BEN­E­FIT CON­CERT

Tempo - - •LITERARYARTS• - By Dawn Franco

In Rus­sia, in the Volga river basin, south­east of Moscow, is Kazan. This June, Kazan, the cap­i­tal of Tatarstan, will be host­ing the 2018 FIFAWorld Cup; how­ever, the games’ playby-play will not be in Rus­sian, but in Tatar, a lan­guage spo­ken by mil­lions in Cen­tral Asia, and a Taos res­i­dent plans to be there ped­dling his field guide to the in­ter­na­tional football fans.

Taos res­i­dent Sa­muel BurkeFaveros re­leased “The Football Fa­natic’s Guide to Tatarstan” April 18. The book con­tains cul­tural insight and phrases in Tatar, the lan­guage of the de­scen­dants of the Bul­gar and Kipchak tribes. Kazan is lo­cated within their au­ton­o­mous re­gion within the Rus­sian Fed­er­a­tion.

After Turk­ish-speak­ing BurkeFaveros’ met Taos dweller and Kazan na­tive Aygul Ah­me­tova, and the World Cup was an­nounced to take place in Kazan, they rose to the oc­ca­sion.

“That’s the per­fect op­por­tu­nity,” said Burke-Faveros. “We can write a lit­tle phrase book and trans­late it into four lan­guages for all the soccer hooli­gans and spread some Tatar cul­ture be­cause most peo­ple have never even heard of the tribe much less speak the lan­guage,” he said.

Fur­ther re­search re­vealed that Tatar lan­guage books hardly ex­ists and that there is a new resur­gence of the Tatar lan­guage and cul­ture. Post the for­ma­tion of the Soviet-Union nearly 100 years ago, the Rus­sian lan­guage dom­i­nated the area in schools and em­ploy­ment, but nowTatar is more sought out Satur­day (Dec. 10), 7-10 p.m. Old Martina’s Hall, 4140 State Road 68, Ran­chos de Taos Tick­ets $25 ad­vance, $30 at the door (575) 776-4245 from “The Football Fa­natic’s Guide to Tatarstan” and ac­cepted.

“Now it’s like Tatars are com­ing back to their cul­ture. Young peo­ple like to wear the tra­di­tional out­fits and speak the lan­guage. They are com­ing back to their roots,” Ah­me­tova said. “The last 10 years peo­ple want to speak Tatar and the Rus­sian peo­ple are en­cour­aged to learn Tatar. Now, you are most likely to get the job if you speak Tatar,” she smiled.

Kazan is home to 1.1 mil­lion peo­ple and has be­fore hosted fa­mous sport­ing events and con­tains the Kazan Krem­lin, a world her­itage site. Il­lus­trated on the cover of “The Football Fa­natic’s Guide to Tatarstan” by Ja­sonWolf­gang Hicks is the mas­sive sand­stone ci­tadel. It serves as a cul­tural cen­ter and homage to the Catholic, Mus­lim, Euro­pean and Asian in­flu­ences in the re­gion. It is also a tem­ple for all re­li­gions.

“It has been a model for peo­ple liv­ing peace­fully to­gether,” said Burke-Faveros, dis­cussing the ci­tadel and the city that serves as the bor­der be­tween the Chris­tian

and Is­lamic re­li­gions.

“It’s an in­ter­est­ing thing about Kazan. It’s an older cap­i­tal than Moscow,” he said. “It’s also right on the bor­der of the Chris­tian world and the Mus­lim world. Tatars are Mus­lim,” Burke-Faveros said.

Burke-Faveros hopes to fundraise for the trip to Kazan as well to ini­ti­ate un­der­stand­ing in a day when U.S. and Rus­sian re­la­tions are tense. “The idea be­hind the book [is that] right now there is so much an­i­mos­ity and mis­un­der­stood para­noia be­tween Amer­ica and Rus­sia, it’s re­ally a good time for peo­ple to learn ba­sic phrases, so we can com­mu­ni­cate to­gether,” Burke-Faveros said.

Within the ap­prox­i­mately 40 pages, the per­fect travel and field guide size, read­ers will find a ded­i­ca­tion to Burke-Faveros’ three daugh­ters and Ah­me­tova, an in­tro­duc­tion, in­struc­tion for the lan­guage and var­i­ous cat­e­gories for Tatar along with slices of the cul­ture. The mul­ti­lin­gual trans­la­tion would serve the greater in­ter­na­tional pres­ence with English, ro­man­tic (Span­ish) and Slavic (Rus­sian) tongues that could be eas­ily trans­lated for re­gional di­ver­sity.

“The Football Fa­natic’s Guide to Tatarstan” begins with a bit of gram­mar. Tatar is an ag­glu­ti­na­tive lan­guage. that means suf­fixes are used to change the in­fini­tive form of the verb. “All the Tur­kic lan­guages have vowel har­mony, so all the vow­els in the word have to rhyme ba­si­cally, so if it’s a front vowe,l then ev­ery other vowel in the word is go­ing to be a front vowel. If it’s a back vowel, then it’s go­ing to be all back vow­els,” said Burke-Faveros.

In this same sec­tion you’ll find the sub­ject-ob­ject-verb for­mula and the Tatar al­pha­bet.

From this point read­ers will find cat­e­gories such as “mak­ing friends,” which trans­lates var­i­ous greet­ings and in­tro­duc­tions. Be­yond that is the “in the mar­ket” por­tion, where one can find clever ways to bar­gain as well as num­bers. Other cat­e­gories in­clude words to dis­cuss vic­tory and de­feat for football, di­rec­tions and even a curs­ing sec­tion with a com­i­cal story from Ah­me­tova and an ad­vanced warn­ing: the Rus­sians do not take kindly to foul lan­guage.

While the Tatars are a Mus­lim de­mo­graphic, they do have cre­ation myths and folk­lore, such as the first Khan’s birth from Asena, a wolf mother, the guide in­cludes an il­lus­tra­tion. One can also find a lit­tle Tatar po­etry, song, proverbs and even the lore of the tickle-tor­ture mas­ter Shu­rale.

To con­clude the guide, the author lists his ed­u­ca­tion in lan­guage and tells the story of how Ah­me­tova and he met.

The guide is to be re­leased in­de­pen­dently through Ama­zon (ISBN 978-1987564990) and will be avail­able in E-for­mat and paperback. Don’t miss the op­por­tu­nity to give a lit­tle Tatar to Taos.

COUR­TESY IL­LUS­TRA­TION

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