1 Pol. J. Sport Tourism 2012, 19, Review paper PHYSICAL CULTURE IN THE TRADITION AND RITES OF THE TATAR POPULATION INHABITING POLISH TERRITORY Physical culture of e Tatar population ERNEST SZUM, RYSZARD CIEŒLIÑSKI The Josef Pilsudski University of Physical Education in Warsaw, Faculty of Physical Education and Sport in Biala Podlaska Mailing address: Ryszard Cieœliñski, Faculty of Physical Education and Sport, ul. Akademicka 2, Bia³a Podlaska, tel.: , fax: , Abstract This report presents e findings of a qualitative study on e physical culture of e Tatar community inhabiting Polish territory. Historical elements of e physical culture of e Tatar community have been presented against e background of general characteristics of is enic group and e history of e presence of Tatars on Polish soil. The article shows particular aspects of e Tatar tradition of physical culture and its place in Tatar national culture. This is e first known report on e physical culture of is enic group on e ground of enology or cultural anropology. Key words: Polish Tatars, physical culture, games and play, enology, cultural anropology Theoretical introduction Physical culture is a term at encompasses more an just physical activity such as professional and amateur sport and physical education; developing and taking care of e body, ensuing from e need to increase work efficiency, motivated by a necessity to satisfy basic existential needs and ensuring eir realization on a higher level, or improve a person or group's self defense skills; or e desire to continue and develop a form of physical activity at is characteristic of a given community. Physical culture also comprises e entire local community, nation or state including: e shaping of attitudes, modeling patterns of behavior, shaping conditions of life, forming e environment and mental attitude towards work, rest and play. A holistically-oriented community lifestyle to participate in physical culture, e attitude of its members towards work, rest and play, all create a mechanism of eos creation and e preservation of patterns in is sphere, generating an axiological system at is not fully realized because of its regulation by social behavior. The term physical culture erefore refers to e whole spectrum of social reality. Selective perception of e issue, based on a simplified dichotomy i.e. sportsmen nonsportsmen, is highly incorrect and socially detrimental. In traditional societies, where physical activity was an essential element of e everyday life of all community members, divisions of is kind did not occur [1, p ]. The term sport is equally often defined narrowly i.e. as physical competition, but it includes a wide range of forms of physical activity occurring in epochs and cultures at did not know e term. From e enological perspective a broader definition should be assumed i.e. all forms of exercise games and play, featuring elements of ludic competition and perfecting e corporal dexterity being e essence of e competition and comprising a rite expressed in e form of a show. Each game is governed by a number of customary and formal rules comprising all participants and eir forms constitute an element of cultural identity shared by e whole community and also determining e social status of individuals. So, at e same time, sport is one form of possible emanation of ludic nature and national identity of a given community [2, p ]. Elements of physical culture such as games and play of all kinds, being a purely ludic kind of physical activity, originally satisfied e need for rest and recreation in primitive societies, where sport as we perceive it did not exist. The physical culture separated an individual from eir duties and e routine of everyday work and provided a counterbalance to ese activities. Physical activity is an integral and indispensable ingredient of e culture of every enic community and society. Constituting eir specific cultural features, sport considerably shapes and strengens social ties and prepares an individual to perform social roles in a given social system [3, p ]. The socializing functions of physical culture cannot be overestimated. A historical outline Tatars are one of a people at do not have eir own state. They constitute an enic and religious group and a national minority in e population of several countries of eastern Europe. The first Tatar settlers appeared in e territory of e Grand Duchy of Liuania at e end of e 14 century. They were mainly ose who had been taken captive during fighting between e Grand Duchy of Liuania and e Golden Horde. Their main occupation was military service. Fighting for e legacy after Genghis Khan led to e demise of e state into a number of khanates, among which e Crimean Khanate lasted longest, and was defeated by Russia as late as in In e 20 century Crimean Tatars attempted to win independence but failed. In 1944 e Tatars were accused by e Soviet Copyright 2012 by Josef Pi³sudski University of Physical Education in Warsaw, Faculty of Physical Education and Sport in Biala Podlaska
