GENNADY AYGI.

Some time back I discovered the poetry of Gennady Aygi, a Chuvash who (at the suggestion of Boris Pasternak) began writing in Russian in the late 1950s. His poetry is very strange, not Russian-seeming at all; it was only when I realized that he was more of a French poet who happened to write in Russian (as he says in this excellent interview, when asked if he is a European, “Да, я европеец и – так по судьбе вышло – француз” [Yes, I'm a European and – as fate would have it – a Frenchman]) that I began to get a handle on him. His combination of simple, everyday words into mysterious, allusive stanzas reminds me of one of my favorites, Yves Bonnefoy. So I sent off for a bilingual collection, Selected Poems 1954-94, and today it finally arrived from Amazon. And when I started googling up links for this post, I discovered that he’d died in February; here‘s the Guardian obituary by his friend and translator Peter France:

His friendship with Pasternak, at that time being harassed by the authorities, and his own innovative poetics made him persona non grata in Chuvashia. Even so, the fields and forests of his native land permeate his work, and he remained deeply attached to his ancestral culture, striving to give it a place among the cultures of the world. He translated poetry from many languages into Chuvash and produced an Anthology of Chuvash Poetry (published in English by Forest Books in 1991). Eventually, after the perestroika of the late 1980s, his work was acclaimed in his homeland and he became the Chuvash national poet.
His main home, however, was in Moscow, where in the 1960s he found a much-needed support system among “underground” writers, artists and musicians, who together were discovering the forbidden fruits of western culture. For 10 years he worked at the Mayakovsky Museum, acquiring a deep knowledge of the Russian avant garde of the early 20th century. Modern French poetry (above all Baudelaire) was another essential influence…

I’d love to read that Chuvash anthology; Chuvash is the most divergent of the Turkic languages, and there doesn’t seem to be a whole lot available on it (though there is a 17-volume Словарь чувашского языка = Thesaurus linguae tchuvaschorum [1928-50] by N. I. Ashmarin, not to mention a Chuvash Wikipedia).
At any rate, I agree with Aygi that (pace his translator) he doesn’t write free verse; he says “То, что я делаю, – не верлибр и не свободная поэзия. Она просто без рифм, и поэтому вопрос ритма становится необычайно важным” [What I do isn't vers libre and it isn't free poetry. It's simply unrhymed, and therefore the question of rhythm becomes unusually important]; as Eliot said, “No verse is free for the man who wants to do a good job.” Here‘s a long and interesting interview in English (“The city is a book itself. Not every city, I mean. I went to Paris a while ago. It is a really big book…”), here are a lot of his poems in Russian, and here are eight poems translated by France. I’ll quote a tiny poem from 1994:

это
(быть может)
ветер
клонит – такое легкое
(для смерти)
сердце
éto
(byt’ mózhet)
véter
klónit – takóye lyógkoye
(dlya smérti)
sérdtse

this
(maybe)
is the wind
bending – so light
(for death)
a heart

Comments

  1. Kári Tulinius says:

    Thanks! What a superb poet. The poem you quoted reminded me of Cummings, and I see he wrote a poem “after” him. Yet another reason, I guess, to learn Russian :)

  2. Siganus Sutor says:

    Despite some denial, a lot of people in Western Europe seemed reluctant to let Turkey join the EU partly on the ground that this country was populated by Muslims. Religion wasn’t specifically mentioned most of the time and it was said instead that they belonged to a different culture.
    Here with the Chuvash we have Turkic people that are Christians. If they had been candidates in place of the Turks, would it have been easier for them to “join the club”? Ah… something we’ll probably never know…

  3. Tatyana says:

    Well, you wouldn’t deny the Turkish culture is different from Polish, German or French, would you?
    As to Chuvash (and other Muslim- and non-Muslim nations and small nationalities of Turkic origins) they were accepted, in some cases coerced, into the Russian federation long time ago.
    Why people don’t want to look into the huge lab experiment of the Soviet Union, always puzzles me. It’s been done! Go look what it resulted in!

  4. Siganus Sutor says:

    « Well, you wouldn’t deny the Turkish culture is different from Polish, German or French, would you? »
    Of course not, Tatyana (even though these differences tend to gradually fade away nowadays). Just like I wouldn’t deny that the culture in Greece is not the same as the one in Ireland, both countries having nonetheless been integrated — without coercion, without much ado and without any catastrophic result so far — into the same entity called the European Union. The non-Indo-European Finns, Estonians or Hungarians are now members too and the vast majority of Europeans didn’t think it was such a big deal; even, I would believe, in a culturally very different Sicily, Portugal or French Guyana.
    There may be good reasons to be careful about Turkey’s accession, but some reasons sometimes look a bit far-fetched.
    I don’t really see the parallel that can be drawn between the USSR, authoritarian heir of a Russian empire which grew by force, and this EU club of which some want to become members. It doesn’t look as if there will be a European Chuvashia, a European Georgia, a European Chechnya that will suffer under some bully’s boot. On the contrary, the EU may die one day because of a certain desire to please too many of its sometimes demanding and selfish children.

