Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Idel-Ural State

Saturday, 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.


Friday, 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.

Use Flashcards

Tuesday, 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.