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Presentation of S.I.Vainshtein’s book “Zagadochnaya Tuva” (Mysterious Tuva) (M.,2009)

Presentation of S.I.Vainshtein’s book “Zagadochnaya Tuva” (Mysterious Tuva) (M.,2009)On June 24, 2009 in the conference hall of the Aldan Maadyr Tuvan National Museum, S.I. Vainshtein’s book “Mysterious Tuva” was presented to the public. A special exhibition of the ethnologist’s publications was organized in the hall of the museum.

The initiator and sponsor of this edition, Larisa Shoigu, the Tuvan representative of the State Duma, was present at the event. Also present were vice-premier of the government of the republic, Anatolii Damba-Khuurak; minister of culture and informational politics, Vyacheslav Dongak; director of TIGI Kaadyr-ool Bicheldey. They constituted the board. The auditorium was packed to bursting with representatives of scientific and creative intelligentsia of Tuva – the intellectual elite of the republic.

Presentation of S.I.Vainshtein’s book “Zagadochnaya Tuva” (Mysterious Tuva) (M.,2009)After having read out the address by the chairman of the government of Tuva, Sholban Kara-ool, A. Damba-Khuurak announced that the government is prepared to support the project of a video-film “in the footprints” of this book, so that its contents would become widely distributed. “Thanks to books like this, the world will find out more about Tuva”, he said.

L. Shoigu admitted that she used her own personal means as well as means from her friends to publish this book. And all of them did it for a noble cause: to tell people about Tuva, and to say “Thank You” to the remarkable scholar-scientist, who dedicated his life to researching Tuva, S.I. Vainshtein.

The representative explained how carefully the work on the publication was done, with what trepidation and excitement they finally went to print, how long they looked for a photograph for the cover design, and how they selected ornaments for every chapter. “We wanted this book to be special”’ she said, showing the book to everybody, and grieving: ”Unfortunately, we were not in time. Sevyan Izrailevich died on October 16 of last year, but our book did not come out until January of this year. But he managed to hold the first sample copy in his hands.”

Presentation of S.I.Vainshtein’s book “Zagadochnaya Tuva” (Mysterious Tuva) (M.,2009)The edition counts 2000 specimens of the book. One half of this was brought to Tuva by the representative, for free distribution in the libraries of the republic. L. Shoigu also approved of the idea of publishing all of the publications of S.I. Vainshteyn as collected works.

In total evaluation, this event, in the words of L.Shoigu, was not just a simple presentation of one book, as much as a meeting of people who want to honor the memory of the researcher, who dedicated his life to the study of the history, culture and ethnography of Tuvans.

V.O. Dongak thanked the representative, reminding that even last year, when she came for her summer vacation, L. Shoigu did not show up empty-handed. She brought the books “Uriankhai.Tyva depter.”, which was edited by her brother, minister MCh.S RF, S.K. Shoigu. Because this edition proved to be much in demand, Dongak announced that in 2010, this seven-volume collection will be re-issued in Tuva. The means for it are already in the plans.

K.A. Bicheldey evaluated “Mysterious Tuva” as a true special edition:

“It introduces our republic much better than many other scientific and other works.”. But mainly, in his opinion, the book is very obviously a priceless textbook of ethnography for the future researchers.

The director of TIGI agreed with the opinion of L. Shoigu, that it is necessary to publish all of S.I. Vainshtein’s publications as a multi-volume edition of collected works. “We are planning to publish the works of Turchanin and Katanov”, said he, - and then we will start work on the archives of Vainshtein and Grach.”

The first version of the video-film produced by the museum workers was shown to the audience (“Museum production”, as it was jokingly called by the savant-secretary of the museum, U.P. Opei-ool), which was dedicated to the life and work of S.I. Vainshtein. The author of this production is the head of the informational-analytic department of the museum, U.B. Nurzat.

Other scientists also presented during this event.

In the words of A.K. Kuzhuget, Tuva is lucky in the respect that it was studied by so many talented people. That is why it is envied by many of its neighbors – Khakassia, Yakutia, and others.

“We are rich in natural resources, and beside that there are cultural resources, those that have been already researched and those that were not”, she said. S.I. Vainshtein’s book about “unknown Tuva” will be greatly savored and appreciated by those that do not know Tuva, as well as those that live there, scholars and scientists.

“The book reads better that a detective novel”, - said the culturologist with rapture, and also suggested that scientific works should be written in an interesting way like this, simply, for people.

Ailana Kalinovna also admitted that she is proud of belonging to the Kuzhuget lineage (Note: she is a first cousin of L.Shoigu and S. Shoigu – Ch.L), who know how to return its cultural treasures to their native country.

The historian N.M. Mollerov called his presentation “Bon voyage, “Mysterious Tuva’!” and also had many warm, beautiful words to say for the road. “In time, this book may become one of the most read books, which propagate science and scholarship,- he said, and agreed with the opinion of K.Bicheldey, predicting that “One day several decades from now, one of major ethnographers will admit that he caught the “ethnography infection” specifically from this book.

The director of MNC “Khoomei”, doctor of art science, Z.K. Kyrgys emphasized that Sevyan Izrailevich was her consultant, teacher (graduate adviser-HJ).

The figure of socio-political professional movement of Tuva during the Soviet times, T.Ch.Norbu, who presented towards the end, also had many memories to share of the Moscow scholar and his family members, especially reminding everybody of the role that his wife, Aleftina Nikiforovna Vainshtein, played, always being supportive of her husband.

Many of those present were lucky in receiving a free copy of the book from the initiator of the project. Most probably, a re-issue will be necessary, because the interest in it is really great.

In the next issue of the journal “The New Research of Tuva”, we will publish fragments from this book in the department “The country of blue rivers”).

[ Translator’s note: This publication follows the publication of the same book in German language version – “Mysterious Tuva – Expeditions into the Heart of Asia” (Geheimnisvolles Tuwa – Expeditionen in das Herz Asiens), in Germany by Alouette-Verlag in 2005.]

Chimiza Lamajaa, Tuva.Asia, translated by Heda Jindrak
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