Sport center as social locus

PhD, Associate Professor A.K. Idiatullov1
PhD, Associate Professor V.N. Fedorov1
Dr.Sc.Hist., Professor L.A. Taymasov2
1Ulyanovsk State University of Education, Ulyanovsk
2Chuvash State University n.a. I.N. Ulyanov, Cheboksary

Keywords: ethnic sport games, Tatar, Bashkir, traditions.

Background. Ethnic sport games are rather traditional and widely popular in the Tatar and Bashkir communities, and this is quite natural for the local communities. As emphasized by V.N. Vsevolodsky-Gerngross, sport games are "the most socially beneficial" as they develop good physical and mental skills and a winner mentality [1], and this is the reason why they are so perfect, unchanging and appealing.

Objective of the study was to analyze the ethnic sport situation in the Tatar and Bashkir communities in the Middle Volga and Transurals regions. 

Methods and structure structure of the study. An online questionnaire survey was completed in 2016-17 in 14 administrative areas of the Volga Federal District, Chelyabinsk, Astrakhan, Moscow and Tyumen regions, Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Area, and in Moscow and St. Petersburg. Sampled for the survey were 639 people including 463 Tatar, 116 Bashkir, 46 Russian and 14 other self-identified nationals; with the sample dominated by the Tatar groups from Tatarstan (n=157) and Ulyanovsk Oblast (n=145) and Bashkir group from Bashkortostan (n=89).

Study findings and discussion. The question ‘Are you familiar with the national games of your people?’ was responded positive and negative by 35.42% (n=164) and 64.58% (n=299) of the Volga Federal District and neighboring Tatar groups. The relatively large unawareness comes as no surprise since the prior studies have found a heavy loss of the ethnic self-identification in these groups [2, 3]. Other areal Tatar groups were found to give the similar responses. Thus the positive responses in the Tatar communities in the Ulyanovsk Oblast and Tatarstan were estimated at 33.79% (n=49) and 33.76% (n=53) versus the negative responses of 66.21% (n=96) and 66.24% (n=104), respectively. In the Volga Federal District and neighboring Bashkir communities, the positive and negative responses were estimated at 55.17% (n=64) and 44.83% (n=52), respectively. This means that the local Bashkir population is more devoted to the traditional ethnic games, with the highest appreciation (57.3% positive responses) found in the Bachkortostan residents.

The respondents were also asked to mention the games they believe are national for their ethnic groups. Both the Tatar and Bashkir groups mentioned about 70 games, festivals and sports-driven traditions. Our analysis of these ethnic games and sports (part of which are given in Table hereunder) shows domination of the sports-prioritizing ones.

Table 1. Most popular ethnic games and sports in the Middle Volga and Transurals regional Tatar and Bashkir groups

Ethnic games/ sports

Mentioning

Games associated with the Sabanuy festival

21

Kuresh belt wrestling sport of the Tatar groups

20

Yozek salych, Yozek salu, Baldak Salysh, Baldak Yeny (ringlet games)

17

Ay tirek, kur tirek (white/ blue poplar game)

15

Ayular oy (get-together night events)

7

Horse races during the Sabantuy festival

7

Tyshauly atlar (hobbled horse races)

7

Bag runs

6

Chitamne-buzme (guess and catch game)

6

Karga ashy, Karga butkasy (crow cereals game)

5

Smash-a-pot game

5

Chulmak uyeny (pot seller game)

5

Bag fights

5

Tirme: jurt (nomad’s tent) game

5

 

The ethnic sports and games traditional for the Sabantuy festival including Kuresh belt wrestling, horse races, bag runs and bag fights are reportedly the most popular nowadays in the local Tatar and Bashkir groups. There are reasons to believe in this context that these ethnic groups are still devoted to the national games and sports. High popularity of the Kuresh belt wrestling sport, for instance, was emphasized by the XIX-century report: “The locals use to get together on a meadow on the Saban holiday, mark a ring with a rope; then two wrestlers would go inside, grasp one another by the belts and fight, striving to force the opponent down” [4].

Conclusion. The national Tatar and Bashkir groups still demonstrate a high interest in and devotion to the ethnic games and sports despite some dilution of the relevant competences, traditions and skills and the growing domination of the games and sports associated with the traditional Sabantuy festival.

The study was performed under the state-supported Socio-cultural Landscape Loci in the Areal Socio-economic systems (Middle Volga area case) Project #31.8018.2017/БЧ

References

  1. Igry narodov SSSR. Sbornik materialov [Games of the peoples of the USSR]. Collected work, comp. by V.N. Vsevolodskiy-Gerngross et al. Moscow; Leningrad: Academia publ., 1933. 564 p.
  2. Idiatullov A.K. Transformatsiya traditsionnoy dukhovnoy kultury v polietnichnom regione (na primere russkikh i tatar Ulyanovskoy oblasti) [Transformation of traditional spiritual culture in polyethnic region (case study of Russians and Tatars of the Ulyanovsk region)]. Ulyanovsk: UlSTU publ., 2014, 75 p.
  3. Idiatullov A.K. K voprosu o roli islama v etnicheskoy identifikatsii tatar Ulyanovskoy oblasti [Role of Islam in ethnic identification of the Tatars of Ulyanovsk region]. European Social Science Journal (Evropeyskiy zhurnal sotsialnykh nauk), 2014, no. 9, vol. 2, pp. 225-228.
  4. Fuks K.F. Kazanskie tatary v statisticheskom i etnograficheskom otnosheniyakh [Kazan Tatars in statistical and ethnographic relations]. Kazan: Universitetskaya tipografiya publ., 1844, 131 p.

Corresponding author: AzKoIdiat@yandex.ru

Abstract

Sport games of the Tatar and Bashkir groups are the most popular among other ethnic pastimes, and this is quite natural for the local communities. As emphasized by V.N. Vsevolodsky-Gerngross, sport games are "the most socially beneficial" as they develop good physical and mental skills and a winner mentality, and this is the reason why they are the so perfect, unchanging and appealing. Objective of the study was to analyze the ethnic sport situation in the Tatar and Bashkir communities in the Middle Volga and Transurals regions via an online questionnaire survey completed in 2016-17. Sampled for the survey were 639 people including 463 Tatar, 116 Bashkir, 46 Russian and 14 other self-identified nationals; with the sample dominated by the Tatar groups from Tatarstan (n=157) and Ulyanovsk Oblast (n=145) and Bashkir group from Bashkortostan (n=89). The survey found the interest of the Tatar and Bashkir communities in the ethnic sports being extremely high, particularly in the Bashkir population on the whole and among the Bashkir nationals in the Bashkortostan Republic in particular; with the popular ethnic sports and games commonly timed to the traditional Sabantuy festival to include at least ethnic Kuresh wrestling competitions, horse races, bag runs and bag fights. Our analysis of the popular ethnic sports and games shows that they are dominated by the competitive spirit prioritizing ones.