  5. Tatyana says:

    1st. EU is an authoritarian entity. Often issuing ridiculous dead-tree waste directives to please France (mostly) at the expense of everybody else.
    2nd. Russian Federation brought its Turkic members much more benefits than drew from them, from literacy and demolition of feudal/tribal society to industrialisation and social equality.
    3. And I do hope the cultural differences will not fade away. I, for one, would hate to come to Greece and discover it became Turkey.

  6. Dead tree directives make the EU as authoritarian as the Soviet Union? You don’t have to be nostalgic for the Cold War (I’m not) or a specialist in Eastern Europe (I am) to have that assertion make you spit out your coffee.
    I quote Aygi:
    (sign to Reason — be on guard!
    be yourself) —

  7. What a wonderful term – “dead tree directives”! :o)
    I’m sure my right-wing anti-EU friends will love it.
    That being said, I would like to see you, Tatyana, give me at least one example of a dead tree directive.
    And speaking of which, what exactly does “Eastern Europe” and “Western Europe” mean in English?

  8. Sean, I’m not a specialist on Eastern Europe, I only lived there for half of my life, and I’m not exactly young. (Sorry about your coffee, at least I see you didn’t damage your keyboard). In this case, I’m afraid, years of experience weigh more than years of study.
    May be not AS authoritarian as SU (yet), but certainly coming closer and closer; as socialist and bureaucratic as my former motherland.
    And – forgive me – you’re telling me to be on guard? Is this a threat? Thank you for 5 min of pure merryment.
    *bulbul – I’m sure living in Europe you have more examples of useless EU activities than I do – ask your “right-wing” friends (I think you should drop “-wing” from that description; or switch it to -”minded”). But – I’m sport;
    for instance, look here, or here, or here
    I’m too lazy to look at other sources, but I’m sure with your interest you’ll dig up much more.

  9. So what do we have here? A story on cheeses which are banned in Europe – only, see, even the author admits that they are not. A story on the EU constitution, of which the author of the post is no fan. And finally, oh joy, another bit on the Muhammad cartoon controversy, where the author points out the some flaws of European diplomacy and European diplomats. I admit, it’s much better than the usual banana curvature or condom size story. But still, I have not seen one example of a dead tree directive. If you can come up with one, Tatyana, get back to me – with the CELEX numbers if possible.
    As a translator for the government, I have read and translated hundreds of pages of EU legislation and not once I have seen a piece of legislation I would consider useless. A lot of it was poorly written and illogical, but none useless. I guess you would find a piece of legislation on machinery parts completely useless. The folks at the factory down the road would think otherwise, not the least because it helped find new markets for their products.
    There are a lot of things to criticize about the EU – the bureaucrats, the agricultural policy… But the last thing the EU is is a clone of the Soviet Union. I don’t expect my right-wing friends to know that – they’re IT folk and economists with zero knowledge of history and related stuff. But you should know better.
    And with these words and my profoundest apologies for hijacking this thread, I shall return to my work.

  10. Tatyana,
    I’m new to this blog, and I should have looked first at reactions to your other comments to get a sense of your position in this community. Apologies to all for dignifying her post with spit coffee.

  11. To be honest, I don’t see what Turkey has to do with Chuvashia other than supposed linguistic proximity. Yakuts speak a Turkic language, too, after all. The Chuvash are probably closer in their customs and beliefs to the Ugro-Finnic peoples of the Volga-Kama area, such as the Udmurts, the Mari or the Mordva. (If only we could talk about the mind-boggling syncretism of the rural Mari one day.)
    I have lots of respect for Aygi for choosing to write in Russian. As a Chuvash poet, he would have probably taken a comfortable “ethnic poet” slot in the Soviet literary hierarchy and had no problem earning his daily bread. (My father told me of a lady who, in her younger years, had translated the Communist Manifesto into Chuvash and lived off the royalties to the end.) Instead, Aygi turned into a non-conformist Russian poet with all the well-known implications and complications.
    This said, I don’t find Aygi convincing, impressive or meaningful: he is too vapid and watery to me. On the other hand, I see no traces of tastelessness in his pieces — which means I won’t call them bad. Aygi’s popularity in Europe… why? I bet he seems easy to translate and his minority status may have helped, too.
    BTW, since we’re talking about Aygi, I recommend Vsevolod Nekrasov just for the sake of comparison.

