This year marks the 150th anniversary of the birth of the national enlightener Amre Issin.
Omsk region, traditionally called among the Kazakhs "Omby" ("a place with a deep and loose snow"), from far away attracted and nurtured the most worthy, honest and courageous people. We sometimes have to pass through such railway stations in the Omsk region as Karbyshevo, Fadino, Novoseletsk, Strela, and Amre. And we do not always think about the history of the appearance of these names. If the origin of the former can somehow be explained, the latter for many remains a real mystery, especially for a Russian-speaking person. No encyclopedia, no explanatory dictionary will help you to guess about it.
In 1991, I was fortunate to meet one of the elders of the Koyanbay village of the Tavrichesky region of the Omsk oblast, a veteran of the pedagogical work Amrinov Mahmed Amrinovich, a veteran of the Great Patriotic War. He, like no one else, described the hard life of his father, who was subjected to unlawful persecution by the Soviet authorities: "My father Issin Amre was born in 1867 in the city of Akmola (Astana) in the religious Muslim family. His father was very literate for his time, for making a hajj in sacred places for all Muslims, Mecca and Medina he received a holy and respectful attitude - "haji". Here he studied in an elementary school, in parallel having received from his father Issa-haji the basics of a home Muslim education. Knowledge of Arabic graphics helped him penetrate into the world of oriental poetry and philosophy of Navoi, Firdausi, and Omar Khayyam."
Later, driven by interest in this mysterious personality and at the personal request of Mahmed Amrinovich, we had to work in the State Historical Archives of the Omsk Region. Much became clear after we got acquainted with the funds number 318 and 978, according to which Issin Amre in 1886 graduated from the Omsk Veterinary and Nursing School and worked for a long time in the Omsk district of the Akmola region.
"My father often recalled," says Mahmed Amrinovich, "that he had to combine other posts: for some time he worked in the office of the Steppe Governor-General as an interpreter, who is fluent in many Eastern languages. At the end of the XIX century, he participated in the census of the Kazakh population living on the territory of Akmola, Semipalatinsk and Turgay regions as part of a famous statistical expedition led by F. Shcherbina. By the way, Alikhan Bukeikhanov, leader of the Alash movement, also worked in this expedition. The father with members of the counting commission that summer traveled all the auls from Omsk to Lake Zaisan. I visited the city of Pavlodar, Semipalatinsk, Ust-Kamenogorsk. The local population treated him with great love; this could be seen from his travel stories. His authority was often supported not only by purely human qualities, but also by the practical help that he provided as an experienced paramedic and veterinarian. Even later, Russian settlers who came to our house for help always left with confidence that my father would not deny them and that urgent medical or veterinary help would be rendered immediately. My father learned more and practiced his knowledge received in the veterinary and paramedic school with many centuries of experience in traditional medicine and veterinary medicine."
In a different way it seems and could not be: good-neighborliness always presupposed every possible help to each other. Two cultures: agricultural and cattle breeding, peacefully neighboring with each other, could not but exert mutual influence and mutual enrichment. So, according to the aksakal's (elders) stories, it is known that Kazakhs adopted a lot from settlers in the traditions of house-building, tools of labor, in the development of new grain crops. And the skills of pastoralists could not be useful for immigrants, who turned out to be even more unaccustomed to them. For example, Russian peasants and Siberian Cossacks learned to let cattle on a year-round tebenevka.
Here is what he said further: "He had great knowledge in the field of folk medicine and veterinary medicine: for this he often communicated with folk healers, shamans, who could treat people and cattle, starting with simple spells and ending with the most complicated surgical operations, often having at hand knife, ax and hammer. His arsenal of means of treatment of people and cattle was replenished with new and new knowledge. He was able to combine the knowledge gained in the veterinary and paramedic school with information derived from the centuries-old experience of nomadic cattlemen. I remember how he, after many, many years, met an old man whom he cured about 20 years ago with herbs collected on the shore of the lake. The patient was considered so hopeless that they started sending messengers to relatives so that they could say goodbye to him. Imagine their surprise when, instead of the funeral procession, they saw "kurmaldyk" – a small festive in honor of the successful retreat of the disease."
From the stories of Mahmed Amrinovich and his friend Sukhanov Bozan, also a veteran and disabled veteran of the Great Patriotic War and pedagogical work, who lived then in the regional center of Tavrichesky region of Omsk oblast, we learn that he was an ardent hunter. He was often seen hunting a duck on the shore of the lake. Later local residents in a sign of gratitude to this person, in their own way, immortalized the name of this man, calling the lake near his native village - Amre. Now this lake has dried up, but the people of the surrounding villages still use this people toponymy.
