Our grandfathers’ stories: In the year 1913

by Sadri Hamid,from Ak yul Nr. 27, 1970, page 3

English translation Sabira Ståhlberg

Read the story in Tatar Latin script (original and modern language) and Tatar Cyrillic script (original and modern language)


It is Friday in Yañıpar – off homework, a free day.

No need to go to school – what a joy today.

Everywhere you look there are snow drifts – long, high, narrow hills.

Behind our barn – I have not forgotten everything.

Boys have gathered there to toboggan

and nobody is late.

Around twenty-five boys,

in some hands: sheet-metal pieces

to sit and glide on – to join in.

Some have toboggans, sleds – sliding downhill.

Shouting and yelling – all together are making noise.

There is no bigger fun here [in the village] – excitedly to go downhill.

Even the cold does not stop them,

small boys are like that.

Hands of some of them are bare – the poorer boys’.

Also Kulik’s Hasän is there – no lie, really true.

He has made a round chuman*,

of cow manure and water.

Frozen in a sieve grid base – really well done.

The bottom shines like ice – just like a bird,

he overtakes all – upsetting the others’ enjoyment.

Sibat’s grandchildren are here, too – their sleighs are made of elm.

Badas’s boys have also come – chumans hangingfrom hands.

Among the boys is Kulik’s Аbbas – everyone is staring at him.

He is skiing downhill – he is maybe tall one arshin**.

He has himself made them of wood – how did he managed to get them on?

Boldly he slides down, boys begin chasing him.

Hösäyen and the Аbdılhaks are also there,

enthusiastic to toboggan.

They have brought a bigger sledge – they always use the same.

It can carry ten boys – what else could be as much fun?

Together they go downhill,

sweating when pulling [the sledge] uphill.

In such manner the day passes gliding – some boys’ trousers are worn through

when in gliding on bums only – in the evening their mothers run after them:

“There is a hole in your trouser bottom”, they say.

“How can I patch it up, now?” they ask.

It was like this when I was young – a boy comradeship time.

Writing this I became emotional – not one of them is there anymore.

*chuman – a slider made of manure and water which has frozen in a sieve bottom

**arshin – older length measure, around 70–80 cm