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электронный журнал "Новые исследования Тувы"

FEYNMAN’S 100TH BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION IN TUVA

FEYNMAN’S 100TH BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION IN TUVATHE CENTENARY OF AMERICAN PHYSICIST RICHARD FEYNMAN’S BIRTH IS BEING CELEBRATED AT THE CENTER OF ASIA MONUMENT IN KYZYL, TUVA, RUSSIAN FEDERATION.

Participants include Tuvan throat singers, shamans, stone carvers, and Ralph Leighton

Tuvan Musicians perform with a Feynman diagram sculpture in front of the Center of Asia monument in Kyzyl, Tuva Republic, Russian Federation on the eve of Richard Feynman’s 100th birthday.

Photo by Ian Leighton

Celebrations are underway to honor the American physicist Richard P. Feynman’s 100th birthday along the banks of the Yenisei River in Tuva, a Siberian republic now in the Russian Federation, which Feynman tried to reach at the height of the Cold War. Participants include virtuoso performers of Tuva’s signature art form khoomei, in which a soloist can sing two or more notes at once, and Ralph Leighton, author of Tuva or Bust! Richard Feynman’s Last Journey. A shamanic prayer chanted by the late Kongar-ool Ondar, co-star of the Oscar-nominated feature documentary Genghis Blues, will top off the celebration at the Center of Asia monument in Kyzyl.

FEYNMAN’S 100TH BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION IN TUVADina Oyun, Mayor of Kyzyl, has declared May 11 "Richard Feynman Day.”

George Gonzalez (center) and Orlan Sat (left), carving a Feynman diagram into a rock face in Tuva

Photo by Ralph Leighton

Master stonemason George Gonzalez, assisted by Tuvan artist Orlan Sat, has carved a signature Feynman Diagram in a rock face near the Valley of the Kings in Tuva. Their work was blessed in a shamanic ceremony by representatives of the Tuvan Ministry of Culture. It will be dedicated on Feynman’s centenary, May 11.

On May 11–12 a symposium on related topics sponsored by Tuvan State University will coincide with a program at Caltech.

FEYNMAN’S 100TH BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION IN TUVARichard Feynman in the 1980s

Photo by Yasushi Ohnuki

Richard Feynman (11 May 1918 – 15 February 1988) has been described as "the most captivating communicator in the history of science.Bill Gates called him "the best teacher I never had.” Feynman worked on the Manhattan Project in World War II, was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1965, and was a key member of the Space Shuttle Challenger commission in 1986. His landmark Feynman Lectures on Physics have been named as one of the most influential works of the 20th century.

Near the end of his life, Feynman embarked on decade-long quest to reach the lost land of Tannu Tuva — a land that fired his boyhood imagination with its exciting triangular stamps depicting scenes of nomads in a South Siberian Shangri-La.

A Tuvan stamp from the 1930s

Image courtesy of Alan Leighton

He and his friend Ralph Leighton spent years battling Soviet secrecy and bureaucracy in a quixotic attempt to reach the land of his childhood dreams. Their quest intensified when they learned of the Center of Asia monument in Kyzyl, which became their holy grail. They cooked up all sorts of schemes, the most audacious of which brought the largest archaeological and ethnographic exhibition ever to go from the Soviet Union to the United States. Under this plan Feynman and Leighton, as museum officials, would visit the site of Scythian tombs in Tuva. They were promised an invitation — which arrived only weeks after Feynman died of abdominal cancer in 1988.

Contact: Ralph Leighton +1 707 879-8882 ralphleighton@gmail.com

Video footage available Link 1 – Link 2 – bit.ly/feynmanTuva100

Video list and credits below

Resources and links

Tuva or Bust! Richard Feynman’s Last Journey, by Ralph Leighton;

Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman! and What Do YOU Care What Other People Think?, Feynman’s bestselling "adventures of a curious character.”

