Austria: Kalmyk Evening
By Elisabeth Cook, FFWPU Austria
On February 28th UPF Austria hosted a cultural event which was initiated by an association for cultural dialogue and cultural heritage of Eurasian indigenous peoples, KultEurasia.
One of this groups are the Kalmyks, a Mongolian tribe which is located near the Caspian See in Russia. They are the only group within the European borders whose language is Mongolian and whose religion is the Tibetan Buddhism. They have been keeping their Buddhist traditions to this day.
The president of the association KultEurasis, Mrs. Daniela Lieberwirth introduced the activities of her organisation, and the Kalmyk cultural scientist Chingis Azydov introduced us to the geography, history and culture of Kalmykia. He also presented two short movies which showed how deeply Kalmykia’s culture and its people are rooted in the Tibetan Buddhist traditions, which had been revitalized after the fall of communism.
Finally, Mr. Azydov performed traditional Kalmyk songs, accompanied by his friends, an Austrian and a Romanian musician.
On this evening more than 100 guests could learn more about the ethnic minority group of the Kalmyks. At the same time they could connect to UPF and its activities.