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Oriental Collection № 2/2012

Восточная коллекция № 2, 2012 (49)

East Timor, a photo essay by Svetlana Sysoeva, opens the second issue of 2012.

Ethnographic Diary is the title of our authors’ selection of articles and sketches that describe the ethnical reality of world’s different regions. This is Anna Bychkova who travelled to Indian state of Nagaland where many traditions of old times are still alive («Nagaland without Headhunters»); Viktor Krivonogov who visited the settlements of aeta, the negritos of Philippines, formerly the hunters and the collectors, and now the farmers («Aeta Who Came from the Jungle»); Zilya Davletshina who presents the white felt, nearly animated personality of the mythology and the festival culture of Bashkir people («White Felt»); Svetlana Sysoeva who tells the story of a businesswoman of East Timor that stands firm defending her right for independence from everything and everybody («Rita da Cruz from Dili, the Owner of Her Destiny»). These materials published in our magazine which are created as a result of immediate observations are «the best confirmation that the ethnography is still alive and the subject of its study — diverse cultures of the peoples of the world — nowhere disappeared and is still far away from the globalization», — as thinks professor Natalia Zhukovskaya, Editorial Board member, Oriental Collection.

Another selection of materials is also dedicated to an interesting subject. The magazine publishes for the first time in Russian the Rudyard Kipling’s story «Concerning Lucia» in translation of Igor Alcheev. The reason to write this story was a young woman’s tombstone inscription seen by Kipling in a British cemetery in Calcutta. Aleksandr Poleshchuk’s historical and literary comment notes that the story is full of realities of late 19th century. The streets and the city’s notable sites existed (or even still exist) in reality. This permitted Svetlana Ryzhakova, the author of the sketch «Walks through an Old British Cemetery in Calcutta» to be plunged into the epoch of British East India Company, throw her look into the past, which meanwhile is not divided from the present by any impassable wall.

Maria Toropygina. Following the Brush... The article is dedicated to the work of medieval Japanese poet Kamo-no Chomei. The fragments of this poet’s creation «Untitled Notes» are published in the translation of article’s author.

Olga Khizhnyak. Gathering of Enlightened Ones among the World Trees and the Heaven Lakes. In the State Museum of the History of Religion, Saint Petersburg, there was an exhibition «Buddhist Cosmos» where, along with artifacts of traditional Buddhist art, were presented the works of contemporary artist Elena Zonkhoeva. Her original works in different techniques are based on Buddhist icons’ profound feeling and acquaintance with their essence and style. The article is illustrated with numerous reproductions of E. Zonkhoeva’s creations.

Elena Voytishek, Altangarag Bordzhigid. «Floating on the Curved Water Goblet». This article continues the series of magazine’s publications connected with the culture of games of Eastern Asia. The article’s authors were lucky to watch one of the ancient Chinese intellectual amusements — «Feast by the curved water». The participants of this ceremonial competition show their knowledge of classical texts, their talents in calligraphy and verse composing.

Andrey Strelkov. Millenial Journey of Lanja Script. The author regards the history of appearance and spreading of the alphabetic-syllabic script Lanja being used in the design of Buddhist books, the decoration of temples and stupas. In a Buddhist monastery in the place of Tsugol, Buryatia, the article’s author had a success to find one of the examples of Lanja script using in temple decoration and even to decipher the inscription.

Andrey Shugaev. Messages from Djibouti. New article of our permanent author who is the collector of postcards. This time the subject of his attention is the postcards from Djibouti. Among them there are two messages sent by Russian travellers from this small East African state to their relatives. The article is provided with the fragments of memoirs of Russian travellers who visited Djibouti.

Viktor Pogadaev. A Jungle Island by the Capital’s Walls. Near the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur there is the Templer Park. It was created thanks to the perseverance of Sir Gerald Templer, British High Commissioner in Malaya in 50s, but now it goes through hard times.

Aleksandr Meshcheryakov. The Japanese Longevity. «For the longtime the caring about the health is an integral part of the style of life in Japan», — writes the article’s author. «One who neglects hygienic norms and advices of doctors is treated as a strange exception from the common rule». Such conviction is formed among Japanese people in deep antiquity when the Confucian sages proclaimed the human body to be gifted by the Heaven and the Earth, received by the father and the mother, and to die before time is disrespectfully for them.

Katerina Karavaeva. Jakarta. Girl. Behind the Wheel. The notes of our compatriot who worked in Indonesia and has a rich experience in driving a car on crowded streets of Jakarta.

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