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Finnish Tatars through the story of one family

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Дети из татарских семей      Pictured: Children of Tatar families with their teacher Soukkanom Gusman. City of Pori in 1935.

Finnish Tatars through the story of one family

About life in exile wrote many of our compatriots - especially on Russian emigration of the first and second wave. Much less is known about the emigration of Tatar, although it is now also studying. After all, it is a separate, very interesting layer of our history - people living abroad and managed to preserve their language and, and their faith.

This meeting took place at me during the celebration of the 1000th anniversary of Kazan, Tatarstan came when many Tatars from different countries - among them Finnish, Swedish and now Tatar Turker Soukkan. He told us about the Finnish Tatars through their family history. First Tatars in Finland, who was then one of the regions of the Russian Empire, appeared in the 1860s. These were natives Sergach district of Nizhny Novgorod province, where there are still 35 villages Tatar Mishar. "Uzelochniki" as they were called, went to Finland to trade sundries: small mirrors, sewing needles ... They went from house to house and offered their goods without first knowing the language and communicating only with gestures. It was seasonal work. But gradually became part of the Tatars to take root in Finland. Having heard that you can earn in Finland, went there and some of their relatives and villagers.

Grandfather Turker Soukkana Safiullah Nizametdinov moved to Finland at the turn of XIX-XX centuries, then moved there his wife Fatima. Most of the children in the family who was 10, was born they already have in Finland, as a mom Turker Amin. Tatars settled by the time the compact throughout Finland, not to compete with each other. The settlers were mainly engaged in trade in the markets, some earning a certain capital, opened stores.

In a foreign country, they had two ways, says Turker, among the local population, or to keep their roots. Tatars chose the second path. In Tatar families living in Finland, still speak exclusively in the Tatar language, celebrate holidays together, anxiously keeping religious traditions. Marry in previous years tried only among themselves, although there were exceptions. Turker mother Amina late 30s met a Turk named Guzman and with his parents' blessing to marry him.

"I was born in a small Finnish town, which was then a village - says Turker Soukkan - densely populated with about 100 Tatars. And grew up in the Tatar environment. The first words that I said were in Tatar. Lived nearby grandparents, many relatives. Sometimes go out on the street, and immediately one of the aunts Tatar calls out: "Where are you going, son?" So for me there is no question what I feel myself. Definitely I Tartar. "

In the middle of the XIX century in Finland, there were about 1,000 Tatars. Local Tatars created several national centers - and they now operate in Helsinki: Islamic center, cultural and sports, which is called "Yoldyz." In 1943 in Jarvenpaa was built a wooden mosque, which operates to this day and where are the holidays and worship.

When Turker was 8 years old with his parents and younger sisters moved to Sweden. "My father was a desire to return to Turkey, we went through Stockholm and somehow lingered there for 4 years - says T. Soukkan. - In Turkey, after the family moved yet, but there could only live seven months - after Europe was difficult to adapt. " The family then returned Soukkan again in Stockholm, where he remained. There also lived Tatars - 4 or 5 families, and they, with the participation father Turker Soukkan Gusman Cultural Islamic Center opened. On holidays and prayers going there first only a few people - the organizers and diplomats from Islamic countries.

"Although I have never experienced any discrimination in Sweden, years later realized that for me, baby, moving from Finland was a serious challenge - Turker said. - After I lost Tatar environment. When I was very sad, I put Tatar records that in the 50 years from Moscow brought my uncles - brothers mom. Then I bought myself Helsinki vinyl discs Rashid Vagapova and Ilham Shakirov.

Turker Soukkan, like most of the Tatars, who were born in Finland, received higher education - he graduated from law school, he worked in the prosecutor's office, the court, then 30 years he taught at the Higher Police Academy in Stockholm.

In Tatarstan since 1993, he has visited 11 times and be sure to once or twice a year is in Finland, where she has lived for the sixth generation of Tatars since the first settlers. They still retain the customs of their ancestors and speak Tatar, who enrolled in the family and in the summer and winter camps. Now, however, young people already talking with a noticeable accent and interspersed Finnish Finnish words. Similarly, as in Russia, the Tatars speak with Russian words.

Seniors worry is the fact that the Finnish Tatars now much more of a mixed family. Although the opening of the Iron Curtain the opportunity not only to communicate but also to create a family with Russian Tatars.

In Finland very often come with a tour of our artists and singers. A Finnish Tatars go to Russia to find their roots. Call of blood is stronger than any distance.

Now in Finland, with a population of 5 million people, live 800 Tatars. In Sweden, with a population of 9 million people - only 60 Tatars and 60 people, one of whose parents is a Tatar.

Zulfiyya Sultanov.