  12. Tatyana says:

    Sean, greasing to “community”? You are new to this blog, so I would bother suggesting you try to learn some manners instead of spitting…and not coffee this time. But, as Vrubel to Shalyapin’s reaction to his painting, I am glad reading this “communal disapproval” outburst of the expert on Eastern Europe: I would be upset if you liked me.
    Alesha, about reasons for Aigi’s popularity in the West – may I suggest his French connection helped, too? In many ways: for instance, as LH noted, to place his work in context of similar poets, and also, on a practical side?
    *bulbul – yes, I see now why you find EU papers useful; sorry, but you’re compromised by your affiliation. If, for example, you were one of those “clueless” economists who are not being paid by the government, I’d give more attention to this opinion.
    Btw, how do you think all those folks down at the machinery factory (about which, with my first engineering diploma and working experience, I feel I know a bit more than you) functioned before this wonderful institution of EU arrived on the scene, with all its’ sage legislature? And how US, Australia, HK, Japan etc etc are still functioning, without priceless EU’ directives?
    Siganus Sutor,
    my original point was not the parallel between political systems/governments of SU and EU. Rather more along your line of comparison: Westernization of the Tutkic nation by including it into Western unity. Chuvashia and her numerous sisters (example – I’ve lived in Udmurtia for 5 years and had enough time to form an opinion) were fortunate to make at least 2-century leap in their developement by being included into Russian Federation economic and cultural circulation. Which, in itself, is/was on a much lower level than Western Europe – bit so is Chuvashia or Bachkiria compared to Turkey. So to see the long-term implications of such inclusion it would be useful to study this example before deciding on Turkey, rather than speculate on what might’ve happened.
    Sorry if I wasn’t clear the first time.

  13. Sean: I wouldn’t call this a community, just a bunch of people who drop by and chat, some more regularly than others. Certainly nobody should feel they have to wait around to learn the rules, of which there are none; I personally prefer an atmosphere of civility, but I don’t delete comments unless they’re really over the top. Tatyana is very touchy about anything that smacks to her of socialism (and with reason, having experienced it herself); she also enjoys a good argument, so she may phrase things more controversially than someone else might. I’m pretty sure she doesn’t think the EU is a Soviet Union in the making, just that it tends in what she considers a socialist direction. I think her main point, about the Westernization of less advanced nationalities, is an interesting one.
    Alexei: Thanks for the Nekrasov recommendation; I’ll have to look into him.

  14. Tat: yes, it could be that, once translated into French, Aygi sounds like a major French poet of his time. Not Bonnefoy, though — I have to demur here.
    “In 1972 he won a prize from the Académie Française for his Chuvash anthology of French poetry,” writes France. But how many people in all of France, indeed all of Europe, are able to appreciate the quality of a Chuvash translation of a French poem? How many people among the Chuvash themselves are? This had nothing to do with Aygi’s Russian output. Rather, it’s a question about the prospects of small, undeveloped languages.

  15. For Tatyana to give lessons in civility does strike me as a bit much. Sean and Bulbul have nothing to apologize for.

  16. I think Tatyan is overstating the “benefits” Russian rule brought to the Turkic peoples of the Russian Empire. First of all one has to discount the over 3 million Kazakhs that died in a state-caused famine in the 1930s. OK, arguably that was a result of Communism and not Russian imperialism.
    I take more exception to Tatyana’s claim that Russian imperialism resulted in the “demolition of feudal/tribal society to industrialisation and social equality.” Unfortunately that is not true for all the Turkic peoples. Feudal tribal society is alive and well in Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan and there’s not a lot of social equality on evidence. Like the British in India the Russians actively encouraged linguistic and tribal differences between related tribes as a “divide and conquer” strategy. “Industrialisation” was superficial and mostly for the benefit of the center – when Russia left Central Asia so did the educated engineers (the old Soviet joke – “the Russians have the golden hands, the Jews have the golden brains, the Uzbeks have the golden teeth)”. What’s left behind is a rapidly decaying education system, rampant corruption, industrial pollution and poverty. Would the Uzbeks and Turkmen been better off if the Russians had never colonized those lands? It’s hard to see how they could be much worse off.

