The Kryashens are the Turkic ethnos professing Orthodoxy mainly and compactly
living in Tatarstan, Udmurtiya, Bashkortostan and the Orenburg area. The self-name
of the Kryashens is "Kereshen". The Kryashens frequently wrongly are
named the Tatars, what is not true, as "the baptized Tatars" is a
missionary term, instead of the self-name. The similar situation was and in
relation to the Kazakhs who till 1917 wrongly were called the "steppe Kirghizes".
According to Institute of ethnology and anthropology of the Russian Academy
of Science and State Committee of statistics of the Russian Federation, there
are about 300 thousand persons of the Kryashens (23 place among, more than 190
peoples of the Russian Federation). The census of 2002 should specify this figure.
Till 1926 the Kryashens were not only the independent people, but also had
the spiritual, cultural and educational centres (schools, temples, monasteries,
teacher's seminaries). After 1917 there were carried out Kryashen congresses,
were issued Kryashen newspapers, operated Kryashen museums and folklore collectives.There
existed Kryashen sub-departments in the state structures of national education
and culture. One time there was even an idea of creation of the Kryashen autonomous
republic in structure of RSFSR. At the censuses of 1920 and 1926 the Kryashens
were taken into account as separate people (101 thousand persons had entered
the name Kryashen by the census of 1926). And only since 1926 the Kryashens
directly were attributed to the Tatars. However the Kryashens till now have
kept the ethno-cultural and confessional originality, consciousness, ability
to ethnic consolidation and readiness to work in the conditions of the civil
society forming in Russia.
The server www.kryashen.ru is the first so large ethno-cultural Internet-project
working in four languages (English, Kryashen, Russian and Tatar). The server
should create the internet-platform for escalating and augmentation of cultural
potential of the Kryashen community, involving of this "forgotten identity"
in the context of modern humanitarian space, formation of an open dialogue of
the Kryashens with others ethno-cultural communities of the Volga region, Russia,
the world. This Internet-project should promote and to adjustment of the kin
relations of the Kryashen community.
The Internet-server www.kryashen.ru is devoted not only to the history and
ethnography of the Kryashen ethnos. There is possible to familiarize and with
modern position of the Kryashens, with features of the national culture, with
the art, the religious literature of the Kryashens and with the literature about
the Kryashens themselves in the server. Interesting videos and audio-materials
are stored in virtual library. The special section is devoted to the spiritual
history and culture of the Kryashen people who is obliged to his educators N.I.
Ilminskiy, to priests Vasily Timofeev, Timothy Egorov etc in much. The significant
interest represents the map of compact living of the Kryashens and the section
The creation of the other sites of ethno-cultural subjects is planned on the basis of the server www.kryashen.ru in further.