Tatars in Latvia

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Tatars in Latvia

After the Second World War on the earths of the former dispossess Baltic peasants sen to Siberia, Tatars and Bashkirs from the central part of the country have been invit. They had constitut a new layer of the Tatar population of Baltic republics. Some specialists from among Tatars had settl in these republics in 60-70th years as a result of participation in industrial development of the region and placing of the Soviet military bases.

To the beginning of 90th years in Latvia living 4828 Tatars. The country were le almost by 40 percent of Tatars as the persons liv in the country till 1940 c receive the Latvian citizenship only. Such Tatars it had appear all 4th percent, the majority had arriv to the country in Soviet period. Now in Latvia there 3040 Tatars.

In Latvia Tatars compactly lived in Riga, Daugavpils, Ventspilse, the Elgavsky district.

In October, 1988 in Riga the Tatar cultural society of Latvia "Idel" had been creat. It sources having Ramil Kalinkin, Musavir Sharipov, Haris Fakhrazayev, Ildar and Ralif Galikhanovy, spouses Salyakhovy. Had head a society the former large military man, raketchik, the colonel, Dr.Sci.Tech. Zaki Zaynullin, and after Z.Zaynullina's departure to Kazan 10 years over a society lawyer Ildus Sabitov, the native of Kazan, a member of the Advisory Council of nationalities administering at the President of the Latvian Republic. The society had enter Association national - cultural societies of Latvia (ANCSL). At it the Sunday school had been open, the good library are collect, concerts with the invitation of actors from Tatarstan and Bashkortostan was h, transfers in the Tatar language for the Latvian radio was organiz. The society were adjoin by Bashkirs liv in Latvia, Kazakhs, Turks. At school stud not only Tatar, but also the Arabian, Latvian languages. The Islamic centres liquidat after 1940 in Riga, Daugavpils and Ventspilse had reviv. The Riga Muslim community of "Iman" beginning to publish the newspaper with the same name.

In 2000 in Riga the Latvian tataro-Bashkir cultural society had been creat. It were adjoin with its full complement both by the Tatar communities of the cities of Ventspils and Daugavpils.

The society headed Zufar Zaynullin - the son of the Tatar public figure and writer Zaki Zaynullina. The former military man, Cand.Tech.Sci., after disorder of the USSR it were engaged in business and had creat now the Trading house "Tatarstan-Baltic". Zaynullin had g the office in Riga in the order of the tataro-Bashkir cultural society where members of the Tatar community gathered for rehearsals, employment, for dialogue with each other. The vice-president are Ildus Sabitov. The society of Tatars of Baltic had organiz concerts of the national actress of Russia and Tatarstan Venus by Taneevoy, the singer of Aydar of Galimov. With 2002 3. Zaynullin published the colourful quarterly bulletin "Chishme". In same to year the society had act as the initiator of acceptance in Riga participants of an II stage international scientifically - practical conference "A great Volga way", the organiz administration of Kazan.

The society supported a close connection with the national organisations of Tatarstan. In 2003 five Tatars from Latvia had t part in "Days of the Tatar youth", conduct annually the Ministry of affairs of youth and sports of the Republic Tatarstan are joint with the World congress of Tatars. In it to year a member of a community of Elina Mitina Shigabutdinova had w first place in the international competition of singers of a name of Ilgama of Shakirov in Kazan.

There are also a society of Tatars of Latvia "Idel". At a society today two heads - Midkhat Satdanov (the assistant known journalist Rinat Akhunov are more its) and Artur Zakirov which assistant had select the known radiojournalist Favziya Bulysheva who was earlier work on GTRK "Tatarstan". Arthur Zakirov co-operated with the Latvian tataro-Bashkir cultural society. Midkhat Satdanov carried out events independently.

So, on March 8, 2003 the society of "Idel" had spen the solemn evening devot to the 15 anniversary of Association national - cultural societies of the Latvian republic (ANCSL). At office of Association the exhibition of the Tatar artists of Latvia by Dzhavita Mum's and Fanii Satdanovoy had been plac, and also needlework and dishes of the Tatar ethnic cuisine had been present. At evening winners of competition of the Tatar song "Hallo had act, we searched for talents". The deputy minister of integration of the small people of Latvia Aleksandr Brandavs, the adviser of this ministry Christina Wagner, the known journalist, Irina of Vinnek le of the Latvian television visitors of a community. Many Tatars had c for the evening in national suits.

On May 15 at the initiative of OTL "Idel" in Riga the drinking bout with participation of representatives of the Tatar diasporas of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia had been conduct.

In Ventspilse and Daugavpils the branches of the Latvian tataro-Bashkir society head by Railem Basharovym and Alim Ashirovym acted. In Ventspilse the branch are creat on the basis of a society of "Agidel" whom the former mostostroitel had organiz Rome Salakhov. The big place in activity of the Tatar community of Latvia are g to preserving of Islam. For the first time Islam in Latvia it are mention in 1838 in one of the Riga newspapers. The first Muslim community had been officially register in 1902. Tatar Ibrahim Davidov, and with 1920 on 1940 - Shakir Husnetdinov were more its the imam with 1902 for 1917.

With arrival of the Soviet armies in 1940 the community had been dispers, mosques was clos. Again Islam beginning to revive with 1991 on the basis of the Tatar society of Latvia.

Now in Latvia seven Muslim communities. Five from them had unit in the Advisory Council of Moslems of Latvia. In August, 2003 were more its the chairman Zufar Zaynullin are select.

The advisory council are the main religious centre of preserving of Islam in Latvia. 50-60 Moslems gathered for Friday prayers in the Islamic centre. For the main Muslim holidays Eid al-Fitrs and Kurban-bayram who, as a rule, was conduct in Palace of culture of VEF, gathered to 300-400 Moslems.

Annually in summertime, since 1996, the fortnight children's Islamic camp where about 30 children learnt elements of Islam are organiz. At the Islamic centre the Sunday school in whom the Arabian language and Islamic culture are stud worked. For burial places of Moslems was available two Muslim cemeteries. Historical were openly in Riga in 1890 in territory of a cemetery of Mikely. In 1991 the second Muslim cemetery in Yauntsiyemse had open. Both was cemeteries, agreed to the conclud agreement with the Riga Duma, served the Latvian tataro-Bashkir society.

Activity of the Tatar societies in Latvia with 2003 supervised the Ministry of culture of this republic. For the organisation of concerts free registration of visas are g to actors from abroad. The Latvian radio monthly allocated 30 minutes of a broadcasting time for the Tatar transfer. Financial support appeared the ministry also. In particular, for members of a community free rates of studying of the Latvian language and history will be organiz that essentially facilitated procedure of accepting of citizenship of the Latvian Republic.

The position of Baltic Tatars are identical: they was loyal to the new states, taken all measures for painless integration into the Baltic community with preserving of the original culture and language.

Rustam Gaynetdinov.

"The Tatar news", №11, 2003.