Thoughts from Kongar-ol Ondar

  • Tuva is so isolated from the world. We Tuvans, there are just a few of us in a small nationality. We live in such a beautiful place because our wise ancestors fought for and protected our land for us, we are the heirs of their wisdom and their struggle. Because of our ancestors’ strong character and wisdom, they saved the land for us. It’s a place so alive and rich with life, animals, fruits, Because of that we will continue to protect our land, our culture, our people, our history.
  • In winter we are -40 degrees. Summer we have heat, some times it’s so hot from -40 to 40 centigrade. and we live and protect the land of our ancestors, be it -40 or 40. We will stay here. We can be proud of our people for sports, culture, the arts, our people have been around the world to show our stuff.
  • Sports are horse racing, wrestling, and archery. One wrestler from Tuva was in the Olympics. It’s because our knowledge of wrestling permeated our land as it is our national sport. It pits man against man. Horse racing is important. We Tuvans say without horses there is no life. We get excited upon seeing a horse. We have 40 km races. Tuvan horses since ancient times could run very long distances because of our tough climate and varied geography.
  • Genghis Khan is our history. Genghis Khan’s right hand man, his commander in chief was a Tuvan, Uranttai Subadei Maadyr. He was the head and of course he also was the leaders of the Uranttais. In history. everywhere it is said that Uranttais were the fiercest — where Genghis Khan’s army could not penetrate a fortress, the Uranttais came and captured it. We’re a forest people, tough, and hard working from Taiga (animal-herding tough people live there). Weak people cannot survive the forest.
  • If people live in friendship then peace will prevail and life becomes good for one and all. More than happiness people don’t need anything.  Our friendship (with the U.S.) began with Feynman and Leighton, and from our nation, Daryma Ondar, and we welcomed the friendship and we uphold it. With Paul, I play music.
  • In the U.S. there are many good things for people, plumbing, roads, TV, store full of things, whatever one wants. We don’t have such luxury in Tuva. We have problems finding goods and when we find it it’s too expensive. Things go to waste here in America. Here everything is for the taking.
  • I want to pass on what I know. My purpose in life now is to teach children in school. I’m tired of showing myself off. I want to pass on the tradition of our ancestors. Children show what they know maybe they don’t have the ability to hide their weaknesses like adults.
  • When one has friends, his life will be full and interesting. One hundred friends are worth more than one hundred rubles. If one does one’s own work to the fullest he will be rewarded. I have been well rewarded. I have many great friends and I hope people do the same. Be true to your dreams so their lives will be full.

Master throat singer from the Republic of Tuva