2 92 Pol. J. Sport Tourism 2012, 19, Szum and Cieœliñski: PHYSICAL CULTURE IN THE TRADITION... auorities of collaboration wi e Germans and were brutally pacified and taken deep into e Soviet Union. In e last two decades of e 20 century many of em returned and now Crimea has autonomy wiin e Ukrainian state, whereas e Republic of Tatarstan gained e status of a subject of e Russian Federation. Nowadays Tatars mainly inhabit Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, Liuania and Poland. In Poland ey are a border nation in e eastern part of e country. They are mainly Muslims but many of em are members of e Orodox Church [4, passim]. In e second part of e 17 century Tatars settled in e territory of e Polish-Liuanian state were gradually losing eir language and customs. They used e Polish and Russian languages and only when praying did ey use Arabic. They made eir names sound more Polish and ey assimilated wi e local community. In 20 century interwar Poland ey assumed e name Polish Tatars, which meant e Tatars inhabiting e territory of e Polish-Liuanian Commonweal (Tatars settled in e territory of e Grand Duchy of Liuania until e end o e 14 century and from e 17 century on in e Crown of e Polish Kingdom). However, e term was not accurate because e majority of em lived in Liuania until e end of World War I and ey were called Liuanian Tatars (Musslims). Nowadays e Tatars inhabiting Poland are referred to as Polish Tatars and, in a historical context, as Polish-Liuanian Tatars. The Tatars settled in e Polish-Liuanian Commonweal and expressed emselves when writing and speaking exclusively from a dynastic perspective and not in a geographical sense. They did not mention any state when talking amongst emselves or wi oers, because eir attitude towards e state was indifferent. In e Polish and Liuanian territories, Tatars appeared owing to relations established wi e Jagiellonian Dynasty and not as a result of e existence of a formal relation wi e Polish- Liuanian State [5, p. 156]. It appears at e devotion of e Tatars living in Poland to eir foster homeland was widely diffused (is view is called into question by e so-called Lipk's betrayal, which is less pejoratively called by e Tatars as Lipk's mutiny ). The view is based on eir dedicated military service, first in e Liuanian and later in e Polish- Liuanian army and, finally, in Poland's army of e interwar years of e 20 century. The Polish state was anxious to receive e Tatars who fled to Turkey, who were useful rough eir knowledge of e terrain and Poland did not want e Tatars to serve as guides in Turks' military incursions into Poland. An agreement was reached in 1673 when ey returned to Poland and ey were forgiven for eir betrayal, guaranteed freedom of fai and also e right to build mosques. Their rights became equal wi at of e Polish gentry. In 1679, as a contribution towards outstanding pay, e Tatars were given e following villages: Bahoniki, Drahle, Malowicze Gorne, Lebiedziew, Malaszewicze and Studzianka [6, p. 194]. Tatars arriving in e Grand Duchy of Liuania were most often refugees from e Golden Horde and Crimea. They frequently belonged to e elders, because ey were representatives of aristocratic families. They were gladly received by e Duke Vitold and, obliged to serve in e army, settled on his land. The Tatar families were granted coats of arms and lands in exchange for eir devoted service. Social stratification and, rough it, e economic structure of e Tatar community was diverse. Tatar Cossacks came to Liuania wi aristocratic Tatars. Urban Tatars were a separate micro-community who were settled in towns and suburbs and who did not have royal or parliamental privileges. They paid a tax and earned eir living as artisans (mainly as tanners) or were in trade (mainly selling horses) and were also carters and gardeners. The settlers were joined by captive soldiers who were located in Tatar villages in Liuania, where ey earned eir living as farmers [7, passim]. The Tatar emigration reached its apogee in e 1430s and e last groups of immigrants entered e territory of e Grand Duchy of Liuania at e beginning of e 16 century. The Liuanian territory was inhabited at at time by around ree and a half ousand Tatars. At e turn of 15 and 16 centuries e first Tatar troops appeared in e Polish-Liuanian army. They were mainly Hospodar Tatars and descendants of e Ordyn fighters; Cossack Tatars. As a result of wars waged on Moscow a part of e Tatars moved to aristocratic estates in Ukraine. The Cossack Tatars very often worked as