Lucky Tatar children. Three Santa Clauses showed up to give them gifts at the Tatar Old New Year party this past weekend. Of course they had to work for the presents. They all performed – in Russian or Tatar or English. It was great to see that the youngsters were learning something of their parents’ cultures.
I always enjoy attending Tatar festivals. It is a small group and everyone is friendly. Only about 35 people attended this party. They are all Tatars but they have come to Toronto from different countries like Russia, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Kazakhstan.
The Russian Santa Ded Moroz (Father Frost) had a red nose (right). Beside him is granddaughter Snegyrochka, the Snow Maiden.
The Tatar Santa wore blue. For this party, a man was not available to portray him.
Tatar Azu with lamb & potatoes was provided. The rest was pot luck. Someone brought delicious uch-pochmak, or three-corner turnover with salmon, potatoes and onions inside. Celebrants only had to pay for a $5 lottery ticket.
Altiya Bahodirova from Tajikistan brought a home-made dessert which we enjoyed. She’s lived in Toronto for seven years.
Gulnara Ovezova and daughter Alsu danced in their Bashkir national costume. I also met Regina, a college student from a village in Bashkortostan, in Toronto for only six months. She spoke excellent English. She was amazing.
The party included dancing. The dancer at right is a local celebrity Batrichan Azimov who spent six years in the Siberian Gulag. Born in Kazazhstan, he served in the Soviet Army in Germany and Poland in the 1940s and enjoyed telling his war stories. Each time I join a Tatar festival, I learn a lot and have a great time. I’m sorry more Torontonians couldn’t join us. Copyright ©2013 Ruth Lor Malloy.