Kazan -the capital of the Republic of Tatarstan- is situated in the heart of the Russian Federation and occupies the area between the Volga River and the Ural Mountains. Kazan, with population of more than 1.2 million people, is one of the largest industrial, cultural and sport centers of Russia. Kazan hosted Universiade (Youth Olympic Games) in 2013, FINA World Aquatic Championship in 2015, 2018 FIFA World Cup. In 2019, Kazan welcomed participants of WorldSkills Competition (watch the video about skilled, crafty and beautiful Kazan).
The multi-ethnic city of Kazan and its historic heritage is honored by UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization). Kazan serves as a perfect example of the peaceful co-existence of Muslims and Christians in one place.
People with versatile cultural traditions live in the republic. Although the Tatars are scattered across the large areas – and many find themselves among 150+ ethnic minorities in vast territories of modern Russian Federation, the Republic of Tatarstan – historic motherland of the modern (Volga) Tatars – is considered a hub for the Tatar culture, crafts and lifestyle. The Tatars have customs and traditions that are influenced by Islam and differ from Russian/Slavic.
Tatar language is a member of the Kypchak west Turkic language group of the Altaic family. The written Tatar language is based on the Cyrillic script since 1938, prior to that it was based on Latin and Arabic scripts. The majority of the Tatars residing in the urban areas communicate in Russian. Tatar language is more commonly practiced by residents of rural areas. The Tatar language of city dwellers of Tatarstan Republic is lean and tends to have many borrowings from Russian and English: It can be due to the current efforts in reduction of Tatar language instruction in urban schools of Tatarstan and increase of English language instructions as well as absence of GED-type and SAT/ACT-type tests offered/encouraged in Tatar. Those negatively result in increasing assumptions of Tatar language as inferior and “not useful”.
Tatar Art: Tatar architecture, literature, music, theater, opera, ballet, fine and decorative arts are well-developed and have a long history. Tatar music is practiced in both traditional and modern variations.
Tatar Cuisine: Tatar baked small pies with meat and potato – balish and uchpochmak – are the famous for its tastiness and “homey” flavor. Tatar dessert chak-chak (fried dough pieces assembled with honey) is a staple on any get-together time that always accompanied with a cup of the Tatar Chaye – a delicate brew of wild marjoram flowers with black tea leaves that can be enjoyed with milk or steeped with lemon and zhimesh (dried fruits).