diplomats' escorts, couriers or in aristocratic militia. In e second half of e 17 century and in e 18 century part of e Tatar gentry became Polonized; conversely, e Tatars settled in towns and were subject to Belorussian influence [8, passim; 9, p ]. Privileges won by Hospodar Tatars who were e leaders of e Tatar community, guaranteed e survival of e nation as a separate social and enic group and also e preservation of a certain autonomy and freedom to practice e Muslim religion, bo in e period of e First Republic and 1918 restored Poland. In interwar Poland about five and a half ousand Tatars inhabited e country, mainly in e Vilna, Nowogrod and Bialystok provinces. During World War II Tatars suffered severe losses in eir social structure, especially among e intelligentsia. As a result of e post-war border changes only two Tatar villages remained in Poland i.e. Bahoniki and Kruszyniany, which is currently in e Podlasie Province. There are also Tatar communities in Bialystok and Sokolka, and, to a lesser degree, in Gdansk, Warsaw and Gorzow Wielkopolski. Tatar settlement is currently restricted to e Podlasie region. Tatars can be found in smaller groups in oer parts of e country, being subject to Polonization. Nowadays e Tatar diaspora in Poland amounts to around five ousand people [5, passim]. Meodology of e study The paradigm of modern cultural anropology is e relationship of e culture wi e social life of a studied group in its entirety and e main task of enology is to prove its cultural specifics [10, p ]. The study of e Tatar community inhabiting e territory of Poland, was conducted in continuous two yearly cycles during e Sabantuy holiday in Kruszyniany in 2010 and Therefore e choice of ose studied was accidental. The representatives of e Tatar community at were studied came mainly from e Podlasie region, wi representatives of smaller groups of Tatars also. A survey meod and 1 * The military aspect of e physical culture of e Polish Tatars, ough (in a historical context) vital for e subject of is elaboration due to e intensive physical activity of e soldiers (e drill and combat, including among oers: horse-riding, sword-play, archery, shooting from a firearm, or fighting using shaft arms and cold steel) in modern times is watched in competitions and shows organized on some Tatar holidays. Nowadays in Polish Tatars' everyday life, forms of military related behavior have disappeared. Due to e complexity and e volume of e subject, its whole presentation goes beyond e dimensions of is article and requires individual elaboration. The issues have been studied and described extensively (ough at a relatively abstract level) in e following: Borawski P. (1986) Tatars in old Polish Republic, LSW, Warszawa [in Polish]; Borawski P., Dubiñski A. (1986) Polish Tatars. History, ceremonies, legends, traditions, Iskry, Warszawa [in Polish]; Kolodziejczyk A. (1997) Debates and studies from history of steak Tatars liuanian-polish and in polish islam XVII-XX century. To 600-years on lands of great liuanian principalities Tatar, opr. J. Tyszkiewicz, Zwiazek Tatarow Polskich, Gdañsk [in Polish]; Miskiewicz A. (1990) Polish Tatars Life socially-cultural and religious, PWN, Warszawa [in Polish]; Tyszkiewicz J. (1989) Tatars on Liuania and in Poland, PWN, Warszawa [in Polish].
3 Szum and Cieœliñski: PHYSICAL CULTURE IN THE TRADITION... Pol. J. Sport Tourism 2012, 19, interview technique was used. The aim was to prove at ere is no relation between e culture of e Tatar population inhabiting Poland and e physical activity typical of e enic group. Physical activity in e rites of Polish Tatars The most intensive interpenetrating of e legacy of past experiences and e present of e national culture can be found in e field of physical activity (also in e sphere of religion, where e Tatar identity is most plainly visible), which shapes e Tatar national identity. Tradition has been and still is a vital factor conditioning e participation of Tatars in eir specific physical culture and also in e sphere of religion, where e Tatar identity is most plainly visible). The level of eir physical activity is determined by lifestyle, which is passed from generation to generation, in which a wide range of sports-related activities can be found. Until e current day e Tatar population has preserved its religious affiliation, national culture, tradition and customs. In eastern Poland, cultural differences, ensuing from a different nationality, were perceived negatively for some time by e Polish majority. This negativity was experienced mainly by e Liuanians, Belorussians, Ukrainians, and mostly by e minority relatively small as in e case of Tatars who were relatively densely populated peoples, whose percentage in eastern Poland (and in particular local communities) was