Once upon a time, nomads who lived in the territories located north of China were called Tatars. But over time, they began to call one of the most numerous nationalities, which belonged to the Turkic language group.
Today in Russia there are about 6 million people who can be attributed to the Tatars. The Volga-Ural group is the most numerous. It includes tribal divisions of Kazanly, Meselman, Misher, Nogaybak and some other groups. The number of other two groups - the Crimean and Siberian Tatars - is somewhat smaller.
The so-called "pure Tatars" today there are not so many left. Photo: yuga.ru
Religion, language, customs, traditions, writing - this is all that what unites the Tatar people. Most Tatars are Muslims, but one group, the Kryashens, are Orthodox.
The settlement of the Tatars in those territories that currently belong to Russia occurred during the Golden Horde. There are not so many so-called "pure Tatars" left - for centuries, people of this nationality actively mixed with representatives of the Mongolian and Turkic tribes.
The Volga-Ural Tatars were mainly engaged in agriculture, mainly sowing rye, spring wheat, barley, oats, peas, lentils, using a plow and a heavy plow in cultivating the land. saban, but from the middle of the century before last, more modern tools of labor appeared. But in the northern regions of Russia, the Tatars lived, who were mainly engaged in animal husbandry: in their farmsteads they raised livestock and poultry - goats, sheep, horses, chickens and geese. Pigs were not raised because the religion did not allow it. True, this ban did not apply to a small group of Orthodox Tatars - pigs were also found on the farms of the Kryashens. The "southern" Tatars were actively engaged in both agriculture and animal husbandry, they led a semi-nomadic lifestyle.
A house in a Tatar village. Photo: myjulia.ru
As ethnographers note, gardening among the Tatars was not very diverse — the main crop was potatoes, although in the southern steppe zone the Tatars were engaged in melon growing, and in the north - beekeeping. The Tatars living on the banks of the Volga and the Urals hunted by fishing, and only the Ural Tatars were hunters.
The settlements of the Tatars - auls - were located more often along the banks of rivers and roads. The mosque, food and other shops, grain barns and the dwellings of wealthy villagers, as a rule, were located in the very center of the village. The Tatar farmstead was divided into front and back yards. On the first floor there was a house, a barn, storages, on the back - & nbsp; garden, threshing floor, current and bath.
Remarkably, the layout of the Tatar housing was very similar to the northern Russian hut. At the entrance, a Russian-type stove was usually placed, and bunk boards were built along the front wall. The most honorable place - tour - was in the middle of the bunk. A curtain was hung from the stove, which divided the dwelling into female and male parts. By the way, they drank, ate, slept and even worked on the bunk beds. Tatars-northerners did not build bunks in the entire wall. The walls were complemented by a table and benches. Sleeping places were hung with a canopy.
Many Tatar dishes became popular with other peoples. Photo: vdomiks.ru
The basis of the Tatar cuisine has always been meat and dairy-vegetable food. Tatar first courses - soups - were usually seasoned with wheat flour and pieces of dough. Noodle soup in meat broth is a popular first course. Baursak - dough balls fried in oil - was considered one of the main Tatar delicacies. Tatar families did not deny themselves the preparation of all kinds of cereals - from peas, lentils, millet, barley. Tutyrma sausage was made with cereals and animal blood. Bread, cakes, pancakes and pies were baked from yeast dough. Very often meat stuffing was put in pies. The result was a dish that we now call a meat pie or belyash. In Tatar - beleshi. The main national milk drink is katyk, fermented milk in a special way. To quench thirst, ayran was prepared - katyk diluted with water. Tea and shirbet - a drink made from honey and fruits. All these dishes have not gone away today.
Until the beginning of the 20th century, Tatar women were infringed on their rights - they were “ordered” to lead a reclusive lifestyle, communication with strangers was severely limited. Remarkably, young people, boys and girls, practically did not communicate with each other outside the family. Men's status was incomparably higher than women's. Polygamy in Tatar families was considered the norm. Islam does not forbid this. However, the presence of a large family also implied the corresponding social status of a man, whose duty it was to adequately support his wives. If he was naked, like a falcon, then he was content with only one wife - and even then not always.
Tatar Wedding wedding. Photo: fotkay.ru
Young people could be married without their consent. Sometimes oral agreements of relatives were enough. The main question is the question of the kalym, which was given for the bride. However, the dowry was not always paid: if the groom managed to kidnap the bride from her relatives, then no payments were expected, and the young man was also exempted from wedding expenses.
