Galsan Tschinag, whose name in his native Tuvan language is Irgit Shynykbai-oglu Dshurukuwaa, was born in the early forties in Mongolia. From 1962 until 1966 he studied at the University of Leipzig, where he adopted German as his written language. Under an oppressive Communist regime he became a singer, storyteller, and poet in the ancient Tuvan tradition. As chief of all Tuvans, Tschinag led his people, scattered under Communist rule, back in a huge caravan to their original home in the High Altai mountains. Tschinag is the author of more than a dozen books, and his work has been translated into many languages. He lives alternately in the Altai, Ulaanbaatar, and Europe.
This biography was last updated on 08/02/2011.
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Visiting Galsan Tschinag in his Yurt
In 2001, I fell in love with Galsan Tschinags work. My first e-mail reached
him two days before the fall of the Twin Towers, his reply came to me two days after. He
called my hope to translate The Blue Sky one day a small sun, shining from the
West, and sent me a large herd of good spirits. Coming from a practicing shaman,
the wish for good spirits meant a great deal.
Two years later, I met Tschinag when he was in Germany on one of his many reading tours. Immediately he inquired about my family and began sharing the story of his. He spoke of life, death, family, love, and the heart. Before dinner, I learned about his horses, after dinner, about how as a shaman he heals people, even with a life-threatening injury inflicted by a horse. A bit of Mongolia had arrived in Germany. He takes some Altai soil with him wherever he goes.
In 2004, my husband and I went to visit Galsan in Mongolia. From the first moment, we were impressed by the hospitality. His children had been instructed to guide and take care of us. In Ulaanbaatar, they put us on the plane to Ölgiy, where we were met by another son who had spent two days coming down from...
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