With average temperatures of -30C. at this time of year, we can hardly wait for next summer! With donations made during the winter, village volunteers will continue with the construction of the cultural center in Tyungur Village that will not only provide training in sustainable livelihoods to indigenous villagers from all over Altai, but it will also accommodate and inform the large numbers of tourists that trek from Tyungur to sacred Mt. Belukha every summer -- enriching the tourists' experience while incubating village businesses.
We are so grateful for your support with this project, which is well leveraged to enable the Altai people to recover their traditional livelihoods, which were forbidden during the Communist era.
For a couple of years, we (and you) have been providing support for a promising group of young Altai leaders who are dedicated to serving their communities (and the world) through the tradition of "throat-singing."
Throat-singing is not, primarily entertainment. Rather, it serves two fundamentally necessary purposes within Altai culture. First, throat-singers are the carriers of Altai history. They do not memorize these histories, but rather, in a way that is found in many indigenous cultures globally, they are able to tune into the subtle cultural "mind-space" and directly download images of the events into their compatriots' minds' eye. Second, throat-singing is a direct healing modality, literally smoothing disease through the harmonic vibrations of sound.
The Indigenous Central Asian cultures that were oppressed under Communism are now valiantly recovering their traditions, part of which are the rigorous training of their throat-singers. Thus we are extremely pleased to convey that the young adults we have been supporting have been judged the very best of this new generation, receiving top honors both individually and as a group at a recent regional event.
We thank you for your continued support, and refer you to our website at www.AltaiMir.org for further information.
Thank you for your support of our indigenous youth leadership exchanges.
Generally, the local indigenous Altai people keep their distance from their many sacred mountains. However, in the past decade, they have been regularly tapped as guides and horsemen for Russian and foreign tourists, so the local youth are interested in having their own exciting adventures to add to evening story-telling.
As we plan the 2011 International Altai Expedition, we are inviting participation by local youth. Your donations facilitate their participation.