World Mongols welcomed in Buryatia

The World Mongols gathered at the 4th general conference of the “Convention of World Mongolians” held July 15-18 in the capital city of Burytia, Ulaan-Ude to exchange views on preserving and developing Mongolian language, culture, traditions and, customs. Attending this conference of Convention of World Mongolians NGO (CWM), were Mongolian President Ts.Elbegdorj, President and Government head of the Buryat Repuplic of the Russian Federation V.V..Nagovitsyn, and Russian President D.Medvedev sent a greeting message which proves that the spirit of this important international convention meets the ideas and policies of the two States. This was also evident in their speeches

President Ts. Elbegdorj said the following at the opening ceremony: “We live in the time of globalization, when under the pressure of international obligations and of the strong influence of the largest economies of the world, the tendency for eradication of the national features of nations, of their vital values and as a result of all this, the hidden and the objective conflicts appear regarding the theory and practices of further development.
Under these uncommon situations, the ability of the Mongol nationalities to develop economy, culture, the language, and humanitarian relations in states where they live plays an important role in preserving the national self conscientiousness. In this connection, I would like to assure that the government of Mongolia and its State policy will be directed at rendering all possible support to public initiatives. The Mongolian language, the writing, the books, sutras, the life style, traditions and culture were one of sources of the creation of moral values in humanity. This is why it is important for us to our unite efforts for further studying, preserving, multiplying and disseminating our knowledge and our ability for the sake of others’.
V.V.Nagovitsyn, the President of Buryat Republic said they worked hard to host this prestigious world convention in their own country considering it as a symbol of friendship of the peoples which as many consider an event of great significance to preserve folk traditions, culture and language of the people of Mongol origin. President Elbegdorj of Mongolia who is the Honored President of the Convention of the World Mongols attaches significant political importance to this meeting. “The Globalization and the Mongolian World” international scientific conference was held where scientists, historians and researchers shared results of their studies and researches on the development attitude of Mongolian cultures and traditions, on studying the old Mongolian scrip and memorial writing artifacts of Mongols, as well as having exchanged opinions on issues related to Mongolian geopolitics, cultural and civilization problems.
“It is getting more and more evident that we, a small number of Mongols, should combine our peaceful efforts to preserve and enhance with the passing of time, our language, culture and national identity. Mongols who make up just 0.2 per cent of the world population will be able to protect and inherit to future generations the values of the Mongolian nationality, first of all, language, script and culture if we cherish our historical identity, kinship feelings, brotherly traditions and benefits of friendly relations. One can say that this is a commitment and responsibility of contemporary Mongols before mankind. The reason is that the ancestors of Mongols, throughout their over two thousand years-long history, have contributed unique and eternal works of their knowledge and mind to world culture and civilization heritage, have created teachings and consistent doctrines on methods of peaceful existence and social progress of countries, have accumulated unique experience in forging legislation, order, commerce and ambassadorial relations that are now in the era of globalization and serve as an endless source for research and learning lessons that are an inexhaustible spring of national consciousness and national pride. In this sense, the work launched within the CWM embraces many people and life shows that if it is implemented on the basis of multilateral cooperation, with participation and support of the present Mongolian State, which keeps the seat alive for the great emperor, it is more effective” said Ts.Gombosuren, President of the CWM. Some new research works as well as art and culture projects have been started on themes related to world Mongols. For example, a fundamental research project on ‘World Mongolians’ under the auspices of the Academy of Sciences of Mongolia has been launched. ‘Dispersed settlement of Mongols’, ‘World Mongolian Family’ research and advocacy projects comprised the territory of several countries and as a result, a documentary film, series of publications has been presented, thematic research books have been published, exhibitions, meetings and lectures have been organized.
Despite the fact that this was convocation of Mongol speaking people, the Buryats and the Kalmyks that were united under Russian Federation, were not good in their native tongue and measures of the Convention were held in Russian language. Nevertheless, in recent years, the Buryats and the Kalmyks are exerting efforts to restore their native language and writing and to inherit them to their younger generation. “The Buryat language faced difficulties over the passed years, especially in the first half of 1970s and 1980s because the teaching of the Buryat language in schools was forbidden. The learning and teaching of the Buryat language only stabilized since 1992, when the Constitution of Buryatia and the Law on languages of the Buryat Republic was approved; thus becoming the second official language of the country. Now the learning of the Buryat language has become a public matter and almost 80 percent of school children are studying Buryat language. We cannot say the problem of learning the Buryat language is okay and we have no problems, this still continues to be an urgent and need to be resolved, said President V.V.Nagovitsyn.
The Buryat language is now taught at more than 100 pre-school organizations, 24 primary schools, 4 special secondary schools, at the Humanitarian Institute of the Buryat University and the Teachers’ Institute. The Committee to develop Buryat language was established under the Buryat Government and this year, the government issued a resolution to support the Buryat language. Also, forums, meetings and festivals of Buryat language to promote the language are organized.
The Buryads we met spoke Russian, but it was evident they were eager to learn their native tongue and preserve the language for their children and youth. “With old people, we speak in Buryad language, but among ourselves we speak in both Buryat and Russian languages. My husband was born in Buriat village and speaks BuryaT very well. I want the following generation to speak the Buryad language well”, said teacher Radjana Sabhaeva.
