Waning crescent: meet with the Polish-Muslim community decided in the middle of European countries

Waning crescent: meet with the Polish-Muslim community decided in the middle of European countries

With the increase in anti-Muslim sentiment, Semi Korycki transformed their lens onto a small Sunni Muslim community called Polish Tatars or Lipka Tatars inside the local Poland

The Podlasie area for north-eastern Poland hosts limited Sunni Muslim society also known as Polish Tatars or Lipka Tatars, who’ve established here for more than 300 age. Photographer Selim Korycki is just one of the 3000 posts with Tatar traditions.

For centuries, the Tatar relatives on his father’s part resided with what is known now because the Grodno area for Belarus. Like many other Tatar group incapable of return to their particular ancestral secure following the 2nd community combat, his family members moved to Gdansk. A number of other Polish Tatars transferred to Wroclaw, Szczecin, Gorzow Wielkopolski and Bialystok. This past year, he started to investigate their family history additionally the established community of Polish Tatars in north-eastern Poland.

“Despite are raised as an atheist, I was usually very alert to my loved ones records plus the reputation for Lipka Tatars. Following numerous talks about rising nationalism and Islamophobia, I realised precisely how few folks are familiar with the Muslim area peacefully established in the middle of Europe for more than 600 years. Comprehending that Podlasie area could be the best put within today’s gloss borders in which Tatars not just resided for years, but are nonetheless current nowadays I made the decision to execute the project here. It was my personal basic trip to the spot,” says Korycki, exactly who shot their task The Waning Crescent during the summer of 2017.

There is a large number of myths about Lipka Tatars inside the home nation. “There are a perception, eg, that gloss Tatars seem like Mongolian nomads, that they communicate ‘another’ code, and tend to be un-Polish. The truth is, after 600 years of absorption, posts of Tatar history are typically undistinguishable through the remainder of the society. Just Like their own parents, their particular grandparents in addition to their great-grandparents they talk Polish, believe Gloss, feel Polish, bring Polish surnames, devour Polish dishes.” While doing so gloss Tatars grow her lifestyle by exercising Islam, protecting conventional Turkic labels, and nurturing old-fashioned Tatar food (Central Asian dishes with Eastern European effect).

“Today when below 5percent in the inhabitants of Poland think about by themselves getting a member of a cultural fraction, as well as over 85percent posts declares themselves to-be Roman Catholic,” the photographer urges, “Lipka Tatars become a stunning indication that Poland was once a massively multicultural and multi-religious country”

Dz?emil Gembicki, caretaker of Kruszyniany mosque, prepares to open the temple on an early on fall morning. The community of Kruszyniany was actually among the many locations where Lipka Tatars initially decided in 1679 after a royal decree giving several benefits to dedicated Muslim troops.

an ornamental crescent moonlight ornament regarding windows ledge at the Muftiate workplace in Bialystok.

The Gembicki families at home. Kasia acts meal to their girls and boys Lilia and Selim. Dz?emil try a Muslim and Kasia try a Catholic. The conundrum that lots of blended faith individuals deal with when choosing a faith for his or her girls and boys was effortlessly resolved: Lilia is actually mentioned as Catholic and Selim as Muslim.

Eugenia Radkiewicz will be the tips guide at Bohoniki mosque. Her moms and dads, Lipka Tatars from Lithuania, moved to Podlasie after the Second community War to become listed on their particular prolonged family members. They settled within the village of Malawicze, a couple of kilometres from Bohoniki.

The 13th Cavalry routine on the gloss military is formed in 1930 and from very starting the very first Squadron was actually partly staffed by Muslims (Polish Tatars and additionally escapees from Bolshevik Russia). The phrase ‘Tatar’ ended up being officially put into the squadron’s title in 1936 and any Polish Lipka also known as right up for military solution was more than likely become helping in the First Squadron. Pictured is an archival image associated with very first Tatar Squadron on 13th Cavalry Regiment’s barracks in Nowa Wilejka (in todays Lithuania) consumed in July 1937.

Area close to the towns of Drahle and Bohoniki obtained in 1679 by Muslim Lipka soldiers by royal decree from master Jan III Sobieski. Throughout the seventeenth millennium the empire of Poland got engaged in a number of conflicts with growing Ottoman kingdom. Throughout rule of Jan III Sobieski, Poland attained some big victories, certainly that was the war of Vienna in 1683. The paradox is that in extremely xenophobic and anti-Islamic environment of today’s Poland, the war of Vienna is commonly depicted because conflict between Europe and Islam, and ultimate historical proof that Poland had been constantly anti-Islam. Unsurprisingly the fact Polish Muslim soldiers battled about Polish part is actually hardly ever talked about.

Although now resigned, Halina Szahidewicz remains the bedrock of this Polish Tatar people in Bialystok.

The lady group found Podlasie from today’s Belarus after the next business War. Halina worked as a teacher for many years. She has also been a long-standing seat associated with Muslim Religious Association of Poland, co-founder of Poland’s Joint Council of Catholics and Muslims, in addition to 2010 receiver of the individual of Dialogue award, given annually to those providing dialogue among different religions. In 1999 Halina single-handedly intitiated childhood group Bun?czuk, in fact it is active even today.

“Witaj Szkolo!” Introducing college! Every youngster in Poland is actually met by this phrase in early Sep when school commences following the summertime vacation trips. Although spiritual degree is certainly not mandatory in Poland, a vast majority of school children attend tuition of religion, usually work by a Catholic priest/nun (occasionally, if adequate parents/students need it, courses of ethics become instructed). Muslim individuals frequently aren’t since happy as teenagers in Bialystok, where in actuality the neighborhood Muslim Religious Association in co-operation with Bialystok’s degree board therefore the Muftiate Religious organization organises Islam sessions. The family who sign up for tend to be a variety of Polish senior dating app and Crimean Tatars and Chechen refugees. Pictured try Mirza, a nearby imam, who is top a prayer course to a mixed selection of girls and boys.

Bridge over Mahomet. Look at a water tank from the connection over Mahomet lake near Siemiatycze. The chart of north-eastern Poland was dotted with hamlets and places deriving their particular brands from Tatars and their heritage. Many of those labels are completely Polonised and only an educated specialist can suggest their particular Muslim or Asian etymology. Couple of people is unmistakably affected by Islam, while the Mahomet River is the better example.

Mufti of Poland Tomasz Mis?kiewicz when you look at the prayer place for the Muslim spiritual Association in Bialystok. The subject of Mufti is provided to an educated Muslim that is qualifed to offer advice on solutions of spiritual legislation in every respect of everyday life. Mis?kiewicz, a Polish Tatar from Podlasie, could be the 2nd Mufti in reputation for Poland keeping their workplace since 2004. The initial Polish Mufti Jakub Szynkiewicz (also a Lipka Tatar) got the name in 1925. Szynkiewicz lived in exile from 1945 and passed away in america in 1966.