Idel-Ural State

March 24th, 2012

Idel-Ural State

The Idel-Ural State was a short-lived Tatar republic with its centre in Kazan that united Tatars, Bashkirs and the Chuvash in the turmoil of the Russian Civil War. Often viewed as an attempt to recreate the Khanate of Kazan, the republic was proclaimed on December 12, 1917, by a Congress of Muslims from Russia’s interior and Siberia. “Idel-Ural” means “Volga-Ural” in the Tatar language.

On May 5, 1917 more than 800 non-Russian delegates representing Maris, Chuvashes, Udmurts, Mordvans (Mokshas and Erzyas), Komis, Komi-Permyaks, Kalmyks and Tatars held a general meeting in Kazan to create an independent Idel-Ural Republic in the Idel-Ural area in Russia. As a first concrete step, it was decided to create four professorships and two researchers’ posts at Kazan University. The main idea was a loose League of Small Nations where all were free to strengthen their own cultural heritage. At first the Muslim Bashkirs declined to participate, but later in 1917 they and the Volga Germans joined the League of Idel-Ural.

Initially it comprised only Tatars and Bashkirs in the former Kazan and Ufa governorates, although other, non-Muslim and non-Turkic, nations of the area joined in a few months later: the Komi peoples, Mari, and Udmurts, who speak Finnic languages and practise either Orthodox Christianity or shamanism. Defeated by the Red Army in April 1918, the republic was restored by the Czech Legion in the same July and the Bolsheviks managed finally to dissolve at the end of the year. This led to open revolt in 1919-1920 and even after the revolt was smashed by the Bolsheviks in 1921, the idea of the Idel-Ural State continued to exist clandestinely until 1929. That year the Cheka finally managed to infiltrate the Idel-Ural movement and smashed the leadership. Several thousand Idel-Ural supporters were executed all over the Volga and Ural minority-settled regions.

The president of Idel-Ural, Sadrí Maqsudí Arsal, escaped to Finland in 1918. He was well-received by the Finnish foreign minister, who remembered his valiant defence of the national self-determination and constitutional rights of Finland in the Russian Duma. The president-in-exile also met officials from Estonia before continuing in 1919 to Sweden, Germany and France, in a quest for Western support. Idel-Ural was listed among the “Captive Nations” in the Cold War-era public law (1959) of the United States.

Present-day Tatar nationalists rely on the historic precedent of an independent Idel-Ural to justify the re-establishment of a Turkic state independent of the Russian Federation.


March 23rd, 2012

The Tatar language (татар теле, татарча, tatar tele, tatarça), or more specifically Kazan Tatar, is a Turkic language spoken by the Tatars of historical Kazan Khanate, including modern Tatarstan and Bashkiria. It should not be confused with the Crimean Tatar language, to which it is remotely related.

Geographic distribution

Tatar is spoken in Russia (about 5.3 million people), Central Asia, Ukraine, Poland, China, Finland, Turkey and other countries.

Tatar is also native for some thousands of Maris. Mordva’s Qaratay group also speak Tatar. 94% of ethnic Tatar claimed knowledge of
Tatar, along with Russian, is the official language of the Republic of Tatarstan. The official script of Tatar language is based on the Cyrillic script with some additional letters. Sometimes other scripts are used, mostly Latin and Arabic. All official sources in Tatarstan use Cyrillic at their web-sites and publishing. In other cases, where Tatar has no official status, the use of a specific alphabet depends on the preference of the author. Guides in Tatarstan are published in two alphabets.

The Tatar language was made a de facto official language in Russia in 1917, but only in the Tatar Soviet Socialist Republic. Tatar is also considered the official language in short-lived Idel-Ural State, briefly formed during the Russian Civil War. One should note, however, that Bolshevist Russia did not recognize official languages as such; however, there were a number of languages that could be used in trial in some republics. In the Soviet era, Tatar was such a language[citation needed] in Bashkortostan, Mari El and other regions of the Russian SFSR.

The usage of Tatar declined from the 1930s onwards. In the 1980s it was not studied in city schools, not even by Tatar pupils. Although the language was used in rural schools, Tatar-speaking pupils had little chance to enter a university, because all higher education was in Russian.

