For Tatar autonomy on Sakhalin, the outgoing year was a successful one, and memories of it will remain the most kind.
Together with the co-chairman of the Sakhalin RNCAT Zakia Valitova, we are summarizing some of its results.
– Zakia Ziatdinovna, if you place events on the importance, which of them will be the first?
- In the first place I would put the 6th congress of the World Congress of Tatars held in Kazan in early August. I also was invited there, which means that the work of our autonomy is visible and beneficial. In Kazan, more than 1 thousand delegates and guests gathered. The “World Congress of Tatars” is an Interregional Public Organization, which unites 476 Tatar public organizations from 68 regions of Russia, far and near abroad.
The Executive Committee of the Congress deals with issues of national education and science, development of the Tatar ethnos, culture, entrepreneurship, religion, international relations. We constantly feel its support. At the Congress, they outlined a plan for further action, their implementation will help make inter-ethnic harmony on Sakhalin even more solid.
– You did not mention that at the Congress you were awarded a medal of the Republic of Tatarstan “For a Glorious Work”, which was presented by the head of the Republic Rustam Minnikhanov.
“I will not hide it, it’s a great honor for me.” I was pleasantly surprised. The wording for the award is “for the great contribution to the development and preservation of the national culture on a distant island”. I think that this medal in Tatarstan was appreciated by the work of all members of our organization. I therefore want to note the great contribution to the work of our elders Rosa Vakhitova and Maryam Ishkinina. Without them, not one of our events can take place, they take an active part in their preparation. I would like to say special thanks for the preparation of the First Far Eastern Sabantuy.
– I think this event can be called the second most important in the outgoing year.
- Yes, it deserves it. The festival was held at the stadium “Spartak” in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk and gathered not only residents of the island region, but also numerous guests of honor. They came from the Republic of Tatarstan, as well as other subjects of the Far Eastern Federal District. Our organization, the Regional National Cultural Autonomy of the Sakhalin Tatars, hosted this holiday with the support of the Sakhalin Oblast Government and the President of the Republic of Tatarstan. Many thanks to all the sponsors who helped us, to all the guests who shared our joy with us. In the coming year, Kamchatka takes over the baton from us. We are pleased that our neighbors will benefit from our experience. I think our debut was successful. In general, the year 2017 was debut rich.
“Let’s remember them.”
- In April, for the first time, there were exchange tours between the Sakhalin Puppet Theater and the Tatar Puppet Theater “Ekiyat”. Sakhalin from April 7 to 9 presented on the Kazan stage performances “We flew on the couch …” on the poems by E. Namakonova and “I love you, Romashka” by S. Kozlov. Their colleagues from Tatarstan brought interesting performances of the last seasons to Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk. Impressions from acquaintance with the regions, with the audience the most kind, the artists intend to continue such exchange tours. Nothing brings people together like art …
This axiom was proved by the way, the artists of the instrumental ensemble of the House of Friendship of Peoples of Tatarstan “Miras”. This year this well-known team first visited Sakhalin and performed with its concert program for the City Day. The Tatarstanis were going to go to Kurilsk, where the Tatar organization had just appeared, but the weather brought it down. They left with the firm intention to visit Sakhalin and the Kuriles next year. They left a lot of positive emotions from the island, from its inhabitants.
Successful debut was in late February – then Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, our forces and the forces of the public organization of the Association of Peoples of Sakhalin “House of Friendship” organized a festival-contest of Tatar cuisine.
We dedicated this event to the 90th anniversary of the first Tatar professional chef, Yunus Akhmetzyanov, who had high state awards of the USSR, worked at the Olympics-80 in Moscow, did a lot to popularize the national cuisine. Our autonomy invited representatives of all diasporas living in Sakhalin – Azerbaijani, Uzbek, Kyrgyz, Korean, Kazakh, Armenian, Belarusian and Ukrainian.
The traditional Tatar dishes were judged by a jury headed by a specially arrived from Kazan Dilar Murtazin, the chef of one of the restaurants of the capital of the Republic of Tatarstan.
