Monday, June 8, 2009

To the grazing land of the Kalmyk

The Kalmyk is originally the Mongolian people,who migrated from the western Europe and settled themselves in the lower Volga region. Elista is the capital state of Republic of Kalmyk, a 6 hours ride from Volgograd City.

The 4 hours ride was mainly on the vast grass lands of the Kalmyk, which is inhibited by the grazing sheep, cattle, horses, and other domestics.It was quite boring on the bus..we Malaysians slept trough out the journey (the Malaysian way)..while the Russians listened attentively to the tour guide telling about flora and fauna inhabiting the grasslands...*yawn*
I didn't sleep much nor listening to the guide..i camwhored with Iphone..and the effect came out like THIS! Melvin said i should post this..

The Russians sat at the upper front of the bus, we the medical students at the back..some were snoring throughout the journey...

Managed to capture the grassland from the moving bus with my N78..hmm..impressing effect..thumbs up.

another one..senget a little..

The scenery was spectacular, and we stopped by the border between the Volgograd Oblast and the Kalmyk Oblast.

The statue symbolises the Kalmyk livestock and their relation with the Russian Federation.

After 4 hours ride, we reached our 1st spot. It was this old orthodox church that was built by the hands of the villagers who inhabited the village.
The Church was constructed by few generations and now it stands proudly in the middle of this small village, serving the devotees. 

The icon was painted by hands, they are formulaic,easy, has religious depiction and following a prescribed methodology for how a particular person should be depicted but not to express art.

Icons are often illuminated by a candle or oil lamp. (Beeswax for candles and olive oil for lamps are preferred because they are natural and burn cleanly.) Besides the practical purpose of making icons visible in an otherwise dark church, both candles and oil lamps symbolise the Light of the World, who is Christ. Women should cover their mane inside the church.

the nave of the orthodox church

This is the church. On my right is our teacher-cum-tour guide for us, the Malaysian medical students (only).

saw a rock outside the church and posed..heee..

Then, another 2 hours ride.The bus driver stopped by an RR (gee....just like the RR in north-south highway in Malaysia) and we tried out the Kalmyk chai with butter. It tasted just like teh tarik with salt.

....and here we reached Elista, a very Eco friendly, sedentary and peaceful city..once blessed by the Holiness 14th Dalai Lama, who chose the city for the construction the Golden Buddhist Temple.

The Tibetian Buddhist Temple. The Kalymyk has a great influence from the lamaism, where the Kalmyks regard His Holiness the Dalai Lama as their spiritual leader.

Windy place.

Bells beside the temple.

The Golden Temple, the biggest buddhist temple in Eastern Europe.

Another angle of the temple

Then, we visited another place where people worship.There was a big bell and the worshipper will show their respectful deity for the gods by chanting and rotating the bell clock-wise.

Junior Kalmykian devotee.

Lucky tree nearby the bell.

There was a chess park just right in front of the bell...a spot for family outing.

To the east of the town lies the Olympic village of the 1998 XXXIII Chess Olympiad, known locally as "City-Chess". Geee....Kalmykian must be very good at chess...hmmm...
I'm clueless about the instigation of this project by the city president because the City Chess looks more like a white elephant to me rather than a usual residential area..But it was fun for candid shot.woots.

Museum of chess and art gallery at City Chess.

Outside the museum.Melvin and a sculpture and a car park sign.cute

Your's truely.

My friends spot this tiny elephant miniature.

Picture of the Holiness of the 14th Dalai Lama at Chess City. 

This visit to the land of the Kalymyk has thought me more about the multiracial aspect of Russia.  Despite the pastoral commune lifestyle, the kalmyk steppe is independant from the admistration of Russia. They rule their own way, their own system, yet never loose their semi-rural charm.

Bus leaving the grazing land....


ps:how to make the underline dissappear??kacau only......

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