Have you ever heard of any of your compatriots: “Shehe is Crimean Tatar? Doesn’t look like one”. I heard it very often. At the same time, the question was accompanied by such genuine and sincere surprise and touched our blond, and blue-eyed compatriots. Why go so far. My father was taken for a Slav whole his life because of his blond hair and moustache, and grey-blue eyes. Such a perception of appearance is nothing more than a stereotype. It would seem that people who did not know the Crimean Tatars before should have got used to such diversity of appearance of Crimean Tatars in the 25 years of our life after the return to Crimea. Our neighbours who use stereotype reasoning are sure that all Crimean Tatars are dark-skinned brunettes or Mongoloids
Meanwhile, many European nations took part in the ethnogenesis of the Crimean Tatars. Turkic tribes and the Mongols didn’t stand by either. However, Mongoloidity consists only in the appearance of only 10% of the Crimean Tatars. Also, it is not a secret that some representatives of “civilised” peoples are used to consider representatives of other ethnics to be lower than themselves. This common phenomenon has already been studied by psychologists and called it ethnocentrism; this is a psychological setting to perceive and evaluate other cultures and the behaviour of their representatives through the prism of their culture. Most often, ethnocentrism implies that their own culture is superior to other cultures, and in this case, it is regarded as the only correct one. Anything that deviates from the norms, customs, value systems, habits, types of behaviour of its own culture, is considered low-grade and is classified as inferior about its own.
If there are those among our neighbours who admire the culture of our people, then they do it with some favour or treat it as exotic. For some, it is surprising that the Crimea Tatars can achieve success in various areas of knowledge, although the victories of the students – the Crimea Tatars at competitions and contests in the Ukrainian and Russian languages have recently become a common occurrence. Although those days are still fresh in the memory when some teachers did not give the highest score in the Russian language classes to the Crimean Tatars, arguing that the Crimean Tatar cannot know Russian perfectly well. By the way, many Russians living in the Crimea do not speak their native language fluently – I mean not only oral but also written versions of it.
Our nation inherited from European nations not only appearance but also psychology. People always expected from Crimean Tatars some radicalism and kind of a threat, but for 25 years of a new life in our homeland, we have not given any reason to doubt our peacefulness. I often heard such a phrase – “Oh, such a nice woman, is she not Russian? “. Alternatively, when characterising a person, his belonging to the Crimean Tatar people is necessarily mentioned. I do not know how many generations, years, authorities and ideologies should be changed so that the attitude to the Crimea Tatars here, in their homeland, in the Crimea, changes.