Social and cultural events
This is the report of the progress of the social and cultural events which marked this scientific meeting. This report is illustrated by photos taken by the participants.
Call for photos :Anybody having pictures taken during and around this marmot meeting is kindly invited to share them with us to illustrate the galleries below. To send them, please take contact with Konstantin Belovezhets (E-mails in the abstract booklet).
Saturday 18th August 2010.
Before arriving to Ulan-Ude, Raymond Ramousse and Michel Le Berre made a stop in Moscow and, thanks to Pr. Alexander Nikol'skii and Elena Vanissova, they had the pleasure to visit the very interesting Darwinian Museum, an exceptional place for learning evolution and the diversity of life.
Sunday 22nd August 2010.
At their arrival to Ulan-Ude, capital of the Republic of Buryatia, the participants were met at the airport and railway station.
The assembly gathered in the building of the Buryatian Scientific Center, Siberian Division, Russian Academy of Sciences.
From there, the participants leaved Ulan-Ude by bus towards Goryachinsk, at a distance of 171 km from Ulan-Ude.
The long travel was broken by a short stop allowing to discover the eastern bank of the famous Baikal Lake.
After accomodation at the Thermal Resort of Goryachinsk, the participants were ivited to a welcome banquet which allow people to take contact, to discover new participants and to enjoy the pleasant food ponctuated by a lot of toasts.
At the end of the banquet a special place was made to the contribution of a famous Buryat national singer.
And from Monday 23rd to Tuesday 24th, everybody was buzzy to participate to the scientific programme.
Wednesday 25th August 2010.
The way back to Ulan-Ude : departure from Goryachinsk at 9;30 a.m., short stop in the nun monastery "Sretenskii Jenskii", arrival to Tarbagataisky Raion (223 km from Goryachinsk) around 14:30, after crossing Ulan-Ude.
Indeed, the slideshow indicated here under is a mix of photos taken during both the trips to and from Goriatchinsk. At the bottom of the pictures, a small Google map indicates the place where the picture has been taken.
At this place began the so-called Social workshop related to the culture of the Semieskij (simieskie = family) (Russian old-believers in Siberia). A few words are necessary to bring some information about this group keeping the old ritual of the orthodox religion.
In relation with its historical heritage, the cultural legacy of Old Believers in the Trans-Baikal Region has been put in 2001 on the list of masterpieces of oral and intangible heritage of Humanity, protected by UNESCO international convention. UNESCO's cultural heritage encompasses some 90 masterpieces, including also in Russia the Yakut epic "Olongo".
The Old Believers became separated from the official Russian Orthodox Church as a protest against church reforms 350 years ago. on orders from Empress Catherine II they were exiled to Siberia. Despite persecution, the Old Believers have maintained the the folk traditions, religious rites and old handicrafts popular in Russia before the 17th century Russian Orthodox breakaways. The Tarbagatai community is one of the world's largest communities of Semeiskie Old Believers.
Our visit to Tarbagatai district allowed to visit a Semieski house, to appreciate a lunch with traditional meals and to discover the ritual of a so-called Old Believer marriage.
Arrival from Tarbagatai village to the marmot (tarbagan) localities by bus, after a short trip.
Out of some Spermophilus we didn't see the shadow of any marmot, only burrow entrances. But the steppic landscape was very nice.
After what, the trip ended to Ulan-Ude (52 km), where we found the accommodation in the hotels.
Thursday 26th August 2010.
Field trip by bus from Ulan-Ude to Ivolginsk village, 11.00 a.m.
The excursion to the Ivolginskij Datsan, the residency of Buddhist Traditional Sangkha in Russia, following the Tibetan rule. This datsan is the main buddhist centre of Russia. It is located in a picturesque and peaceful place named Ivolga, 23 kilometres from Ulan-Ude. Upon arrival we have done a tour of the Datsan, accompanied by a monk student “huvarak”. The Datsan, which was the only Buddhist monastery tolerated during the Sovietic time, hosts around 1,000 Buddha statues, from small ones to 2 meters high. During the tour we have visited several prayer temple, a Buddhist school Dashy Choihorlin, a library with a collection of old Buddhist manuscripts written in Tibetan language, a greenhouse with a sacred Bodhi tree, sacred tombs-suburgans, some service buildings and houses for lamas. This datsan is well known for its activity in research on traditional Tibetan medicine. Here is preserved the body of the 12th Pandito Hambo Lama of the Ivolginsky Datsan, Dashi-Dorzho Itigelov, naturally preserved without any preparation since 1927...
Lunch at the Altargana Cafe
After touring the Datsan, welcome to the Altargana Cafe, for lunch. This interesting new place is designed as a wooden Buryat Yurt where, out of eating (and drinking) people may rent independant yurt-shaped rooms. This place allowed to share typical Buryat specialities with the friendly contribution of sheep, the brain of which being shared by the participants.
The lunch ended by a modern exercise of karaoke, without any effect on weather which continued to be fine.
Back to Ulan-Ude, the trip finished by a visit to Ethnographical museum of the Transbaikalian nations (open air museum). This interesting museum shows different aspect of the life in the Buryat region, from the prehistoric times to the XIXth century. Also, a small zoological garden where animals can observe the human society and discover the difference of status between them and human beings.
The day and the trip finished friendly, by long discussions near the hotel. And maybe, next time, in Slovakia or elsewhere....
And a lot of thanks to Bair Badmaev Баир Бальжиевич Бадмаев, Vladimir Kapitonov Владимир Иванович Капитонов, Maria Shatrova and Mikhail Zagumenov for sharing their pictures.