On May 13-14, Deputy Prime Minister of Tatarstan, Chairman of the National Council of the World Tatar Congress Vasil Shaykhraziev is on a working visit to Finland.
On May 13-14, Deputy Prime Minister of Tatarstan, Chairman of the National Council of the World Tatar Congress Vasil Shaykhraziev is on a working visit to Finland. Today, as part of the excursion, he made a trip to the Finnish fortress of Suomenlinna. Then, in the building of the Islamic Society of Finland, a meeting was held with head of the Islamic Society of Finland Golten Bedretdin and a member of the board Atik Ali. Also, at the meeting trade and economic representative of the Republic of Tatarstan in the Republic of Finland, Albina Rakhimullina was present. During the conversation, issues of preserving the language, culture and traditions, the use of the experience of previous generations for today were discussed.
Vasil Shaykhraziev, to recently elected chairman of the society Golten Bedretdin wished success in serving the Tatar people. And expressed his gratitude to the former head of the society Atik Ali. He also handed them memorable gifts.
Vasil Shaikhraziev also met with a man who for many years headed the community of Islamia, professor of the University of Helsinki Okan Dacher. At the meeting they talked about the past of the Tatar people and about the situation of today. They discussed issues of preserving continuity and language. Tatars of the society asked Vasil Shaykhraziev to save the flight Helsinki-Kazan.
Tatars on the territory of Finland appeared about 200 years ago. In 1809, as a result of the Russo-Swedish War (1808-1809), Finland was annexed to the Russian Empire. In the military garrisons of the Russian army, Tatars were sent to build military fortresses on the Åland Islands and the islands near Helsinki.
The resettlement of Tatars to Finland went exclusively from the villages of the Volga region in the period from the 1870s to the mid-1920s, due to the arrival of the relatives of those who settled here earlier. That’s why even now the Tatars of Finland live in close connection with each other. In 1870, there were 46 Tatars in Helsinki. Mostly these were merchants who traded furs, leather, cloth and clothing. These good conditions for trade attracted a large number of Tatar merchants.
At the turn of the XIX – XX centuries. here began to form a small Tatar community. In 1925 a group of religious Tatars in Helsinki founded the first Tatar community “Islamiya”, and ten years later the Tatar cultural society appeared, which in addition to religious holidays and rituals began to organize cultural events with performances, folk music and dances. Spiritual leaders of the community also organized courses in the study of their native language, and in 1948 they opened an elementary school. At the end of the 19th century, the leadership of the Tatar community in Finland was captured by the families of several merchants from among the Nizhny Novgorod Tatars, who, knowing the tolerant attitude of local authorities to national minorities and to the Islamic religion, moved to Finland. Until today, the descendants of these families retain a monopoly in trade by furs.
Currently, about 950 Tatars live in Finland. Most live in Helsinki (about 500), the rest in Tampere, Turku, Kotka, Rauma and Vassa, Järvinpaa. Until recently, the Tatars were united in several Tatar societies.
Among the foreign Tatar diasporas, the Finnish community of the Tatars is the most organized and active. On the discipline and strict regulation of actions can be judged at least on this fact: the name of each member of the community, including each new, his relatives and friends is clearly recorded. The Diaspora has its own hierarchy and structure: the most important decisions are made by the community council, current issues, including social problems of community members, the issuance of new books and printing products, religious ritual activities, sports activities and so on are decided by special commissions.
Finnish Tatars are characterized by careful preservation of everything that is associated with national history, culture, language and customs. Thanks to the efforts of the Tatars of Finland, the Tatar language was included in the official list of minority languages of Europe.