high. In some periods in history e cultural difference in all aspects of society, was perceived as some kind of attack on Polishness [11, p. 42] including in e case of physical culture. Paradoxically, intolerance against Tatars' enic differences reached its apogee st in 21 century. It was triggered by e events on 11 September 2001 and e commencement of e so-called war on terrorism which, as a result of e culture clash, was in practice a war against e Muslim culture. For e Tatars declaring eir identity, culture, and first particularly eir religion, inhabiting Poland, became very difficult as a result of e xenophobia and prejudice at ey experienced. We can distinguish forms of physical activity at are qualified in enology as sport, games and play [2, p. 34] in e physical culture of e Tatar community inhabiting Poland. They are clearly visible in e context of predominantly nonreligious Tatar festivals, which are yearly rites related to winning over e forces of nature. Religious i.e. Muslim ceremonies hardly involve any forms of physical activity and ey cannot be considered as elements of physical culture [see 12, p ]. The festivals are e main enic characteristic of Tatars and also e strongest and e most permanent factor integrating e Tatar community inhabiting Poland. Tatar rites related to non-religious holidays, which are characterized by eir family nature, are often accompanied by physical activity, often assuming e form of sports competitions. The cycle of yearly secular festivals is headed by e Nevroz holiday, which means e welcoming of e spring. Nevroz is similar to e Slavonic Mid-summer Eve, or Kupala's Night. The holiday is related to e spring equinox. It is celebrated on st e 21 March. The name of e holiday originates from e Iranian language and literally means a new day. The holiday of spring, which is to say e commencement of work in e fields, involves a number of rites to win favor wi e forces of nature and ensure a good harvest. The celebrations are accompanied by singing and dancing, when young Tatars visit all e houses in e village and are rewarded wi sweets [from accounts gaered when celebrating e Sabantuy holiday in Kruszyniany in 2010 and 2011]. Nevroz is not popular in e milieu of e Tatars in Poland but is very popular in Crimea and Tatarstan. The Kydrylez holiday symbolizes e rich and complex history of Tatars, eir social life and source of beliefs. It is celebrated on e first Sunday of May. The young often prepare fire close to e river, which is held to be e very bosom of nature. In e evening all e residents gaer round e fire. After a communal prayer, e oldest person lights e bonfire and is e first to jump over it. He is followed by oer men, adolescents and young boys. As e fire dies down e rite is completed by e women and e girls. When jumping over e fire each person says e magical words of incantation: Problems for e infidels, and well-being for me. The common game is obligatorily ended wi e common dance of e whole community. This holiday is also not widely practiced in e Tatar community inhabiting Poland but is very popular among e Crimean Tatars. A century-old history is featured by a spring-renewal holiday called Sabantuy; e Plow Festival (similar to Slavonic Dozynki, meaning harvest festival ). It was originally celebrated before e spring sowing but, since e beginning of e 20 century, it has been held upon completion of e sowing. Sabantuy combines customary rites related to work in e fields and folk games, playing, dances and songs. Traditional sports competitions are held as part of e holiday. The whole community and eir guests gaer on a specially prepared fairground, which is usually situated on e edge of e forest or in a clearing, and selected participants enter e competition. The festival is opened by a fairground running race comprising different distances and long and high-jump competitions. Whereas e main events of e holiday are two fitness tournaments i.e. Tatar Kuresh wrestling, and e most anticipated and important event; a horse race. Tatars say at even race horses feel e Sabantuy approaching. According to e tradition e main prize was a ram, raised and given by e richest family in e village, and was received by e winner of e competition who gained e name baatyra, and owns e title until e following year. Currently e ram is substituted by a rooster. Oer prizes given to e winners of e particular events are embroidered shirts, headscarves, tableclos and towels, all made of e finest fabric. Historically e Sabantuy was so important an event in e life of e community at e community would prepare for it roughout e entire year. Young women embroidered fabrics roughout e winter when ere was no work in e fields in order at ey be bestowed on e winners of e sports competition. Apart from wrestling