Electronic Database

National Mentalities:

Studies in the Context of Globalization and Interaction of Cultures

Edited by Anna Pavlovskaya and Grigory Kanarsh
The site was developed with the support of the Russian Foundation for the Humanities (project №13-03-12003).

Main/Ethnic and Cultural Diversity of Russia/Ethnopsychological Features of the Peoples of Russia/The Volga Region and Cisurals/

Ethno-mentality of the Tatars (E. V. Nikitina)

The article includes a review of the literature of historical, ethnographic, ethno-psychological, sociological and philosophical character on the subject of the ethnic mentality of the Tatars.

The Tatars are an ethnically and culturally consolidated Turkic-speaking people that took the shape of a powerful ethnic group in the XXth century. It is the second largest ethnic group in the Russian Federation after the Russians. The article notes that the origins of the Tatar ethnic mentality lay in ancient pagan culture of the pre-Islamic period that was influenced by the spirituality of the Volga Bulgaria and the Islamic East.

The author emphasizes that the formation of the Tatar ethnic mentality was influenced by ancient social institution ‘djien’, folk tradition of mutual villagers’ help ‘ome’, obligatory folk ritual of tea-drinking ‘cheyge chakiru’, unquestioned authority of the mullahs and Muslim educational system, unequal status of women and younger family members. The main ethnic mentality attitudes of the Tatars (‘one for all and all for one’ and ‘I am not worse than the others’), that define cultural sustainability and the ‘strength’ of the Tatar people, exist due to the numerical predominance over other peoples and their high cohesion that is greater than that of the Russian people.

The Tatar mentality is a mentality of a ‘commercial-oriented’, hard-working people. The characteristic features of the mentality of the Tatars are diligence, serious attitude to business, hospitality, traditional thirst for knowledge, respect for elders, tolerance of other nations and religions, ability to adapt, choosing the right strategy according to the situation.

Keywords: ethnic mentality, the people of the Volga and the Urals, the Tatars, Tatar ethnic mentality, Sunni Muslims.

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