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Culture and art

Art in Buryatia

Buryatia - the space of impressions

 Buryatia is an amazing region where East and West cultures, religions and worldviews intertwine. All of this is reflected in the cultural space of the region, thereby creating a unique space of impressions. A person arriving in Buryatia can experience a wide range of emotions and learn many new and interesting things.

 Museums of Buryatia

Museums of Buryatia have many unique and diverse exhibits. Among the exclusive ones are exhibits of the Hun era, nomadic tribes that inhabited the steppes of Central Asia at the end of the 3rd century BC The National Museum of Buryatia is the custodian of the main archaeological finds related to the Hunnic culture through its formative stage.

 Another unique exhibit of the National Museum of Buryatia is the Atlas of Tibetan Medicine, a unique set of illustrations for the medical treatise of the 17th century Chzhud-shi, by which generations of Tibetan physicians studied. A set of 76 sheets describes the basics of clinical medicine, methods of diagnosis and treatment. However, this exhibit is interesting not only to historians and physicians, but also to art historians, as it is a monument to Tibetan art.

 Undoubtedly, the visual art of Buryatia makes a vivid impression. During the year, in the Art Museum, along with a permanent exhibition, new exhibitions of painting, sculpture and graphics open. No one is left indifferent by the work of Zhamso Radnaev, Alla Tsybikova,  Zorikto Dorzhieva, and Dashi Namdakova. Artists do not so much reconstruct the picture of the nomadic world as they really experience it, relying on their own emotional and everyday experience. Nomads mastered the vast world of the steppe as their home. Each phenomenon of nature for them was interconnected with another and embodied the whole universe. Nomadic civilization is born constant movement. The change of places, the thirst for the new gave man the ability to understand the ever-changing language of the universe.

 Theaters of Buryatia

Buryatia impresses with its active theater life. The Buryat State Academic Opera and Ballet Theater named after the People's Artist of the USSR G. Tsydynzhapov has always been the calling card of the republic. This is the pride of Buryatia. It still remains the most oriental theater of classical music in Russia and is a national treasure of Buryatia and all of Russia. It is symbolic that the theater appeared in a city that grew up at the confluence of two Selenga and Uda rivers. Also by the merger of two powerful cultural streams - the pan-European musical heritage and original national creativity, a unique theater appeared in the republic. Over the decades of its creative history, this theater has become one of the most important centers of Russian and European musical culture in the vast space from the Urals to the Pacific Ocean.

 Those who like bizarre combinations of national, theatrical traditions and European drama should visit the Buryat State Academic Drama Theater named after Khotsa Namsarayev.

 If guests of Buryatia wish to plunge into the comfortable atmosphere of a traditional theater with a classical Russian drama school, then a pleasant evening can be spent in the hall of the luxurious Russian State Theatre named after Nikolai Bestuzhev. The repertoire of the theater includes classical and modern plays of Russian and foreign drama.

 If you are with children, we recommend going to the Puppet theatre «Ulger», whose artists play their performances at any possible venue, if it a theater stage or an open-air museum. Made from horns and catfishes, from skins and poles, the performance “Under the Eternal Light of Kumalan” will make an unforgettable impression on young viewers and their parents. This is an authentic symbolic theater, in which three poles can turn either into a boat, or into a tent, or into a nest. Dolls live their simple reindeer herding life under the supervision of people who could be mistaken for good or even evil spirits... It has won the highest theatrical award of Russia - the Golden Mask.

 Another famous theater of the republic, known in many countries of the world is the Buryat State National Theater of Song and Dance “Baikal”. In the work of this unique group are songs and dances of Buryats and other peoples living in the republic, as well as dances of the peoples of Asia. “Baikal” shows the beauty and originality of ancient songs and dances, costumes and ornaments, while preserving folklore in its original form and, at the same time, creating new forms and means of artistic expression. The theater demonstrates the development of traditions of folklore and modern Buryat pop art.

 Festival seasons in Buryatia

Autumn in Ulan-Ude is the time of theater festivals.Inter-regional festival of performances for children and adolescents “Siberian Cat” replaces the international festival of national theaters “Altanserge”. In November, the International Festival of Fashion of the Mongols of the world “TorgonZam”(Silk Road) traditionally takes place in Buryatia.The purpose of this festival is to revive the popularity of national clothing among Buryats, to convey information about the healing and sacral significance of seasonal, working, festive clothing, symbols of women's and men's jewelry, aesthetics and artistic significance of the color palette of the traditional costume.The clothing of any nation is an expression of its idea of beauty and harmony. The festival "TorgonZam" shows not only traditional clothing, but also the evolution of the national costume in the context of the modern world. Fashion designers from China, Mongolia, Buryatia, Tuva and Kalmykia represent the most diverse models of clothing of all Mongolian peoples of Central Asia from the time of the empire of Genghis Khan to the 21st century, and show trends in fashion development based on national traditions. This is the brightest fashion show in Buryatia.

 A unique art form - throat singing –can amaze people with its mystical reproduction. Not surprisingly, throat singers are popular all over the world. The throat singing school and the throat art festivals have been initiated by the Ministry of Culture, the Republican Center for Folk Art since 2002 and have since become traditional. Masters of throat singing come to Buryatia from Mongolia, China and other regions of our country - Tuva, Altai and Khakassia.