and horse races, popular sports include climbing a pole rammed in e ground, often smeared wi oil (if ere are several competitors e winner is e one who does it fastest); struggle on a beam i.e. fight holding sacks stuffed wi hay or straw, which lasts until one of e competitors falls off e wooden beam; e javelin; horseshoe row, where e winner rows e shoe e longest; lasso row on e neck of e running horse (or in a simpler variant on a wooden stilt); tying ongs as fast or as long as possible. The competition is often accompanied by Tatar folk handicraft workshops, songs and dances, Tatar cuisine, horse-riding shows and primitive and Mongolian archery from e ground or from a horse. It is conducive to e popularization of e Tatar culture among representatives of oer nations, who are becoming more frequent guests at e Sabantuy holiday. In Poland e holiday has been famous since e grand celebration in Kruszyniany in 2007, and it assumes e form of a great Tatar festival, which presents and propagates e culture of at enic group. It also develops agro-tourism, which is run by e Tatar families. Anoer non-religious holiday is Jiyens, which celebrates e beginning of summer. During is holiday Tatar families meet in e largest possible family circle. The celebration revolves around frequent and numerous mutual visits and lasts ree or four days. Fitness or parlor games and dancing for adults and e you are organized. The main aim of e festival,
4 94 Pol. J. Sport Tourism 2012, 19, Szum and Cieœliñski: PHYSICAL CULTURE IN THE TRADITION... apart from general socializing, is to help e you make friends wi each oer and pairing people off. The Jiyens holiday is most popular in Tatarstan. An example of a traditional Tatar game e Archers Owing to a centuries-old military tradition, Tatars are often depicted in common knowledge and some scientific elaborations as a nation of archers [13, p. 86]. A confirmation of e legitimacy of e epiet, and at e same time a symptom eir attachment to e military in playing, is a traditional Tatar board game called e Archers. Traditional tales say at Batu Khan himself carried e board and pawns of e game, which he had received from his grandfaer, great Temujin. He used to play e archers before each battle in order to put his mind in e right frame and mentally prepare for e battle. This ancient game requires increased concentration combined wi e ability to observe and efficient use of e players' imagination. The game takes place on a board where ere are five lines and five columns of circles symmetrically connected wi each oer. The players start e game having five archers in e first line Board 1. Initial set-up of pawns on e board . The basic task of e players is to lead eir pawns (archers) to e row initially occupied by e opponent's pawns, and in e meantime take captive as many enemy archers as possible. This is e decisive factor in e game, because it is e number of e points scored i.e. e enemy's pawns (archers) at decides e game. During e game each pawn can only move to an adjacent circle. Boards 2 and 3. The rules of moving pawns on e board . One cannot backtrack on a move more an twice in a row. The move must be made to anoer available circle. When a player's pawn (archer) reaches e opponent's initial line, it must stay ere until e end of e game, or until it is caught by e enemy. When a player's pawn (archer) finds itself on a circle occupied by e opponent's pawn it is taken captive, which means it is removed from e board. The archer who captured e enemy is specially marked. The player who led his pawn to initial line of e enemy, us taking it captive, may put anoer pawn on his initial line. The action may not be repeated by any single pawn (archer). The game ends when one of e players brings all his pawns to e initial line of e opponent or fills it completely, if he has a larger army i.e. more pawns (archers). The scores are en tallied. The winner is e he who has scored more points. The scoring is summed up as two points for each pawn on e initial line of e opponent and one point for each pawn remaining on oer circles of e board. The Archers is more an just a physical or mental activity. It is also a symbolic means of conveying e Tatar system of values and a cultural factor integrating e Tatar community, not only rough playing but also rough creating a sense of being a part of e group. Tatar dances Dances are an essential part of e physical culture of e Tatars inhabiting e Polish territory. Traditional Tatar dances reflect e centuries-old history of at enic group, making reference to e important events in e life of e Muslim community, whose most permanent customs are e rites related to e festivals. The organization of dances is compulsory in e celebration of Tatar holidays and also takes place on oer occasions. The