Jun 21, 2012

Crimean Tatars: Culture on Display in New Centre

A new cultural centre has opened in Yalta which aims to preserve the cultural heritage of the Crimean Tatars, as well as to provide education and teaching to those interested in learning more about folk arts and crafts.

Below is an article published by The Day:

Recently Crimean Tatars contradicted the old maxim “limb on water” in Yalta. After nearly 10 years of preparations National Cultural and Ethnographic Center “Derekoi” began its work. Among all the projects of the center there will be a group that will learn the ancient national art “ebru” – drawing on water.

Wax and other traditional means for “drawing” will be used. Olena Yurchenko, deputy mayor said that this type of craft, as well as other kinds of folk art, presented in “Derekoi” became the reason to put the Center as one of the landmarks on tourist routs of the tourist capital of Ukraine.

“Tourists that come to us – guests of Big Yalta and the Crimea can now enjoy the sights of the Crimean Tatar culture not only in the Bakhchisaray Palace, but from now on also in Yalta,” stressed Yurchenko. According to Mustafa Dzhemiliov, people’s deputy of Ukraine, who participated in the opening ceremony, the main goal of the center is preserving cultural heritage of Crimean Tatar people, educational work with children, development of folk crafts, and teaching folk art to all who desire.

“This is a real hospitable Crimean Tatar home, where you can come to communicate with others, learn things, share your history and culture,” noted Yurchenko. “We are working on an open exhibition which would reflect culture of the Crimean Tatar people starting from the 18th century. In different blocks there are expositions featuring both ethnographic holidays and everyday life of Tatars,” said Zarema Mensytova, director of the National Cultural and Ethnographic Center. “The exhibits put on display were presented to the Center by families of Crimean Tatars, who lived in Yalta prior to deportations. The total number of the exhibits is nearly 100.

Among those items there are old kitchen utensils, paintings, ceramics and metal work, sewing tools, and other witnesses of people’s lives. These exhibits will be used in teaching ancient Crimean crafts to children.” Director plans to found a center-based school of folk art, art groups, folk artistic groups, and also mobile exhibitions of the Crimean Tatar culture. Similar national cultural and ethnographic centers have been already founded and operate in Alushta, Bakhchisaray, and in raion centers of the steppe Crimea.