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For all, who are interested in the Orient

Восточная коллекция № 2, 2008 (33)

Sikkim, a picture story by Tatyana Kudryavtseva, opens this issue as our “Impressions” section.

Year of Russia in India

Valentin Osipov. Enculturation into India. The article contains a review of works by Russian writers, which introduced India to the 19th century readers.

Natalya Bolsokhoeva. Meetings in Madhuban. A small town of Kalimpong at the foot of Kangchenjunga hosts quite a few monasteries, which belong to various schools of Tibetan Mahayana Buddhism. Many prominent researchers have lived and worked here, including Yuri Roerich. Up till now the scientists, writers, Buddhist thinkers keep coming to this place.

Writings

Tatyana Isachenko. The Alexander Romance in Russian Tradition. For many centuries, the fabulous novel History of Alexander the Great have wandered in Asia and Europe; it underwent numerous translations, and became a source for other literary works. Since the 12th century, this work became for Russian readers the main source of information about the King of Macedonia, who reached the “end of the world”. Our magazine presents one of the early versions of the Alexander Romance in Russian.

Aleksandr Khokhlov. Petr Kozlov: I Am Happy to Work Again in the Cherished Land. The author turns to the person and works of Petr Kozlov, an outstanding Russian traveler. The unpublished archive documents throw new light on the circumstances and details of Kozlov’s expedition to Mongolia and Tibet in 1908.

The Land of Orient

Yulia Boltach. The Day of Lighting the Lanterns. All countries with Buddhist population widely celebrate the birthday of Buddha, the founder of the first of three world religions. In the Republic of Korea this day is a public holiday.

Konstantin Panchenko. Around Lake Van. The author, who journeyed the hinterland of Turkey, focuses of the remains of various civilizations in Eastern Anatolia. The steles of Urartu inscribed in cuneiform, sculptures of Old Turks, unknown bas-reliefs from Hakkiari, Armenian temples – all this leaves a breath-taking impression.

Nikolay Listopadov. In Search of Eternal Youth. The author’s first-hand experience proves that Myanmar has the unique symbiosis of the worship of nats (spirits of animistic pantheon), fancy for astrology, palmistry, and divination. Without the mystic component of such cults, there is a chance that Buddhism in that country might not survive.

Elena Katasonova. Animemania. Japan already became an admitted leader in the production of animated films. Today, anime is the national brand of the country, one of the main trends of its cultural diplomacy. One of the reasons for the success of this mass culture product is the careful adherence to national traditions.

Viktor Solkin. Sacred Erotic of Ancient Egypt. The opinion that the culture of Ancient Egypt was far from sensuality, is not true. Many of the extant images contain undisguised eroticism. The Egyptians believed that sexuality was the main driving force of the development of the Universe.

Andrey Strelkov. The Man Who Went Away to Shambhala. The life of Longdol Lama (b. 1719), who combined the persons of a scientist-encyclopaedist and yogin-siddhi, his biography and later reincarnations have for long since been the interest of the author. On another journey to Tibet, he found the ancient remote monastery with the yogic hermitage of Longdol Lama.

Aleksandr Mescheryakov. The Voiceless Triumph. In Japan, suicide as the way of solving the problems of life had deep historical roots. The authorities of totalitarian Japan in the time of the 2nd World War actively used the dauntless courage of the Japanese in the face of death, and channelled it into the direction, needed for the state. The author proves his point by a great number of real stories.

Asya Petrichenko. Rhythms of Distant Tambourins. The Nanay people, who live in the Khabarovsk Territory of Russia, are successors to the old and original culture. The national ornament of the Nanays, which had magical meaning, had taken shape, in particular, in the art of paper cutting.

Olga Al Kattan. In the Cauldron of Lebanese Cuisine. The traditions of Lebanese cuisine are the traditions of the very life in Lebanon, writes the author of this essay. In the country, where Moslems, Christians, Druses, Palestinian refugees and Arab sheikhs are found side by side, the cuisine is similar to one great cauldron with thick Oriental potage.

Songs and Colours of Nouruz. The traditional Iranian new year holiday celebrated in the Oriental Centre, Russian State Library.

The traditional “Orientnet” column features a list of Web sites that contain various materials related to Egyptian pyramids.

Please e-mail your wishes, suggestions and comments to the following address: orientnet@rsl.ru.

You can find the summaries of the previous issues online, by visiting our section of the Russian State Library Web-site: http://orient.rsl.ru/eng/
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