The Chuvash National Museum brought an exhibition about the creator of the national alphabet and the Chuvash missionary Ivan Yakovlev to Kazan.
Yakovlev was born in Koshki-Novotimbaevo village in Tetyushkinskiy district of Tatarstan. He graduated from Kazan University.
What immediately catches your eye at the exhibition is the fact, there is almost no Chuvash language there. Only in imperial or Soviet publications or in Yakovlev’s own manuscripts. There is only Russian at stands and at presentations.
Russian imperialists actively write that Yakovlev tried to raise the national self-awareness of the Chuvash by assimilating them… to Russian culture.
Nonsense, of course, because the empire simply leaves no other options for achieving something in life without knowledge of the imperial language. Therefore, as now, the Chuvash actively studied Russian.
Yakovlev said that he wanted to make the Chuvash language a book language. And he did it, for which we should be grateful to him.
However, at the same time, Yakovlev was actively Christianizing the Chuvash and promoting the “strong union” of Russians and Chuvash.
We see even today what this led to.