach and instruct.

“Participants get the opportunity to communicate with each other and with the masters. During the few days that our participants are here — on this site, they often receive a lot more professional feedback, that sometimes can be acquired in a few months, or even several years," they noted in the Actor's House.

Elmira Fatkhullina: “I would like to thank the Writers' Union of the Republic of Tatarstan and TAIF JSC for the books that are being awarded to our winners today. It is very important and valuable that our values coincide.” Photo: Dinar Fatykhov/

Summing up the results of the 12th competition, Deputy Chairman of the Union of Theatrical Figures of the Republic of Tatarstan Elmira Fatkhullina noted:

“Now it's time to express my gratitude. I am grateful to you, dear participants, for your sincere, piercing reading of both poetry and prose, for your emotions, for your careful attitude to the literary heritage. I thank my fellow jury members, you always choose with your heart, our organising committee, our founders — the Ministry of Culture and the Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Tatarstan, Federal National and Cultural Autonomy of the Tatars, and of course, I would like to thank our partners who have been helping us for many years in this difficult, but very sincere and important business — organisation of the competition: this is the Union of Writers of the Republic of Tatarstan and TAIF JSC — for those books that are awarded to our winners today. It is very important and valuable that our values coincide.

Books from TAIF have been a welcome and precious gift to the winners for several years. Photo: Dinar Fatykhov/

TAIF became a partner of the competition more than 7 years ago. As the organisers of the Tukay readings shared, the books from TAIF are the best gift for the readers' competition.

“TAIF takes a very careful approach to the process of selecting books to be presented to the winners. The company has a philosophical concept for the selection of literature: there are books in Russian, English, and Tatar, on topics — it's about Tatar craft, and books related to culture, architecture of Kazan, Tatarstan, and poetry, and prose. And all this in such a colourful, collectible format. These are books that you want to open as soon as they get into your hands, which our prize-winners usually do right away. And these books always correspond to the topic, they always have some kind of concept. The book is such a universal portal of transferring a person to traditions, origins. It is very important that this source is interesting to a modern person, generation. TAIF helps us a lot in this. There is something “capsule”, collectible in these books, there is some special author's, individual approach. Everything and always — at the very point.

Many, as soon as they receive a book, plunge into the magical world of literature right in the hall. Photo: Dinar Fatykhov/

The fact that the contestants liked the gift could be seen personally, seeing how carefully the reading participants who dispersed after the gala concert held the books close to themselves.

Thanks from Sakhalin

Words of gratitude to TAIF are also being sent from Sakhalin Oblast. The journalist of Realnoe Vremya had a chance to communicate with the chairman of the Sakhalin regional public organisation — the Tugan Tel Educational and Cultural Centre / “Native Language” of Zakiya Valitova.

“All the autonomies envy us here, they say: 'Oh! Tatarstan is behind you.' But we are the same — our centre operates constantly — we not only held a holiday, waved flags, and that's it. We work with young people, veterans, and districts — we look for Tatars, we look for Tatar roots. With schools, kindergartens, museums, the population and libraries," laughed Zakiya Valitova into the phone when she heard the journalist's question: “Are the Tatars living thousands of kilometres from their native land forgotten by the motherland?"

However, things were not so good with libraries not so long ago. Zakiya Ziyatdinovna told about this a little later.