An interesting fact: wedding ceremonies, including the festive feast itself, took place without the newlyweds in the bride's house. And even after all the wedding conventions were carried out, the young wife sometimes continued to stay in her parents' house for a very long time - until the issues with the kalym were completely settled. It happened that only with the birth of the first child, the young wife could leave the parental home - even if the ransom issue was not resolved.
Tatar holidays are closely connected with Islam. Until now, the most significant are Korban Gaete - the feast of sacrifice, Uraza Gaete - the end of the fast, Maulid - the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad.
Tatar wrestling keresh. Photo: history-doc.ru
However, the Tatars still have many holidays that have appeared even in the pre-Islamic period. For example, the famous Sabantuy. The name can be translated into Russian as "plow holiday". Celebrated before spring sowing.
Sabantuy requires certain rituals. And today, in every village, preparations for this celebration begin ahead of time. First, porridge is boiled in a huge cauldron, which is enjoyed by everyone in the district. The Tatars call this ceremony “karga botkasy”: the oldest aksakals give the go-ahead for it, then girls and boys, gathering in groups, go around all the houses where they collect food for making porridge. In the literal sense, children force some tight-fisted fellow villagers to give out more products. They learn special chants, and then they sing them in chorus at each house. When the children gather the right amount of food, a large fire is made on the outskirts of the village, on which porridge is boiled in a large cauldron. Her teenagers are helped to cook by older women. Then the treat is distributed to everyone, and all kinds of fun games are arranged for the children.
The next stage of preparation for Sabantuy is the collection of colored chicken eggs, they are painted ahead of time. Eggs are boiled with onion skins or young birch leaves. At the same time, the housewives prepare baursak and bake buns. This moment is always looked forward to by small children. Special red bags are sewn for them, with which they then go around the neighboring houses. When the children cross the threshold of someone else's house, everyone says in unison: “Let my leg be light! Let there be many hens and chickens.” The hostess of the house sits one of the little guests on the pillow and watches him for a while: if she sits calmly, then chickens will hatch from the eggs, and if the child fidgets more in place, behaves nervously, then it is believed that cockerels will hatch from the eggs. In the end, the child is given gifts and he quickly goes to another house. Alas, today some of these traditions and rituals are gradually being forgotten, but in some villages they still try to adhere to the customs of their ancestors as accurately as possible.
Pillow fights during Sabantuy in Bashkiria. Photo: palaces-gardens-parks.rf
During the holiday in a specially designated place , Maidan, horse races, competitions in Tatar wrestling keresh, jumping and running are arranged. But first, races are held - even a child can put up his horse, and, as a rule, teenagers and young men become riders. The main prize of the winner is a beautifully embroidered towel. Running competitions usually go like this: on the outskirts of the village, a starting place is chosen, from where the participants of the competition run to the Maidan, about 10 kilometers.
However, wrestling competitions are considered the most spectacular event during Sabantuy. Traditionally, they use towels instead of sashes. With their help, they wrap around each other's waists. The winner is the one who managed to put the enemy on the shoulder blades. The passions of the fans around the wrestlers flare up serious.
The honorary title of batyr is given to the strong man who holds several successful fights in a row. They fight for it with all their might. Still - to become the strongest in the village! And the batyr gets the most significant prize.
However, not only sports competitions adorn Sabantuy. All sorts of comic events are also held during the holiday. One of the most common is running with a spoon in your mouth, on which an egg is placed. In some auls, they race with yokes on which buckets of water are hung. Particular fun is caused by pair races, when the legs of the participants in the competition are tied with one rope. Collective tug of war and fights with bags stuffed with straw are very popular. The latter are arranged as follows: two participants sit astride a log, which is installed above the ground to a height of about a meter or a little more, and then you need to swing your bag with all your might, striking the enemy - until someone is below. By the way, this type of competition is also very popular in Bashkiria, where Sabantuy is also celebrated on a grand scale.
< br> Races during Sabantuy. Photo: redfolk.ru
on top of which is placed a valuable prize. It is necessary not only to quickly climb to the very top, but also to solve the main problem itself, since the pillar is well greased. Tenacity and skill - that's what is required of the competitors most of all to get a rooster in a cage, which often becomes the main prize.
Also on Sabantuy they sing and dance - a lot, from the heart and until you drop, as they say. To dance and outsing an opponent - what else is needed for complete happiness?! Especially when everyone is having fun.