The 20th Anniversary of the World Congress of Tatars is being celebrated by the veterans and the current leaders and activists of the Tatar nation, wherever they may live.
Perestroika has left its positive aspects. Perestroika gave to all the indigenous peoples of the Soviet Union a chance to revive their culture and the native languages, as well as allowed to elevate their political status.
The Tatars, wherever they lived, always lived in compact, within their “Tatar-Towns”. Tatars had their own businessmen and scholars, educators and religious thinkers. But in the 30s, 40s and 50s of the last century, the national language and culture suffered a terrible blow. The cultural and educational centers were closed. Just remember that in Kazan and Almaty there were only one school for learning the Tatar and Kazakh languages.
Perestroika has given hope for a revival. Throughout the Soviet Union, in its regions and republics, the Tatar cultural centers arose spontaneously. The Tatar Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic adopted the status of the Federal Republic, although it was not recognized by all, but it became the Federal Republic of Tatarstan, which was ready to sign a new Union Treaty as a co-founder! But what has happened did happen: the August Coup in 1991 and the subsequent denunciation of the agreement on the formation of the Soviet Union in Belovezhskaya Pushcha.
And in these difficult and unpredictable years, Tatarstan has assumed all the responsibility for the coordination of all Tatars wherever they live. There were two organizations: the Tatar Public Center and the World Congress of Tatars. The second organization was more organized with certain financial opportunities, soon it became the leader of the World Tatars` movement. The first Chairman of the Board was Indus Tagirov, one of the theoreticians and practitioners of the Treaty on the delimitation of powers between Russia and Tatarstan. In recent years, the Board of the World Congress of Tatars has been headed by Rinat Zakirov, the Deputy of the State Council of Tatarstan.
The Executive Committee of the World Congress of Tatars from the date of its formation works in Kazan in an old three-storey building in the heart of Kazan, but it often holds meetings in the Russian regions and abroad.
The annual All-Russian and World Sabantuy Festivals has become a kind of brand for the Tatars, not only in Tatarstan, but also in the whole Russia. The Executive Committee of the World Congress of Tatars along with the local authoriries of Russia`s regions takes an active part in organaizing of such events.
Of course, it is impossible to embrace the boundless, but considering the wishes of the representatives of the Tatar cultural centers in various regions of Russia, CIS and foreign countries, there is a real need for its own base for manufacturing of national clothes and distributing them in Tatarstan and all over the world.
Finally, by coincidence, we celebrate two 20th jubilees at the same time: the jubilee of the World Congress of Tatars and the 20th anniversary of Tatarstan’s Law on Languages. Perhaps, this coincidence is not accidental. The World Congress of Tatars will always give full support to our mother tongue, which is the language of valiant warriors, tireless workers and our great poets.
Murza Kurbangali Yunusov, Kazan-Almaty