On 2 August, speaking at the plenary session of the VIII convention of the World Congress of Tatars held at the International Exhibition Center Kazan Expo, Tatarstan State Counselor Mintimer Shaimiev congratulated its participants with the 30th anniversary of establishment of the World Congress of Tatars.
“As it is known in the 90-es during the reconstruction of the society when Russia adopted its Declaration of State Sovereignty, our Republic of Tatarstan immediately declared a Declaration of its Authorities. Using this chance, 30 years ago we Tatars for the first time in our history gathered at our historical motherland from all over the world. We met and saw for ourselves that the Tatar ethnicity is alive. At that time the fact of convocation of a forum and confirmation of the spiritual unity of Tatars alone was very important. Having established an executive committee of the World Congress of Tatars, the first convention fulfilled its task”, Shaimiev told.
Having mentioned the first head of the executive committee Indus Taguirov and expressing his gratitude to Rinat Zakirov, the head of the committee in 2002-2020 and its current administration – the chairman of the Milli Shura Vasil Shaykhraziyev and the chairman of the committee Danis Shakirov, Shaimiev said: “At the first convention I stated that our Congress is a big plenipotentiary forum representing Tatars of the whole world and .having the right to make statements on behalf of all of them. We came to a unanimous conclusion that we must think about the Tatar ethnicity in the whole and Tatarstan should unite all Tatar Diaspora and have a positive influence on the national policy of Russia. For the past 30 years our Congress has really been continuously working in this quality”.
He reminded that in the 90-es due to well-balanced national policy the authority of Tatarstan grew and “due to this we were able to reach an important victory in direction defining life of the Tatars. We managed to change negative attitude to Tatar people and to improve the historical situation. Frankly speaking, for several centuries Tatars had an aftermath of the “Tatar-Mongol yoke” and it is pleasant to see that during Perestroika in the last century we were clever enough to preserve and strengthen integrity of the Russian Federation and not to lose our face”.
Speaking about the seven volume publication of the History of Tatars starting from ancient times, the State Counselor said: “It was important not only to create our real history but also to present it to the world community and struggle for its acknowledgement. We continued work in this direction by establishing a special Revival Fund and starting revival of ancient towns of Bolgar and Sviyazhsk. As a result we could have them inscribed in the UNESCO World Heritage List”.
“At the same time this event played the main role in making a decision on celebrating a very important date for Tatars, who are mostly Muslim, on the state level, and this year we together with the whole country are celebrating 1100th anniversary of voluntary and official adoption of Islam by Volga Bulgaria. We could only dream of it and we express our deep gratitude to the Government of the country and President Vladimir Putin. These celebrations are a wise and right step of the head of the multi-ethnic and multi-confessional state”, Shaimiev said.
He also drew attention of the participants to an issue of upbringing the young generation of Tatars. “As a Tatar saying goes “knowledge gained in childhood is like a word carved on a stone”. It is very important to give different knowledge to our children starting from early childhood. Let us not only tell them about adoption of Islam in the ancient Bolgar, but also bring them to the sacred soil of the town so that they can see and feel themselves our great history. National identity is a fine realm and it grows from such fine and sincere feelings”, Shaimiev proposed.
In conclusion he expressed his gratitude to all guests and participants of the convocation.