Under the dome of night sky studded densely with stars, in the calmness of sleeping nature stands a yurt, which seems silver in the moonlight. From its flue like a beard of a gray-haired man the smoke comes slowly in the hugs of darkness. Almost ghastly silence around, sometimes broken by horse snoring, dog growling, kettle breathing, jingle of merrily running spring heard at the moments of night wind silence and a whistle of mysterious night bird… In the yurt next to the fire old Tuvinian is sitting, whose swarthy face seems bronze He is slowly drinking tasty tea with milk from piala, decorated with queer patterns. Next to him a boy is sitting and listening carefully to a long fairy-tale, and his thoughts go far behind, to the past or the future, where he sees wise and strong epic heroes – maadiry – on their horses, who fearlessly fight powers of darkness. Time will pass, and in the same way under the night sky gray-haired old man, whose thoughts used to go to the far-away times, will tell his stories to his grandchildren…
Tuvinian culture is amazingly rich, diverse and indigenous.
Many people come to Tuva and find themselves in completely different world and different reality, where time and innovations are not powerful over life. They are surprised by the extent to which Tuvinian nation preserved its traditions until nowadays, its indigenous culture shows in everything: in hospitality, behavior, ways of life, mentality, in music and dance culture, art and everyday life. They all get captured forever by it.
in the XXI century you can see in every district of Tuva horses, ships, cows who posture freely in indefinite spaces; yurts which look like scattered pearls on the flower mat, women and girls who milk cows and make dairy and young men riding horses and singing guttural songs. Come to any yurt and you will be greeted. Just remember simple structure of the a yurt: it is divided in two sides – right and lefts, i.e. women and men side. Guests have to go to the left side of yurt. Friendly hosts will pour you fragrant green tea with milk, serve you traditional food consisting mostly of dairy and meat, ask you questions about your homeland, deeds and life. Don’t forget to ask your friendly hosts about their health, relatives, grandchildren, deeds and kettle, about the last winter, did they go through it smoothly or not so much. This kind of hospitality comes from centuries ago from one generation to the other.
The same way as a thousand years ago Tuvinians come together and consecrate mountains, cradles of rivers, arjaans – curative springs; honor holy places, build ovaa – piles of stones, and ask for prosperity for themselves and their relatives. Don’t forget to take pieces of fabric with you, because almost everywhere you will meet holy places, trees where you can bind these pieces up – chalama – and make a wish.
Tuva is attractive with its rich historic and cultural heritage as well as preserved ethnic culture which you will remember for the rest of your life.