“We should acknowledge our origin and our roots. If we consider ourselves as the Mongols and the Buryats we must speak in our own language, this is why we must teach our children their native language, said Bayarjav Badamtserenov. Post graduate student Ajunov Andrei assured that he likes the Buryat language for its beautiful pronunciation, that he wanted to learn from childhood and that he wishes much to learn Buryat songs.
Salaev Badma, deputy Government head of the Kalmyk Republic of RF stated that the Kalmyk people take efforts to develop their native language and writing. “The national language and culture must be preserved and further developed. The Kalmyks draw attention to investigating and studying their native tongue. The Kalmyk language is now being taught to all children in Kalmyk schools from grades 1 to 11” According to the decree of the Kalmyk President, the Kalmyk language is being popularized widely by organizing contests of the best Kalmyk families who speak Kalmyk language, the journalists and the school children who write well in Kalmyk language, etc. The Kalmyks respect very much their history and science.
There are many scientists in Kalmyk, who are holders of scientific degrees in Mongol study. The faculty of the Mongol language and culture study opened at the Kalmyk University. This is very important, he said. The Kalmyk republic issues the national newspaper, journals, and children’s magazines in Kalmyk language, they have TV and radio programs in Kalmyk language. Over 600 delegates arrived to the Convention including more than 200 from Mongolia, over 30 from Kalmyk, and also from Tuva Republic, the US, Austria and Switzerland. Only a few Mongolians were delegated from China where a considerable number of the world Mongols live. Regarding this matter, president of CWM Ts. Gombosuren said “According to data available to us, over 9 million Mongols live in the world. Everyone is well aware that nearly fifty per cent of the world’s Mongols live in the PRC. Mongolian nationalities promote an active cooperation in such fields as culture, art, education, science, sports and mass media within the framework of multi-faceted cooperation between Mongolia and China. However, our Convention failed to establish a working relationship with Mongols of our southern neighbor. A relevant request was formally conveyed to the Chinese side; nevertheless, we still have to find the proper ways and means for such cooperation. In this connection I wish to reiterate one of my ideas expressed at our first conference in 2006: this is not an idea to unite the Mongols in political terms. We do not harbor a policy or objective to affect in any way the political legal status of Mongols living abroad; in particular, in our northern and southern neighbor countries. We have no intention to represent or lead the world Mongols in every respect. I think, we have confirmed our position in practice through our activities’ The Mongol culture and information center to provide information on Mongolia opened during the Convention at the Public Library of Buryatia. President Ts. Elbegdorj presented the 8-wall Mongol gher as a gift to the Government of Buryatia and the Buryad people.
More than 10 horse-riding peace messengers arrived from Mongolia, Buryatia and Tuva to Ulaan-Ude. Three Mongolian stunt men from the “Hidden Art All Mongolia” Association dressed in Chinggis Khan’s warrior clothes arrived from Ulaanbaatar traveling 600 km long distance. The team leader L.Gerelchuluun said “We passed 120 km a day, changing our horses every 25-30 km when travelling through the territory of the RF. The Buryats and the Kazakhs welcomed us as most dear guests. We were not feeling much the heat from 30-40 degree temperatures and our heavy warrior’s clothes, because the friendly attitude and hospitality encouraged us” he said. Three members of the horse team praised Mongolian horses’ strength, saying that they did not change their Mongolian horses travelling from Ulaanbaatar to the Russian border for a whole day and a half and there were no signs of tiredness on the horses. One woman horse-rider and a 13- year old boy where among the horse team which left the Okinsk region and arrived at the Convention after 5 days.
The most entertaining activities of the Convention continued for 3 days with Mongolian national music and songs, Naadam festival, sport contests, art and culture performances which offered a fine opportunity for the spectators to watch the wonders of Mongolian culture, art, customs and traditions. For example, a big joint concert of the art masters from Mongolia, Buryatia, Inner Mongolia and Kalmykia was held and the traditional Buryad “Yohor” dance was performed at the “Yohor Night” festival. Many wrestlers from Mongolia, Buryyatia, Tuva, Kalmyk and Inner Mongolia contested in the Three Manly Games, the national sport entertainment. A total of 512 wrestlers classified in two categories, over and under 75 kg, competed. Tuva wrestler Monguush Syldyk, won the contest in the wrestling under 75 kilogram weight category and Mongolian wrestler Sanjaadamba in the above 75 kg weight category. In the Buryad “Surharban” festival, Tserenpilov Baljinnyam, the well-known Buryad shooter was the best. He learned the art of archery shooting since 1985 when he was a schoolboy. The children, riders in a shorter distance horse race, were comparatively older than Mongolian horse rider boys, and some Buryats raced in horse-driven carts.
The Mongol horse riders of the “Khan Mongolia” group who were trained in 2 days demonstrated the skill of face right and face back riding on horse, galloping skill and of skillful hitting from the horse.
At the end of the Convention the delegates released the “Baikal Declaration” and Declaration to Future generations.
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