I will not hide it – it was very joyful to see that my idea found a positive response. I really hope that holding a culinary festival will be a good tradition of the Sakhalin Tatars. I want to once again express my gratitude for the help in holding the festival to the mayor of the regional capital Sergey Nadsadin, as well as to the Ministry of Culture of Tatarstan and the World Congress of Tatars. I would like to thank you for your active participation in the debut of our national festival
And finally, one can not help but recall that on the eve of the city in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk Vasil Shaikhraziev, deputy premier of Tatarstan, visited. He oversees the social block and issues related to the support of non-profit organizations, and also heads the Milli Shura, the national council of the World Congress of Tatars. In the program of their trip there were meetings with representatives of the regional national – cultural autonomy of Tatars of the Sakhalin Oblast, with the Governor of the Sakhalin Oblast Oleg Kozhemyako, and colleagues from the government of the Sakhalin Oblast. He was very pleased with the trip and work of our organization. In his opinion, the island region and the Republic of Tatarstan have all the chances for more dense cooperation in the economy. In 2016, an agreement on cooperation between our two subjects of the Federation was signed. The activity of public organizations creates a fertile ground for deepening contacts. So in the future we look with optimism.
– Well, now let’s talk about the plans for the next year.
- Our autonomy will continue the earlier begun efforts. Strengthen friendship between representatives of different nationalities and cultures on the multinational Sakhalin. In 2018, by the way, there will be 10 years of our Sunday Tatar school. Children go to it with pleasure, learn the language and learn the culture of their people. This allows us to better understand the beauty of our multinational Russia and our multinational Sakhalin.
We will also continue to organize charity events for the guests of the Boarding House, for the disabled, etc. This is a long tradition of the Tatar people, and all the others. Charity is an integral part of human nature. I am glad that our undertakings resonate with all the national diasporas of the island. We will come to visit the guests of the South Sakhalin boarding school for the elderly on the eve of Christmas. This will be our first action in 2018. We also want to please the South Sakhaliners so that in 2018 another recreation place will appear in the city – the square named after Gabdulla Tukaya, the great Tatar poet. A significant part of the Sakhalin people – 1069 out of 1086 respondents from November 4 to 12 – spoke in favor of installing the monument and arranging the square. The poll was held not only in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk and its suburbs, but also in Aniva, Okha, Nevelsk, Korsakov, Kholmsk, Nogliki, Dolinsk, Uglezavodsk, Shakhtersk and Poronaisk. All this will make it possible to acquaint fellow countrymen with the work.
I hope that our other proposal will be realized – to equip Farkhutdinov Square in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk. This person, who headed the region and died tragically in a plane crash in 2003, comes from Tatarstan. I think everyone will agree with me – he deserves to be named in his honor a new park in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, for which he did a lot – and when he was the mayor of the regional center, and when he was the governor of Sakhalin. By the way, in Tatarstan local ethnographers decided to publish a book about him. We will gladly help them. I am very glad that the memory of this man is honored in his homeland.
I expect that the condition of the old cemetery on Lenin Street in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk will also change for the better. People buried there, including Tatars, who came from other parts of the country raised the economy of Sakhalin in the first post-war years. Many burials are in terrible condition, nobody looks after the territory. But people are worthy of having proper care for their graves, even when there are no relatives left! In November, we held an action to clean the territory, we were supported by students of Sakha State University and students of school number 5. Our organization applied to the mayor’s office with a request to pay attention to this cemetery. The First Vice-Mayor of the city Natalia Kuprina replied that funds for this have been allocated.
And finally, elections are coming in March. We urge everyone to show their civil position on them. We talked about this with our youth, I am very glad that they share the position of the older generation. We must be worthy citizens of our country. It means – to work for the benefit of our island region, do not forget the culture of our ancestors and the best traditions of our people. And they are based on the love of their neighbors.
– Thank you for the interview. I would like to hear your wish to all Sakhalin citizens and all readers of the site.
- On the eve of a wonderful New Year’s holiday, I want to wish everyone health, wisdom, longevity! To all – friendship, mutual understanding, mutual support, creation! See you again in 2018!
Interviewed by Rashid Zufarov