Center for development of traditional Tuvan culture and crafts opened its doors on 2 March of last year. In honor of its first anniversary, director of the Center, Kongar-ool Ondar, gave the first press-conference to representatives of mass communication media of Tuva. The interest in this conference is evidenced by the fat that journalists came to Kyzyl from Pii-Khem, Ovyur, and even from Mongun-Taiga.
Kongar-ool Borisovich, in his own manner of personal friendly conversation, told the journalists about the daily work of the Center of Tuvan culture, about its achievements and plans. At the same time he noted that one of the most significant achievements of the Center is the professionalism and team work of the collective, and its preparedness for everything new and striving for perfection.
Among the most important achievements of the center is the opening of professional atelier for production of Tuvan national instruments "OVAA". The head of the atelier is the famous singer and master maker of musical instruments Aldar Tamdyn, who with pleasure shared some secrets of Tuvan craftsmen with the journalists. It turned out that one of folk instruments, a treasure of Tuvan culture - b byzaanchy - can be made not only from copper or wooden cylinder, but also from a cow or bull's horn. Aldar demonstrated for the journalists a byzaanchy that he made - from a horn of a wild bull from South-East Asia. The musician admitted that this is his favorite instrument.
Another achievement is a quality, even though small concert hall, conference hall, shops for making folk attire, souvenir production, products of folk art industries and decorative-applied art. Under the single roof of the Center, there is the home of Tuvan national orchestra, International Scientific Center "Khoomei", world-famous folk groups "Huun-Huur-Tu", "Alash", "Chirgilchin" and "Tyva Kyzy".
Especially popular among the city population is the shailaarak (cafeteria), where one can try dishes of Tuvan folk cuisine.
Kongar-ool Ondar told us about work plans for the new year in an unusual way. The director of the Center took a kazhyk (sheep bone) out of his pocket, and asked one of the journalists: "Did you come on foot today?" to which the surprised reporter answered; "Yes". Kongar-ool Borisovich smiled at this answer, and said: "But I did not. I came on horseback today." At the same time the musician showed the bone in his hand. Now those present guessed that the musician means "Horse race", Tuvan folk game with sheep bones. it is believed that sheep bones bring good luck. Earlier such bones together with a sheep shank and kurdyuk were given to guests as a sign of special respect. Kongar-ool Ondar remarked that today, not just in the city, but in villages as well, it is rare or non-existent to see children playing kazhyk.
- Children and young people today prefer, in my opinion, mindless computer games. In the worst case the young people play cards or other gambling games, which only brings harm to the psychic condition and health of the growing generation. Literally within days we are going to finish a set for the "Kazhyk" game, with five sheep bones, carefully cleaned and dyed various colors, a piece of cloth with the rules of the game written on it, and a little bag. The whole set can easily be taken along when visiting someone. And at this convenient occasion I also want to present a new Tuvan souvenir to the head of our republic, - informed us the National khoomeizhi of Tuva.
The theme of problems of the Center of Tuvan culture was touched upon. Question about the possibility of opening branches of the Center in other districts of Tuva was answered by Kongar-ool Ondar, that so far there is no such possibility, but that he has had thoughts about the subject. Representatives of district media expressed the wish to help with opening of branches of the Center when such a possibility comes up. At the end of the meeting, National khoomeizhi told us about the start of recruitment of children game clubs - "Tevek" and "Kazhyk". Lessons will take place at the center on mornings and evenings.