Tuvans in PRC live in Altay prefecture, northern Xinjiang. Considered part of Uriankhai tribes, in China classified as same group with Oirat Mongols, educated in Mongolian language, using Kazakh language too.
They speak native dialects in their homes/family. Basically a transborder identity group, divided between modern Russian Tuva, Mongolia and China. Main group lives in three Tuvan villages: Hemu (Kom), Ak Haba, Kanas.
Pretty typical for Xinjiang, Tuvans have own cuisine but mix it with other culinary traditions. E.g. Hui, Uyghur, Chinese. They used to be hunters but hunting and carrying guns prohibited now. Traditionally horse herders, less sheep herding.
Also reside in few other smaller villages and cities such as Burqin, Altay, Bethun. Self name varies: Monchak, Gok-Monchak, Altay Tuvasy, Tyva. Around 2500 ppl (maybe diff. now, I take data from research 2010-2017).
Altay also populated by nearly all other ethnicities of Xinjiang: Han, Hui, Kyrgyz, Uyghur, Uzbek, Manchu, Russians. Some Altay clan-families assimilated with Tuvans in early XX century, now also considered "Mongol" to fit into "56 nationalities" classification.
Tuvans (Uriankhai) in China are obvs. relatives of Tuvans in Tuva Republic, now Russia. Chinese Altay is their nomadic motherland, now there are more settlers than nomads. Used to migrate around a much wider area. Lots of common Buddhist culture tropes.
Mountainous Tuvans live in wooden buildings, themselves claiming to learn wooden construction "from the Russians". Does look like Russian-influenced architecture. Self-name Monchak prolly name of one of the clans at first, eventually spread on all local Tuvans.
Originally shamanism and animism as their beliefs, now rapidly modernizing community. The last active shaman reported to have passed away in 2001. But animism somewhat persists to this day, in the form of certain rituals.
Hemu and Kanas lake are now major tourist destinations, locals usually profit from that in the summer season by renting their ethnic houses to XJ businessmen or tourists. The government has been boosting tourism in the area in the last decade.
There are some concerns over too rapid modernisation of these previously rather isolated people, but also an unexpected boost in their ethnic culture and even self-ifentification due to tourism & activity in the area. Language still a barrier for business & employment.
Much more modern roads & infrastructure around Altay built recently, more tourists, more Tuvans learning mandarin and (slowly) integrating into wider Chinese society. Many parents prefer kids to learn mandarin rather Mongolian or Kazakh, for economic opportunities.
Huge areas in Altay are declared national reserves not long ago, to preserve clean air, local mountains and lakes as an "untouched authentic life" corner. It works: the area is incredibly beautiful.
The tourism brought money to the locals, but also sometimes overwhelming number of tourists at times. The authorities even compensated the locals in Hemu, Kanas by 4000-6000 RMB "tourist visit fee", dunno if it's still a policy.
Chinese Tuvans have access to Russian Tuvan websites since the web appeared, so recent ~20 years influenced by Tuvan culture from the Republic of Tuva, esp. music from Tuva (and RU Altay).

Plenty of Russian and Kazakh language
borrowed words in their everyday speech.
The local Tuvan community quite well researched by both Chinese and Russian-Tuvan scholars (including on the field), I'm taking info from Russian sources and what I've seen on the ground visiting Altay in 2018. Especially grateful to the work of Zhanna M. Yusha.
Russian Tuvan and Mongolian researchers are relatively unbiased. Unlike Russian Empire in the XIX century, today's Russia isn't interested in Chinese territories, researchers often do their study based on ethnic solidarity and interest. No silly "ethnic genocide" thesis, lol.

