Such has never been seen in Paris: on the Champ de Mars next to the famous symbol of the French capital – the Eiffel Tower – this Thursday, the national holiday of Tatarstan Sabantui was held.
Its holding was discussed in December last year between the Mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo and her colleague from Kazan Ilsur Metshin during his visit to France. At the same time, a bilateral agreement was signed on the development of tourism and cultural exchange between Paris and Kazan, where one of the items was the Plow Festival, as Sabantui called differently, which marks the end of spring field works in Tatarstan, re-generation of nature on the eve of the future man-made harvest.
Thousands of Parisians, as well as tourists from many countries of the world, cordially accepted the green grass carpet of the Mars field, where miracles from Tatarstan awaited them.
Before them, changing each other, the ensemble “Kazan”, “Bulgary” and “Tatarstan” collectives from Naberezhnye Chelny, “Kamsky Polyany” from Yelabuga, and the dance theater “Sharm” performed with folk dances. There were songs in Tatar, Russian and French in the performance by guests, including the groups “Zu-Lya-La”, as well as the finalists of the “Golos” project Elmira Kalimullina.
Here the French could discover the craftsmanship of the Tatar people and acquire the creations of folk craftsmen: potters, needlewomen, craftsmen for sewing traditional hats and shoes.
And, of course, the public showed special interest to the dishes of traditional cuisine, which they were treated by cooks from Tatarstan. Balish, gubadia with meat, chak-chak (nuts with honey) enjoyed a special demand.
Parisians with great pleasure photographed for memory with the organizers of a phenomenal holiday in colorful national costumes. But not only. Many of them joined the traditional Sabantui contests-games: running in bags and with buckets of water on the rocker, duels on cushions with hay on a boom (log), tug-of-war and others.
In the framework of Sabantui, the French could also get acquainted with the Tatar national wrestling “Koresh”. Athletes from Russia, Bulgaria, Azerbaijan and a dozen other countries took part in the competition.
Mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo, speaking on the Champ de Mars, said that the holiday, which was brought from Tatarstan, is “confirmation of close friendly ties between Paris and Kazan.”
“We believe that the cultural exchange between our cities and, more broadly, between the peoples of France and Russia helps to better understand each other and on this basis to build a peaceful future for our children,” head of the Paris municipality said.
Thanking Hidalgo for hospitality, Mayor of Kazan Ilsur Metshin emphasized the universal character of Sabanui.
“Our holiday personifies a large peace-loving Russia with its multiethnic people who highly appreciate friendship with the people of France,” he said. Noting the importance of partnership between Kazan and Paris, Ilsur Metshin wished the French capital victory in a bid for the Olympics-2024.