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«THE TATAR GAZETTE»

N 1, 28.02.2001


MY WAY TO AUSTRALIA

Rustam YUMASH

It is very difficult to write about yourself. As one famous Australian personality said during the presentation of his new book, it is good for your soul to confess in the public but it is bad for your reputation. And perhaps, confessing for the Tatar audience is a special case. I would say it is even kind of a cathartic venture.

Your native people, as your mother, demands Roentgen clarity and deep sincerity. Tatars are my people, my big family. That might sound a bit pathetic, maybe my being an emigrant affects it. The nostalgia, the yearning for the lost paradise of my careless childhood, like a navelstring links me to my Motherland. In short I fell myself kind of voulnerable and sentimental.

The Lord-Mayor of the Gold Coast hands me over the certificate of the Australian citizenship. The

The Lord-Mayor of the Gold Coast hands me over the certificate of the Australian citizenship. The desired aim is achieved. A lot of things which seemed to be impossible, were made for this. But, as if often happens, this is only the beginning of a new phase. There is still a lot of work to build up my own life.

Just like my father, I was born an artistic and romantic person, though not without the practical sharpness. Nevertheless I was always more attracted by the non-material things. This inclination, by the way, can be traced in my father's kin. My grand-grandfather was a mullah in the village of Norkino of the Baltache district of Bashkiria. When he was a boy, he left his home taking a horse to study in a madrasah, against the will of his father. Later on he became a mullah in his native village, where his father, having forgiven his son, built a mosque for him. They say that my grandgrandfather saved many people in the times of 1921's hunger feeding them with his own reserves. My kin had to have been prosperous.

My grandmother, Salima-nenei used to tell us that a real hill was made of the dung left by the herd of my ancestors. The hill was called after the name of my grand-grand-grandfather. In 1930 when Stalin began oppressing the religion and the village bourgeoisie, my grand-grandfather mullah was dispossessed as a kulak and sent to prison. Later he was set free because of his age.

He spent the rest of his life in a bath-house. His house and mosque were taken away from him. His property was ransacked by the same people he had saved from starvation. After many years, our relatives found his Koran with remarks made by him on the margins.

The family in those fatal 30s was sent somewhere to chop wood. My grandmother was 18 at that time. She barely survived after a lot of wandering with an infant in arms. My grandfather Auhat had to hide in Ukraine under a fake name, he worked at a coal mine like many Tatars did. In a few years they reunited with my grandmother and moved to Ufa. My grandfather worked for the railroad there up to his retirement.

...My grandmother, Salima-nenei, was an outstanding person and played a great role in my spiritual formation. I think that it was her who gave me the traditional Tatar muslim values, which feed and save my soul. I'm so sorry that I grew up in a full-day kindergarten, then I went to school which had an extended day group. I was deprived of a full-scale contact with my grandmother. I'm very sorry that I missed many things I could take from her.

My grandfather Auhat and my grandmother Salima.

My grandfather Auhat and my grandmother Salima.

So, I was always interested in humanities. Still, after the army service, I decided to take up medicine.

After graduating from the Bashkirian State Medical Institute and the practice in 1991, due to some financial reasons I decided to leave my clinic and work for private medical business. At that time I got interested in psychotherapy. That was the result of my inclinations. Taking part in an American workshop on intensive psychotechnics of integrating the mind, based on the connected breathing (Rebirthing).

That was the starting point for the dramatic changes in my life. Without going into professional details, I'll say only that after a number of trainings and workshops I was invited to an 18-month course on Rebirthing in Australia. I can remember that during the interview with a representative of the State security service I was told that I was the first person in Bashkiria to leave for a capitalist country for such a long time.

Since my arrival to the Breathconnection centre I attended 7 intensive workshops which stirred up my mind. I had a long period of understanding the reality, of looking for facts and answers. I managed to become close friends with many Australians. I should especially menion Carry, an Australian psychologist who became my close friend, my mentor and my father in a way.

With his help I managed to develop my own trend of psychosomatic therapy both theoretically and practically. For 8 years already we have been working together helping people to overcome shocks and stresses, conflicts and personal problems.

Now I'm happy that I have the possibility to do my favourite job. My personal and professional interest in psychotherapy and my intensive attempts to understand myself, the human psychology and behaviour, brought me to the understanding of the necessity of the widest knowledge of many sides of the life including my kin's and people's history. The attempts to understand myself, my parents gradually grow into a systematical interest in creating the overall image of the family reality in which I became an individuality.

A person, that doesn't know his culture and is not rightfully proud of it, is weak and miserable. That's one of the reasons why I keep spending much time in eliminating the passive mankurtism in myself.

Stradbrook Island near Brisbane, Queensland, a unique resort for Australian and foreign tourists. Great

Stradbrook Island near Brisbane, Queensland, a unique resort for Australian and foreign tourists. Great beaches, nature, dolphins, whales, food for gourmets. A nice place. I'm sitting and waiting for a launch to get back to Brisbane.

Sabantui in Adelaida

My trip to Sabantui in November, 1999 became a very remarkable event for me. The feeling was as if I touched the sacred ancient spirit of our ancestors. Sabantui rised in me the steppe spirit of our souls which can't be destroyed neither by time, nor by severe ordeals, nor by the temptations and the gloss of the modern civilization.

For a long time I hadn't had such a terrific time among my tribesmen. It's very sad to confess, but that was the first Sabantui in my life. What an unforgettable impression! As if the blood of tatar djigits woke up in my veins. Tatar songs full of life, funny competitions, all this created the atmosphere of true happiness and left a great impression.

What else can heal a Tatar soul if not Sabantui? I was very touched and very grateful to the Tatar-Bashkir Association in Adelaida for their great work and their patriotic enthusiasm in organizing the festival and the museum exhibition.


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