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    Republic of Tatarstan (Tatarstan)

Kazan, the capital of Tatarstan, a rich and populous city, with peacefully co-existing Muslim mosques and Orthodox Churches, Polish Roman-Catholic churches and synagogues, was known throughout Russia and abroad. It is world known by its goods, historical heritage and architecture. This city is rightfully called "East capital" of Russia.

One who visited Kazan at least at once will remember this city forever. He will remember its open-work lattices, cobblestone causeway, harmonious maiden priory, necklace of Muslim mosques minarets, smooth and calm Kaban Lake, Volga River at a distance, beautiful and always-young Kremlin.

Tatarstan is a multinational and multiethnic region that preserves history and cultural heritage of all the peoples inhabiting the area. It offers a wonderful variety of sights and unforgettable views, especially if you come to Kazan by boat.

Everyone, who visited Kazan, opens for himself an innermost essence and glamour of the city being an alloy of great historical past, glorious actuality and beautiful future.

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People

Tatarstan is a multi-ethnic republic made up of more than 70 ethnic groups. The two major ethnic groups are the Tatars (51% of the total population) and the Russians (43.3%).

The Tatars are a Turkic people and speak the dialect of the Turkish language.

Religion

The Sunnite Islam appeared in the territory of Tatarstan in the beginning of the 10th C; at present, it is confessed by half of the population of the Republic - the Tatars and the Bashkirs.

The Orthodox Christianity appeared in the middle of the 16th C after collapse of the Kazan Khanate; it is shared by the other half of the population - the Russians, the Chuvashes, the Mari, the Udmurts, the Mordvinians, and a small part of the Tatars.

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Traditional costume

Traditional mens costume consists of a broad and long shirtsleeve (kulmak), easy with straight backs dressing gowns (yshtan), and a camsole (kamzun). In winter men dressed in fir coats (tun) and shipskin coats (tulup). Mens headgears are tyubeteykas, round fur caps, malahay, and hats in summer and spring; felt and fir hats in winter (burek). Bukhara dressing gowns were also popular (chapan) and scarfs, as outer clothing had no high and turn down collars.

Traditional female clothes have much in common with mens clothing. The main parts were a long shirt (kulmek) and trousers (yshtan). Female clothing was richly decorated with embroidery and trim. Women also wore camisoles made of velvet and an apron. A special element of Tatar womens clothing was a kalphak. The Tatar women had a variety of headgears: different kinds of shawls (yaulyk), ear-flaps, etc. The Tatars also wore leather boots (kata, chitek, kevesh) and multicoloured shoes. Young women also wore breast ornaments made from corals and coins. The Tatar girls usually, especially in summer, walked with an uncovered head, the adult girls and women always carried cotton shawls.

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