“To be honest, a couple of years ago we didn't have any literature in the Tatar language in libraries at all. Only magazines that people brought themselves. Then, slowly, the older generation began to bring what they had left for a long time. We always focus on working with young people in the centre, but how to learn the language, how to talk about culture, about the Motherland, if there are no books? There was nothing about Tatarstan in the Tatar language either. For many years, we ourselves, who went to Tatarstan, brought as much as we could. But we have 15 districts here. Divide among all — and it is nothing again. There is a shortage of literature everywhere — both here and in the Kuril Islands. And some day they got in touch with TAIF. And they immediately sent a lot of books. It was during the pandemic — in 2021. There is a lot of diverse literature, and about politicians, about writers, and about the culture of the republic, about our heroes, about the work of enterprises. It's good that they send diverse books. I would like to learn more about Tatarstan. The sixth generation of Tatars is already living here, and connections and roots are being lost. Our libraries work very well. And books are constantly taken. From them, the Tatar language is taught to children in families. They are very interesting. Recently, they have contacted us again and asked: “Is there still a need for books?" But we are ashamed to ask. But it is necessary. Very necessary! We sent books to the Kuriles and to the districts at once. Now we stand out among other national diasporas by the presence of literature. Previously, we envied the Korean diaspora that they brought textbooks and literature. Now we are no worse off," Zakiya Valitova shared with pride for the diaspora and with gratitude to TAIF.

Zakiya Valitova: “We used to envy the Korean diaspora that they brought textbooks and literature. Now we are no worse off.” Photo: from Zakiya Valitova's personal archive for

Zakiya Valitova is sure that in Tatarstan, in TAIF, this request will definitely be supported, as they are sensitive to the issues of preserving the national culture and language of the Tatar people, no matter where the countrymen turn out to be by the will of fate.

Zakiya Valitova: “We were asked to help with books about Tatarstan and in the Tatar language.” Photo: from Zakiya Valitova's personal archive for

Books are important

TAIF fully agrees with this statement and has been supporting the publishing business for many years, helping to release unique circulations.

In 2005, “Tatarstan from a bird's-eye view”, “Portfolio — Kazan” and “Tatar Cooking” were published. A little later, Ravil Bukharaev's book “The Tale of Kazan” was released. In 2011, TAIF secured the printing of the edition of the book “Kazan Kremlin. The white stone symbol of Tatarstan”. In 2012, with the support of TAIF and the active participation of Tatarstan Rais Rustam Minnikhanov and Tatarstan State Adviser Mintimer Shaimiev, the Treasures of the Republic of Tatarstan album was released. In 2013 — the book “The Republic of Tatarstan. An Exciting Journey.”

In 2017, TAIF took an active part in the preparation and release of the unique edition: the seven-volume History of the Tatars. By the way, these books are available today not only in many leading universities of the world, but also, thanks to TAIF, in the diasporas of Tatars living outside the republic. It is impossible to imagine a better book to get acquainted with the history of your people and its role in the history of the world! Soon, “The Golden Horde in World History” was also released.

The year 2021 will be remembered as a bright event for the scientific world not only in Russia: with the support of TAIF, the monograph of scientific papers was published dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the founder of the world scientific school of fractional operators, Professor Rashid Nigmatullin. And in the libraries of the republic, the calendar of 1941, republished on the initiative of the director general of TAIF JSC Ruslan Shigabutdinov at that time, appeared — an exact and verbatim replica of the pre-war edition. The year 2022 was marked by the release of the encyclopedia of water polo of the USSR, Russia and the Republic of Tatarstan by Irek Zinnurov “The Synthesis of Water Polo”.

Photo: Ad of TAIF JSC

Many of these books are now the adornment of the leading libraries of the world, and, very importantly, they are in the collections of literature of educational institutions of Tatarstan and in the autonomous communities of Tatars throughout the vast country.

Many of these books are now the adornment of the world's leading libraries. Photo: Roman Khasaev/

And this work continues. Thus, TAIF-NK JSC, which is part of TAIF Group, annually replenishes the library fund of the Tatarstan Cadet Corps named after Hero of the Soviet Union G.B. Safiullin, and with the support of TAIF JSC, new books are published about famous Tatars, the history and beauty of Tatarstan, the most important events from the life of the republic and much more. Hundreds of unique books and booklets have already been published. And this is just the beginning. Books, as well as the cultural heritage of the Tatar people in general, have always been, are and will always be treated with reverence and respect in TAIF Group.

Arseny Favstritsky

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