But not only did the people immortalize his name. Huge services were given to him in the enlightenment mission of the Kazakh population, who lived on the territory of the present Omsk region. At the beginning of the XX century there was not a single school in the territory south of Omsk. Not every aul resident had the opportunity to send his children to study in the city of Omsk: for this there was not enough money, no proper preparation. Most parents gave their children to aul mullahs. During the training year, the mullah took one head of cattle as payment for study. At the same time, the father of the child, giving the child to study, said: "My child's bones are mine, and the meat on the bones is yours." And this meant complete despotism of the ministers of worship: a small offense, a childish prank and a child was immediately subjected to corporal punishment and that it is interesting in this case, parents, according to this word, as a rule, remained silent. Cramming of suras from the Koran, in the meanings of which sometimes the teachers themselves - mullahs did not penetrate, not always fruitfully influenced the development of the child. In addition, the agenda of that time was the issue of the immediate preparation of literate people for the management of the Steppe Governor-General: translators, clerks, lower officers, veterinarians, a paramedic were needed ... This could be done only through the organization of preparatory schools in the villages. Children would equally have mastered both Kazakh and Russian languages, which would help them to successfully enter the city's educational institutions in the future. This was perfectly understood by Issin Amre, but the organization of secular schools in these parts was an unknown enterprise.
But the first step was to be done. It was brilliantly demonstrated by the pioneer of the school business in the Kazakh villages adjoining Omsk, Issin Amre: officially this event was noted in Order No. 635 of March 15, 1906, the director of the national schools of Akmola and Semipalatinsk regions. The dream of a worthy son of his people has finally come true. Although he used to teach children at home, but it was spontaneous, spontaneously snatches, without sufficient material support from higher authorities. Since there were no separate school premises, the teacher conducted classes in the second half of his hut: after all, the desire to begin the studies as quickly as possible prevailed over the everyday inconveniences experienced by the large family of the teacher. The children sat around their teacher on the earthen floor. Seats, tables, desks were not, and the area of the premises did not contribute to their acquisition. Mahmed Amrinovich says: "Father, in his recollections, constantly maintained contacts with the city, where he brought slate plaques, crayons, books ... In the village for the first time the names of great Kazakh poets and scientists: Abai, Shakarim, Chokan sounded. The mastering of the Russian language began through an acquaintance with Pushkin, Lermontov. Aul by this time in bureaucratic papers was called the name of the teacher Amre: it seemed to them easier, than to call the aul under the ordinal number. At the Amre School in spring and autumn, children went out into the wild, practicing botany, geography and history in practice. Very often my father invited folk narrators - akyns - who could spend hours talking through poetic form about history, genealogies, steppe poems, tragedies of nomadic Romeo and Juliet at the native language lessons.
Issin Amre, acting on his personal methodology, managed to combine the teaching in two languages: his pupils, having a perfectly native language, spoke quite fluently in Russian, thus obtaining a great opportunity to continue their studies in the city. Veteran of the Great Patriotic War and pedagogical work K.A. Ryabinin, resident of the village Tavrichesky, who has been studying history and literature of his native land for many years, speaks about the Kazakh enlightener: "At the beginning of the 20th century, the family of Issin Amre settled in one of the small villages near Irtysh, fifty versts south of Omsk. The virgin steppe in these places was decorated with birch groves. There are many lakes here, flood meadows. For the numerous aul cattle it was grace. Near the village of Amre, villages of immigrants from Ukraine and Russia were born: Tavrichesky, Lyubomirovka, Novoseletsk, Pavlogradka. Issin Amre was needed man for the aul and the resettlement villages: he was literate and sociable; he knew the reasons of the diseases of cattle and cured people also. Everybody needed his services. With the opening of the Russian three-year school in Tavrichesky in 1910, the Kazakh enlightener began to work more easily." A person engaged in such a responsible job had to think about the constant replenishment of his knowledge, which he achieved through self-education, through creative communication with teachers from Tavrichesky.
Mahmed Amrinovich recalls: "There were a lot of books in our family, three chests, to a greater extent these were works of Russian classics. On winter evenings my father read to us, to children, in the light of a kerosene lamp, retold their contents in the Kazakh language. Often, unusual Russian bearded men came to visit us, talked for a long time with my father, and he gave books to literate ones."