In Chinese:
They remind me of my native Karelia: using own dialects mostly at home, no proper written language, identity diasporic/transborder. Natural linguistic and cultural assimilation. Living in wild and snowy Taiga, a "clean air-natural reserves-touristy destination".
"Fun" fact: ethnonim Uriankhai has inspired Tolkien's "Uruk-hai" in LOTR. Tolkien described "Ork hordes" using images of Tuvans & Mongols, also "Ork language" reminds of Turkic steppe languages. An obvious racist description of Orks in LOTR, look it up.
p.s. materials in RU. There are more, but what's the point sharing if noone here speaks/ reads Russian. Just an example:



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12 Jan
Watched it, thanx for the link! It's def. loosely based on Belyayev's novel. I know HK & Japanese cinema fairly well, but not mainland movies, so appreciate your threads Dylan.

The movie's slow and bizarre. 80s sound effects and all.
"Professor Dowell's Head" was a table book for many sci-fi lovers in the USSR, maybe not his most popular novel though. I think Amphibian Man was. So this film was a nice treat, as I was a sci-fi fan during the sci-fi craze in early 90s in post-USSR, & interested in Asian cinema.
Belyayev's one of the most popular sci-fi writers in USSR/Russia, along with Ivan Yefremov and few others. Amphibian Man was a very popular romantic film shot in 1961 in the USSR, with a starlet Anastasia Vertinskaya & a Soviet idol Vladimir Korenev.

Read 7 tweets
11 Jan
Lol, i'm from the former SU, too. Lustration didn't happen because Yeltsin didn't want it. People were CHANTING "Lustration!" to him in 1992 during one of his speeches.

Yeltsin knew the system was one and lustration is inpossible. It could ruin the RF.

DUMB take, no less.
The lustration was impossible snd would be absurd, as power transfer was by and for the people who were themselves ex-soviet elite, very much one with the KGB.

They couldn't lustrate big part of themselves. It ain't no Eastern Germany for you. Couldn't absorb itself.
The take in the comments about "Yeltsin era was an American experiment" is even more absurd. Putin was promoted to Yeltsin by Berezovsky, Yeltsin accepted him as his successor.
Read 6 tweets
10 Jan
Not necessarily endorsing RT but take a look at this documentary :

Similar documentary by Vice is on YT too, but Vice are idiots so not sharing the link.

Only partial success of emancipation in CA countries in early USSR time. But, the countries now enjoy independence and for sure, are developing more in their own pace.
It'll come, women's rights and all. Every country probably will fit into one or another version of modernised, more fair-play culture. But differently.
Read 4 tweets
10 Jan
China watchers & think tankies keep on obsessing over dull (in a western view) language on recent "baby making machines" Tweet. From absolutely dumb misunderstanding to vile spinning of what is said in original headlines and articles on women's emancipation in XJ.
It can be the agony of their "Uyghur genocide" narrative failure, or schizophrenic white burden, or unwilling to understand China's a different mindset. Or all of it together.

At this point they don't seem to offer anything than obsessing over a phrase, taken out of context.
I'm educated (and lived) in both Western European and post Soviet environments, so I know exactly why they either spin it or misunderstand it, or both.

Most of them won't even get further than "we are always right, because we are" mindset.
Read 5 tweets
8 Jan
"Peasant woman! Begin to fight for your rights, trampled into the ground!"

Soviet propaganda plackard from Uzbekistan, then Uzbek USSR, 1927.

Whether people in the West like it or not, socialist countries had their own version of modernization, which includes emancipation.
Was women emancipation by the Soviets forced, in some instances? Sure. Was it eventually successful? Partially.

Was it the same as Western "missionary" complex? Not really, as it had nothing to do with religion.
It had mistakenly assumed that religion is evil though, which was it's mistake.

But this way or another, modernity kicked in and stayed.
Read 9 tweets
8 Jan
Lol, of course it is not investigative journalism.

"Investigative journalism" is a couple of SJWs from Vice, parachuting in XJ for a day and making an untruthful, sensationalist "documentary" about XJ, claiming they were "followed everywhere", lol. That's journalism alright.
Or maybe Aspi's satellite imagery "investigators" is a good example of investigative journalism? Hahah. Yeah.

Then, I guess extrapoliting leaked data from one XJ village on all XJ is good journalism?
I'll take accounts of visitors and guests of XJ like myself, telling truth over "investigative journalism".
Read 4 tweets

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