Idel (Volga)

March 23rd, 2012

The Turkic peoples living along the river formerly referred to it as Itil or Atil “big river”. In modern Turkic languages, the Volga is known as İdel (Идел) in Tatar, Idyll in ancient Bulgar[citation needed], Атăл (Atăl) in Chuvash, Idhel in Bashkir, Edil in Kazakh, and İdil in Turkish. The Turkic peoples associated the Itil’s origin with the Kama River. Thus, a left tributary to the Kama River was named the Aq Itil “White Itil” which unites with the Kara Itil “Black Itil” at the modern city of Ufa.

Under the Asians, the river was known by its other Turkic name Sarı-su “yellow water”, but Mongols also used their own name: Ijil mörön “adaptation river”. Presently the Mari, another Ugric group, call the river Юл (Jul), meaning “way” in Tatar. Formerly, they called the river Volgydo, a borrowing from Old Russian.

Use Flashcards

July 6th, 2010

Use flashcards. Home-made version. Sound old-fashioned? Well it is. And here is why they’re effective:

1) You review while you are creating the cards. And you are not only reveiwing, you are making choices at the same time about how to categorize and identify information and what is most important to remember.

2) You review them repeatedly (we hope) later.

3) Can be shuffled randomly or arranged in different categories, or focused on ones you have trouble with.

4) They are very portable, can be taken for a few minutes of reiew when you are stuck on a bus, waiting in the car for someone somewhere, a few minutes at the end of a class, the 5-10 minutes after hoework before dinner.

5) Used optimally, you are engaging various parts of your brain: writing them out initially, reading if possible aloud to yourself as you study them, flipping the cards with your hands.

6) Remember not to cram too much information on one card. A “flash” is “an instant.” Flashcards are supposed to help you practice quick recall of essential facts and ideas.

Late Nights

June 28th, 2010

We’ve all been there, its 2AM and all that is keeping us awake is coffee or a Red Bull.

However, too much caffeine is definitely unhealthy.  Before you become addicted, try using these three easy tips.

  1. Stay Cold – Splash cold water on your face, drink cold water, or open a window, this will jolt your senses, keeping them from going into warm, dreamy “sleep mode.”
  2. Take a Stretch – When you sleep, your blood circulation slows, so a stronger blood circulation will keep you awake.  Standing up to stretch or exercise at least once every hour will keep your blood moving.
  3. Chew Gum – Like taking a stretch, chewing gum is a form of exercise that will keep the blood moving towards your head.  Strong flavors work best.
For more information about caffeine addiction, check out Caffeine Blues by Stephen Cherniske!

Physical Appearance

June 14th, 2010

Presentation counts. The content for your projects is important, but the whole package and attention to details matters. Why? Because in real life, people won’t pay any attention to your content if it’s sloppy, if it’s not presented in an attention-getting, appealing, and logical manner.

So even if teachers say they don’t care about your art skills… honestly they do.

Extra Curriculars

June 14th, 2010

Athletes do better in school on average than non-athletes. You don’t have to be on a team, but you should be active. It’s good for your body including your brain function. It’s good for your self-image and self-confidence. If you are on a team of some kind, it makes you become a better time manager. (note: many of the same arguments can be applied to serious musicians or other types of performance)

Also, kids who do extra stuff outside of academics such as speech and debate, journalism, student body, etc, do much better than the typical student.

Vocabulary and Grammar

June 14th, 2010

A good command of English vocabulary and grammar will serve you well no matter what subject area.

It is statistically proven that kids who read a lot when they were younger do a lot better in school. Regardless of what book or magazine, every bit of literacy will increase intelligence.

Sit in the Front

June 14th, 2010

If given a choice, sit in the front or near the front of the classroom. And look alert. Raise your hand often. If you don’t really have a comment, then ask a question, or keep in mind that you can also make a comment seem like a question. Stay after class or go after school to ask the teacher a question or clarify some point. Teachers love kids who they think are really interested or really trying, and will usually give them the higher grade if something is on the borderline.

Do not kiss up too much. Teachers can tell.

Teacher’s Errors

June 14th, 2010

Don’t directly or indirectly point out the teacher’s errors in class, unless you already have evidence the teacher is okay with that. If it is something that is truly important, you can try to clarify with the teacher after class or after school.

There was a kid in one of my classes a few years back that constantly corrected the teacher. He was obviously a genius but also a social failure. He still got a great grade, but nobody, including the teacher liked him.