Media List

  1. FeynmanTuva100_Carving_OvaaMedia
    1. Credit: Ovaa Media
    2. 0:00 – 0:09 George Gonzalez carving a Feynman diagram near the Valley of the Kings near Kyzyl, Tuva, Russian Federation
    3. 0:10 – 0:15 Orlan Sat assisting George Gonzalez
    4. 0:16 – 0:28 George Gonzalez narrating carving techniques
    5. 0:29 – 0:56 Ralph Leighton speaking about carving a Feynman diagram with George Gonzalez standing next to him
  2. FeynmanTuva100_CelebrationDiagram_OvaaMedia
    1. Credit: Ovaa Media
    2. Ralph Leighton, friend of Richard Feynman (left) and Checheck Adygbay, daughter of Ondar Daryma (right), who corresponded with Richard Feynman, light a pyrotechnic Feynman diagram sculpture in front of the Center of Asia monument in Kyzyl, Tuva Republic, Russian Federation.
  3. FeynmanTuva100_CelebrationMusicians_OvaaMedia
    1. Credit: Ovaa Media
    2. Musicians perform to celebrate Richard Feynman’s 100th Birthday in front of the Center of Asia monument in Kyzyl, Tuva Republic, Russian Federation.
  4. FeynmanTuva100_CelebrationShaman_OvaaMedia
    1. Credit: Ovaa Media
    2. A shaman dances behind a Feynman diagram sculpture in front of the Center of Asia monument in Kyzyl, Tuva Republic, Russian Federation
  5. FeynmanTuva100_Report_OvaaMedia
    1. Credit: Ovaa Media
    2. Journalists from Tuva report on the Feynman diagram stone carving and the declaration of May 11 as Feynman Day by Kyzyl’s mayor.
    3. see information for FeynmanTuva100_Carving_OvaaMedia
  6. FeynmanTuva100_Celebration1_IanLeighton
    1. Credit: Ian Leighton
    2. A shaman dances behind a Feynman diagram sculpture in front of the Center of Asia monument in Kyzyl, Tuva Republic, Russian Federation
  7. FeynmanTuva100_Celebration2_IanLeighton
    1. Credit: Ian Leighton
    2. Ralph Leighton, friend of Richard Feynman (left) and Checheck Adygbay, daughter of Ondar Daryma (right), who corresponded with Richard Feynman, light a pyrotechnic Feynman diagram sculpture in front of the Center of Asia monument in Kyzyl, Tuva Republic, Russian Federation.
  8. FeynmanTuva100_Celebration3_IanLeighton
    1. Credit: Ian Leighton
    2. Musicians perform to celebrate Richard Feynman’s 100th Birthday in front of the Center of Asia monument in Kyzyl, Tuva Republic, Russian Federation.
  9. FeynmanTuva100_Celebration4_IanLeighton
    1. Credit: Ian Leighton
    2. Musicians perform to celebrate Richard Feynman’s 100th Birthday in front of the Center of Asia monument in Kyzyl, Tuva Republic, Russian Federation.

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Event announces

1) 30.10.2019: Opening of the 51th concert season of Tuvan National dance and sing ensemble 'Sayany' (National Drama theatre named after Victor Kok-ool, Kyzyl, Tuva)

2) 04.11.2019: All-Russian Festival of Unity (Russia)

3) 24.11.2019: Children's Eurovision-2019 with Russia represented by duet of Denberel Oorzhak (Tuva) and Tatiana Mezhentseva (Moscow) (Gliwice, Poland)

4) 01.12.2019: 'United Russi' party's birthday. Electorate meetings with their deputies at all levels to be held (Russia)

5) 12.12.2019: The Day of the Russian Constitution (Russia)

6) 01.01.2020: Happy New Year

7) 01.01.2020: Famous Tuvan ston-carver Donduk Toibukhaa's birthday (Kyzyl, Tuva)

8) 07.01.2020: Happy Christmas

9) 19.01.2020: Baptism. Epiphany bathings (Russia)

10) 25.01.2020: Shagaa, new year according to Buddist calendar (Tuva)

all dates



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