Crimean Tatar workshop held in UK for the first time

For the first time ever, a workshop in the Crimean Tatar language and culture was conducted at Cambridge University on May 19-20.

24 May 2016 17:38

The two-day workshop consisted of 8 classes and covered 4 areas, such as Language, Literature, Art and Music.

The principal instigators of the event were Dr. Rory Finnin, Cambridge University’s Ukrainian Studies Program Manager and Head of the Slavic Studies Department, and Dr. Vsevolod Samohvalova.

According to Zeniffe Seydametova, a Crimean Tatar language teacher and author of the Qırım Tili Online (‘Crimean Tatar language online’), a first online course of the Crimean Tatar language, the idea behind the online course was to raise the students’ awareness of the Crimean Tatar language, as well as history, culture, music and art of the Crimean Tatars.

As part of the webinar, Dr. Rory Finnin delivered a lecture called ‘Shamil Alyadin: The brightest star of the Crimean Tatar literature’. He also talked about Ukrainian-Crimean Tatar relations through literature.

On the workshop’s second day, a Bard College Associate Professor of Music (USA) gave a presentation focusing on the theme of melancholy in the Crimean Tatar music after 1944.

The workshop was attended by 10 British post-graduate students from Cambridge, London and Oxford universities.

“If you speak the Crimean Tatar language, you can understand Turkish, Azeri, Uzbek, Gagauz and many other languages,” said Zeniffe Seydametova, speaking about the benefits of studying the Crimean Tatar language.

The workshop participants learned the Crimean Tatar alphabet and picked up some grammar basics. They also took great pleasure in learning by heart and singing a refrain from the Guzel Qırım song. The participants took some 30 minutes to pick up moves from the Haytarma dance.

According to Zeniff Seydametova, she is planning on holding a bigger workshop involving other teachers.