 The winter festival season opens with the Baikal Christmas Festival. It takes place from December 25 to January, from the Catholic Christmas to the Orthodox Christmas and right up to the New Year's celebration “in the Julian calendar”.The festival promotes the world classical musical heritage and invites soloists of the opera stage and performers of academic symphonic music from other regions of Russia to participate. This festival takes place in winter so that when a person comes to winter Baikal, he can enjoy wonderful music that is comfortable for him, especially since during this period of time it may seem even more fabulous, even more magnificent.

 Further, the series of winter impressions continues the traditional holiday of Sagaalgan - the holiday of the White month, or the New Year according to the lunar calendar, the main holiday of the Buryats. It is believed that in the end of winter - the beginning of spring, a new eastern year begins with a new moon. The meeting of the New Year does not begin at midnight, but early in the morning, on the first day of the New Year. Be sure to prepare a festive feast of white milk products, as the white color symbolizes well-being, purity of thoughts, health, and prosperity. During Sagaalgan, various competitions are held in Buryatia, the purpose of which is to preserve and promote the traditional Buryat culture. Among the guests of the republic, the Baatar-Dangina contest is very popular, in which girls and boys compete in the knowledge of folk customs and traditions, demonstrate their ability to sing and dance. During Sagalgaan, you can visit the exhibitions of Buryat traditional and artistic craftsmen, the “Holiday of the Buuz” and the pop song festival “Stars of the White Month”.

 Festival summer of Buryatia

One of the most common summer holidays of Mongolian peoples is Surkharban. He is called “Eringurbannaadan” (Three games of husbands). Once a year at the beginning of summer, when the rivers are opening, the grass turning green, the young growing up, cattle putting on weight, the Buryats, the Mongols, the Yakuts, and the Evenks from ancient times conducted special ritual games praising the awakening of nature. The main moments of the holiday were competitions in three sports: archery, wrestling and horse racing.

 Currently, Surkharban is a combination of traditions and new forms of culture. It has become a celebration of sport and glorification of a waking nature. The festival is annually held in all regions of the republic, after which it takes place in Ulan-Ude at the Central Stadium, where many thousands of participants and spectators gather. This is a fascinating sight. In addition to traditional kinds of competitions, games, performances of folklore ensembles are held here. Surkharban is one of the most interesting folk holidays of Buryatia, attracting tourists.

 On the days of the celebration of Trinity Sunday, in June, the Interregional Festival of Folklore of Old Believers' Art Groups “Distribute, Korogod!” is held in Buryatia. Folk family choirs and ensembles from regions of the republic, as well as guests from other regions of Russia and foreign countries, groups working in a genuine folk manner, preserving the singing culture of the Old Believers take part in it. UNESCO has included the singing culture of the Old Believers of Transbaikalia in the list of intangible world masterpieces. At the festival, you can get acquainted with the folk traditions and rituals of families, visit the homes of Old Believers, museums, churches, exhibitions of decorative and applied arts and folk art crafts.

 Every year the traditional ethnic festival “Night of the Yohor” takes place. Incendiary Buryat folk dance became a symbol of the preservation of age-old traditions, goodness and unity. The festival takes place in the midst of summer and each time becomes one of the highlights of the cultural life of Buryatia. The festival attracts the attention of guests and residents of the capital primarily for its national color, entertainment and dance skills of the participants. The festival is based on competition between the best folklore groups of Buryatia, each of which represents its own, unique version of folk dance performance. The culmination of the festival becomes the grand-yohor when all the participants of the festival and the audience join into a single round dance. When shoulder to shoulder, tightly holding hands, strangers stand in a large circle, they get amazing impressions and those feelings that are so lacking today - a feeling of unity, kindness, joy.

 In July, the International Music Festival “Voice of nomads. Baikal-Buryatia” takes place. The festival is open to experiments in the field of worldmusic and welcomes new original ideas based on folklore and folk music.The idea of the festival is based on the idea of nomadic culture as a symbol of movement and freedom. Voice of the Nomads festival forms a new communication space, a new dimension, at the crossroads of urban culture and national traditions.The geography of participants is expanding every year. During the five-year history of the festival, many groups from Buryatia, Mongolia and China, as well as famous musicians from other regions of Russia and foreign countries, such as the group “Huun Huur Tu” and the ensemble “Hartaga” (Tyva), ethno-house band “ Daha Braha (Ukraine), one of Asia’s prominent vocalists Urn Chakhar-Tugchi, Norwegian group “Ajagas”, american folk singer Nina Nastasya, the Japanese band “Okidub Ainuband”, a gypsy orchestra from Antwerp, and even David Brown and the group “Brazzaville”( USA), Scandinavian group “Valravn” (Denmark), balkans ethno-electronics group “Kottarashky” (Bulgaria) and singer-legend Nadmit.

 People come to Buryatia for the energy of impressions, that which can be seen here cannot be seen anywhere in Russia. In Buryatia, a symbiosis of European and Eastern style of life and worldview takes place; it is invariably reflected in the art and culture of the republic, which makes it unique in the global space.