Bashkir Language Day Date in the current year: December 14, 2024

Bashkir Language Day Bashkir Language Day is celebrated on December 14 in the Republic of Bashkortostan of the Russian Federation. It was created by the World Kurultay (Congress) of the Bashkirs to promote the Bashkir language and culture.

The Bashkir language belongs to the Turkic language family; its “closest relative” is the Tatar language (both belong to the Kipchak-Bulgar subdivision of the Kipchak branch of the Turkic languages). Bashkir is the national language of the Bashkir people, indigenous to the historical region of Bashkiria.

The Bashkir language is classified as vulnerable. It has about 1.4 million native speakers. Alongside the Bashkir people, they include Tatars, Russians, Chuvashes, Maris, Kazakhs, Udmurts, Uzbeks and people of other ethnicities that live in Bashkortostan, where Bashkir is one of the two official languages (the other being Russian). Outside of Bashkortostan, Bashkir speakers live in Kurgan, Orenburg, Tyumen, Samara, Saratov, Svedlovsk and Chelyabinsk Oblasts, Perm Krai, Tatarstan, and Udmurtia.

Baskhir has three dialect groups: Eastern (Kuvakan), Western (Northwestern) and Southern (Yurmat). The Bashkir literary language is based on the Eastern group of dialects since it is the least close to the Tatar language.

The first written mention of the Bashkir language dates back to 1074, when the Turkic scholar Mahmud Kashgari mentioned it in his work entitled Dīwān Lughāt al-Turk (“Compendium of the Languages of the Turks). Mendiyar Bekchurin’s handwritten Translation of Words into the Bashkir Language, compiled in 1781, is considered the first dictionary of the Bashkir language.

The first official Bashkir alphabet, based on the Arabic script, was created in 1923. In 1930, it was replaced with Yangalif (the Unified Turkic Latin Alphabet). The modern Bashkir alphabet was adopted in 1940. It is a Cyrillic alphabet consisting of the 33 letters of the Russian alphabet plus nine additional letters for specific Bashkir phonemes.

Bashkir Language Day was created in 2015 at the 4th congress of the World Kurultay of the Bashkirs, an international union of non-governmental organizations created to promote the unification and ethnocultural development of the Bashkir people. It is celebrated on December 14 to commemorate the birthday of Miftahetdin Akmulla, a renowned Bashkir poet, philosopher and educator who is widely regarded as the most prominent Bashkir poet of the 19th century. His works have had a huge impact on the development of Bashkir literature.

Bashkir Day is marked with meetings with novelists, poets and linguists, film screenings, theatrical performances, contests and quizzes, seminars and workshops, discussions, conferences, lectures, and other events organized by schools, universities, libraries and cultural institutions throughout Bashkortostan. Their main goals are to raise public awareness of the importance of studying and preserving the Bashkir language, spark the younger generation’s interest in Bashkir literature and culture, and improve the teaching of Bashkir.

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Bashkir Language Day, holidays in Russia, holidays in Bashkortostan, cultural observances, Bashkir languages