The school business began in a new way after the October Revolution. In the first years, educational programs and schools were created everywhere. With the provincial department of public education, in order to improve school work among national minorities, it was decided to create sub-departments of national minorities, including the Kazakh sub-department. And immediately the question arose about finding pedagogical cadres: there were no new ones, and the old ones were still inactive, not having the right to teach in school. At first they decided to use the old cadres under the supervision of the revolutionary committees. In the fund number 318 of the State Historical Archive of the Omsk Region, in the first inventory of case 1126 in the protocol No. 3 of the Collegium of the National Minorities Division of the Omsk Province was retained dated March 2, 1920, on the agenda of which there was the issue of calling prominent Kazakh educators Kemengerov Koshmukhamed and Zhumabayev Magzhan. The issue was resolved positively. The same was done in relation to Issin Amre.
None of them could then know that later they would all be repressed, despite the merits before the community. The first of them will immortalize his name in the memory of the people with remarkable plays, with work on the history "From the history of the Kazakhs", the second is now unanimously recognized as "Kazakh Pushkin", and the latter truly takes the place of one of the first Kazakh enlighteners of Omsk Irtysh Land. The same fund of the archive of the Omsk region testifies that one of the first to start working from all schools of Omsk district was the Kzylgak School, where Issin Amre taught, while Tleubayev and Sastomar schools, where Yelyubayev Seitkali and Abylkassym Oteuov worked as teachers, began study in a year or more. Issin Amre did not go to the pedagogical courses opened in Petropavlovsk in late May 1920, in view of the necessary experience of pedagogical work. A sub-division of national minorities, taking this into account, decided to release him from the trip and to hire him to work on the company that was unfolding across the country to eliminate illiteracy."
Finishing a long story about his father's noble mission, he sighed: "Our people do not always respect their faithful sons. He was repressed in 1929, with the deprivation of civil rights, allegedly for belonging to the Alash movement and to the class of exploiting someone else's labor", although earlier by the decision of the aul council, our farm, with 25 horses, 10 cows, 40 sheep, was correlated to the middle well-off, and not subject to confiscation.
The narrator did not want to stir up the old one, but he nevertheless told the reason for the repressive measures against his father: "In the hungry year of 1921, my father sheltered a beggar from Kazan who was dying of starvation. In our family he lived until 1929, at the same time he enjoyed all the blessings along with native children of teacher: he helped with housework, he studied at the school with my father. But a representative of the committee of the poor forced the young man to write a slander on his rescuer: "In 1930, in the winter, a representative of the district committee visited the village to investigate the case of the "deprived people." The father, bedridden with a serious illness, gathers all his strength to write about his past, indicating the work biography, his non-involvement in the accusation undeservedly and the reasons for his charity towards this young man. Passing this statement to me, he repeatedly warns: "Son, do not show it to anyone! Personally, in the hands of only a representative of the district committee, he must act fairly. And on the same evening a general meeting of the residents of the aul gathered at which the guest spoke, read out my father's statement aloud, held a repeat vote, in which everyone voted unanimously to return civil rights to my father. I ran as I could to please my father, but he lay unconscious: after 1.5 months in April 1930, he died."
To our great regret, in the Soviet and post-Soviet period, the study of local lore practically stopped. Soviet ideology, aimed at creating a new ethnos called "the Soviet people," did not leave a stone unturned in the study of the native land, believing that all these are "vestiges of tribal relations". In the post-Soviet period, this work began to revive, but it was carried out chaotically, episodically, haphazardly and not entirely organized. Initiated by the Head of State N.A. Nazarbayev "Tugan Zher" program undoubtedly activates this activity. Archival and written sources should be supplemented by the memories of witnesses of that difficult epoch, who, unfortunately, are becoming less and less. Therefore, to carry out the study of local lore at a sufficient level, it is necessary to organize the work in the following order:
-Write a detailed questionnaire or program, consulting with experienced historians, ethnologists and folklorists.
-To question the videotape of representatives of the older generation, to whom today for 80-90 years.
-Missing materials are typed in local archives and libraries, local history museums. There you can also hand over the originals of the collected materials.
-Based on the results of local history studies, prepare and publish a book on the history, ethnology, culture and folklore of the aul, village, district center or city. The progress of your survey work can be described on the pages of local media.
We are confident that this work, both in the republic and in places of compact residence of the Kazakh population abroad, will be put to the proper level.
By Ziyabek KABULDINOV
Translated by Raushan MAKHMETZHANOVA