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Volga Tatar people

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The Volga Tatars, or simply Tatars, are a widespread ethnic group located mainly in Tatarstan, Russia, and nearby autonomous republics such as Bashkortostan, Udmurtiya, and Mordovia. They speak the Volga Tatar language and have distinctive ethnic music, dance, and cuisine. Most Tatars are traditionally Muslim, although some Tatars in Kazan, the capital of Tatarstan, are Christian. But like all Russian citizens, most older Tatars grew up as atheists under Soviet rule.

It is sometimes thought that the Tatars, or now rarely Tartars, originated from Ghenghis Khan's Mongolia and are descendents of the Golden Horde. The evidence that this is the case, however, is scanty. The term "Tatar" came to be used for any ethnic non-Russian within Russian lands, including the native Turkic-speaking peoples, and the Tatar language is a Turkic language, not a Mongolic language. In the centuries following Ghenghis Khan, there was considerable intermixing among many ethnic groups, and so, while there are some Tatars with a vaguely Mongolian appearance, one also finds Tatars will all hair and eye color.