systematic organization of dances was initiated by Tatars of e Vilna region at e end of e 19 century. Tatar balls in Vilna were modeled on Polish dances, yet were different because ey contained elements of national Tatar dances from various parts of Russia. They were mainly presented by guests who had been invited to balls. As many as 200 people or more attended e balls. The Tatars also invited eir Polish friends to e parties, most frequently e Tatars' neighbours, specifically e impoverished gentry of nearby villages and also e Muslims from Crimea and areas on e Volga river. At e parties people not only danced but also discussed political, social and economic issues. The parties brought e community togeer and were not only restricted to e richest gentry. An impoverished nobleman working in e fields or a poor artisan would not find himself invited to e balls [15, passim]. During World War I no public receptions oer an family celebrations were organized whereas during e Second Republic Tatar parties became an inherent element of major socialgaerings and family celebrations. Vilna, Novogrodek and Slonim were famous grand parties and balls. Parties were also held in small Tatar communities such as Kleck, Lachowicze, Mir, Iwanowo and Kruszyniany. In Slonim, inhabitants commemorated e anniversary of e opening of e local Tatar library wi a yearly ball organized in e second half of August. From 1936, in e village of Iwanowo, e Nieswiez district, a Tatar harvest festival was held yearly. Every year e local Tatars gaered in Kruszyniany, reveling at tables laden wi food and drink, an event at took place most often during Muslim holidays and also on ordinary days. Guests came to feast not only came from e Grodno region but also from more remote places. Arguably e grandest gaering of Tatars inhabiting e territory of Poland was held in August 1936 in Nowogrodek. It involved two balls and e whole event was organized by e local Tatar marksmen. In e Warsaw commune e Tatars organized balls to contact e representatives of Muslim emigration from e Soviet Russia and diplomatic workers. In oer regions ere were dances during which e Tatar you enjoyed emselves in rented clubs or in adjusted dayrooms, firehouses and in smaller circles wiin private homes. At at time Tatar parties were not altogeer different from Polish parties [15, passim]. After World War II e Tatar community in Poland became involved in modest dances organized in Bahoniki and Sokolka,
5 Szum and Cieœliñski: PHYSICAL CULTURE IN THE TRADITION... Pol. J. Sport Tourism 2012, 19, in e Podlasie region. Larger events were held as late as in e second half of e 1950s, when e Tatars of e village of Sokolka decided to revive pre-war tradition and organized larger parties. The Tatar community of Bialystok later e effort to organize balls. Poland-wide reunions also took place. An immense reunion of displaced Tatars was held in Gorzow in August 1962 and, in 1969, in Gdansk, e ten anniversary of e local commune was commemorated. After 1945 e Tatars continued to model eir parties ose of e Polish. Not only were traditional Tatar dances were performed but people also danced to Polish folk melodies. Grand balls often commenced wi e Polonaise. Tatar parties would not be complete wiout a waltz or a tango. The music was played by hired bands or local musicians at village parties. The bands played folk tunes in e Crimean and Volga region, which were propagated mainly by Tatar emigrants from Russia. The tunes aroused emotions. The musicians also played local folk tunes also in Belorussian. The queen of e ball was also elected, as well as e best dancing pair. Bo e Tatars and e oer guests enjoyed emselves [15, passim]. Conclusions An analysis of e material gaered during e survey of e Tatar population inhabiting e territory of Poland (a pilot study e continuation of which may prove worwhile) has shown at e reunions of e Tatar community, which accompany e holidays, yearly rites, and oer gaerings of public character and, in particular, of which physical activity plays an integral part, are of great importance for e strengening of existing social ties and e formation of new ones. Public playing, being a manifestation of e organization of e social life, crystallizes awareness of enic identity and strengens e sense of national community and e element of competition present in e games triggers solidarity. Whereas cooking traditional Tatar dishes as a joint activity undertaken mainly but not exclusively by women cements social ties and engenders e cooperation and coordination of actions. Moreover, joint physical activity as an integrating factor initiates and intensifies interaction between people and is conducive to e development of interpersonal relations from acquaintance, rough friendship, to marriage