Foreword: Tatars in Finland in the Transnational Context of the Baltic Sea Region
The Tatar diaspora in Finland has attracted researchers for over a century, but studies traditionally
focus on topics such as origins and general Tatar history, religion, identity or language. One of the
most important aspects of research on Tatars both historically and today, however, is the transnational
context. Migrating from villages in Nizhny Novgorod province, often via the Russian capital
Saint Petersburg at the end of the nineteenth century, the forming Tatar diaspora communities in
the Baltic Sea region maintained, developed and extended their previous networks and also created
new connections over national borders despite periods of political difficulties. New research about
Tatars in the Baltic Sea region – with the focal point of the Tatars in Finland and their connections
chiefly in Estonia, Russia and Sweden – was presented during a seminar called Tatars in Finland in
the Transnational Context of the Baltic Sea Region at the University of Helsinki in October 2018.
Scholars from Finland, Sweden, Russia, Estonia and Hungary spoke about the past and present of
the diaspora. A result of the seminar, this special issue of Studia Orientalia Electronica is dedicated
to new research on Tatars in a transnational context.