Visiting with the Muslim Community in Pervouralsk (Jun 25, 2004)
2004 Press Releases
Visiting with the Muslim Community in Pervouralsk
June 25, 2004
Visiting Pervouralsk's beautiful mosque on June 25 for Friday prayers, followed by tea, Consul for Political and Economic Issues Barbara Cates accepted another invitation, to the Bashkir and Tatar traditional Sabantuy celebration of the end of the plowing and sowing season. Cates met Imam Denis Hazrat, and Pervouralsk Mayor Volf and Regional Okrug Head Aleksey Viktorovich Shabarov, who were on hand for the festivities. Pervouralsk's population is about 40% Muslim, so the festival is a major event for the city. The festivities included singing and dancing, and climbing the Stolb, a tall vertical tree trunk shorn of its bark, as well as a particularly challenging angled Stolb. This year the community also resurrected an old tradition of horse racing.
Cates did not climb a stolb or ride a horse, but she did participate in one traditional contest, for the longest hair -- and became an instant celebrity when she won it, to her astonishment, with hair measuring 1 meter 2 centimeters.