and also brings distant relatives and compatriots coming from different parts of e country or e entire world closer. The physical culture of e Tatar population and especially its traditional elements, are an important part of shaping and consolidating e national identity of e Polish Tatars. The study concludes at ere are patterns of physical culture and forms of physical activity specific to e Tatar community. The physical culture of e Tatar population features physical activity and has qualities at cannot be found in e culture of oer nations and enic groups. It refers to bo sports issues and everyday behavior at requires physical activity, such as work, rest and religious rites. The attitudes and patterns of behavior wiin physical activity or, in a broader sense (also in e axiological dimension), physical culture, constitute an element of e enic culture of e Tatars inhabiting e Polish territory; a culture which, contrary to at which could have been predicted in 2002, when e census showed only five hundred people declaring Tatar nationality [16, p ], is not heading towards an irretrievable decline, yet which, after a period of crisis, has reentered e phase of grow. Paradoxically it is mostly an effect of e process of globalization, which is accompanied by e multienicity and multiculturalism propagated and practiced in modern Europe a phenomenon which has been itself driven by e enlargement of e European Union and relative openness towards e immigration of people from oer continents, which includes Muslim countries. Social-political-economic transformation and e processes of democratization, freeing up economic life rough e support of legal enterprise (e.g. agro-tourism) and tolerance in social relations (encouraging to emanate oerness e.g. religious one), are conducive to e display of specific expressions of Tatar national culture, including physical culture and traditional forms and standards of life of enic groups revive in e sphere of physical culture. It could be argued at, in e educational policy pursued by e government, e cultural identity of national minorities at are in e course of e social transformation, is not particularly well ought rough (and, in practice, solely by local government), which creates barriers to e diffusion of traditional expressions of physical culture at is specific to e minorities. At e local level, enic oerness is propagated in e form of grass-roots initiative, minorities realizing it rough e religious activity and at of associations. The lack of state support for e culture of enic groups considerably limits eir potential for auto-promotion and e dominance of e mass culture leaves traditional Tatar cultural values as someing to be cherished by e older generation but neglected by e younger generation in favor of commercial values. However, among e Tatar population inhabiting e territory of Poland, e passing of traditional forms of physical activity between generations still functions and e willingness to preserve e national physical culture of e Tatars living in Poland appears to be present. It is e physical culture of at enic community at significantly determines e scope and e character of its coexistence wi e Polish majority and oer minorities, wiin Polish society. Literature 1. Demel, M. (1973). Critical sketches about physical culture. Warsaw: SiT. [in Polish] 2. Lipoñski, W. (2004). Rochwist and Palant. Study old polish sport etnology and on background of european tradition motor games. Poznan: Akademia Wychowania Fizycznego. [in Polish] 3. Malinowski, B. (2000). Unit, community, culture. Warsaw: PWN. [in Polish] 4. Tyszkiewicz, J. (2002). Tatars in Poland and Europe. Fragment of history. Pultusk: Akademia Humanistyczna. [in Polish] 5. Gorka, O. (1935). Orientation notes about polish steak Tatars and foreign. Rocznik Tatarski, vol. II, 1935, [in Polish] 6. Kolodziejczyk, A. (1990). Tatars of regions in century on bialskopodlaskie. In T. Wasilewski & T. Krawczak (Eds.), From unknown past Biala and Podlasie. [in Polish] 7. Sobczak, J. (1984). Site of legal Tatar population in great liuanian principality. Warsaw-Poznan: PWN. [in Polish] 8. Tyszkiewicz, J. (1989). Tatars on Liuania and in Poland. Studies from history century. Warsaw: PWN. [in Polish] 9. Sobczak, J. (1987). Tatars in service of Polish Republic in second half of 17 and 18 century. Study historicallylegal. Czasopismo Prawno-Historyczne, vol. XXXIX, [in Polish] 10. Burszta, W. J. (1998). Anropology of culture. Themes, eories, interpretations. Poznan: Zysk i s-ka. [in Polish] 11. Chaliburda, I. & Ciesliñski I. (2010). Place and role of traditional form of physical activity in functioning local community and in system of education. In I. Ciesliñski, R. Ciesliñski & I. 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