  17. And speaking of which, what exactly does “Eastern Europe” and “Western Europe” mean in English?
    In the folk Geography of Cold-War American grade-school (= state-school) students and 1960′s The Saint reruns, Western Europe is NATO and Eastern Europe is Warsaw Pact. So, Czechoslovakia and Poland are East and Greece and Cyprus are West. (Geodesy does not play any particular part here.) There is no Central, except perhaps Switzerland. Turkey is Europe and West. All of Russia out to Siberia is Eastern Europe. (Some strange direction-of-motion-sensitive topology avoids the evident problem that nearby Japan and China might present.)
    I do not mean to ascribe this exact position to any of the present disputants that might otherwise fit the demographic. No doubt everyone here was a “know-it-all” back then. But in the casual speech of middle-aged Americans and British, in a bar/pub say, I think that’s roughly it.
    I have no direct knowledge, but I sometimes fear that something similar is going on now, where “The Arab World” includes Persians, Turks, Chechens, Bosnians, and for all I know Indonesians. (But not Pakistanis or Bangladeshis, which just shows that these things are never as simple as they seem.) If so, I guess we just wish them a future where that seems as silly as the Europe thing.

  18. At least in America there does seem to be a tendency post-1991 to talk about “Central Europe” and “Eastern Europe”. “Central Europe” is basically the Catholic portion of the old Warsaw pact. “Eastern Europe” is the Orthodox portion – Bulgaria, Rumania, Ukraine, Russia, Belarus. To be honest I’m not sure where the Baltics and ex-Yugoslavia are supposed to fit in although Slovenia seems to be a “Central European” country. The rest of old Yugoslavia and Albania are generally lumped together as “the Balkans” which implicitly keeps them out of Europe all together. And I think Greece is still “Western Europe” despite being Balkan, Orthodox and well to the east of most of Europe.

  19. Tatyana says:

    Vanya, I disagree (naturally), on 2 counts.
    Russian imperialism, as you call it, did not discriminate between nationalities it governed. Russians in Saratov, Uzbeks in Bukhara and Bashkirs in Ufa, all had the same iron fist pressuring them. They had the same opportunities to rise above the limitations. And if anything, underdeveloped minorities had more funds pumped into giving them these opportunities than Republics/peoples with higher level of developement.
    Would Aigi (returning to the post that started this whole quite trivial discussion) had an opportunity to study French poetry if education in Chuvashia remained on the pre-Soviet level? Or even if Chuvashia was left alone and wasn’t included into Russian federation/Soviet Union? I don’t think so.
    Would you say Latvians or Ukrainians received more from Russian Federation than Uzbekistan? I think not. There was incredible money spent to present Uzbeks with Western system of secular education, elementary schools-to Universities where only medreseh(sp?) existed before. So much money on developing their own metallurgical industry. Their own textile factories. Their roads, infrastructure. Same with Tatarstan and Kazakhstan. I know all that from my own family’s experience, not from some textbook.
    It’s not hard to see would Turkmen or, say, Kara-Kalpuks were better off or not if Russians didn’t colonise them – look at Mongolia or Northern China. Successful, prosperous countries, right?
    It’s what they chose to do with all this wealth they were granted (yes, the deficit was in their favor, that’s why I use this word). And speaking of Jews – they/we were in much worse situation; if minorities were blessed with affirmative action’ programs which existed in the Universities and in workplaces in the whole country for the duration of 70+ years, Jews had to jump thru ever-increasing loops to get even in lower-level college. Again, I know it from mine and my family’s own experience. Don’t tell me it didn’t exist.
    So – yeah, you’re right: some have “golden brains”- those who persevere in the most hostile environment (and , btw, often were left without any teeth , least of all, golden) – and some choose the road of nepotism, bribery, tribal coups and bloodshed ( remember Karabakh? Turkmenia in the end on 80′s?)
    That’s exactly what I meant when I said – former SU already performed that tremendously expensive and long-term lab experiment of Westernising undeveloped nationalities – and look at the results. Isn’t it cheaper to learn from someone else’s mistakes than repeat them on your own? So I guess I understand why Europeans hesitate on the issue of including Turkey in the EU.
    Second – you know, that damned British colonialism was really not such a bad thing, for India or Trinidad, or any country where Brits invested their blood, sweat and tears dragging undeveloped societies up.
    The practical results of their management, for some reason, are much better than those of the French or Spanish. Wonder why…Have you given that any thought?

  20. Tatyana says:

    John Emerson, I see you took the words “enjoy my vacation” literally.
    Sheesh.
    Ask your maoist friends to translate and explain this to you :
    Ай Моська, знать она сильна, что лает на слона.

  21. Tatyana,
    You’re arguing past me not with me. Where to even start? I didn’t start calling it Russian Imperialism, that was its official name. You do remember the Tsar-Imperator? Apparently you agree with me that the results of the integration of Turkish Central Asia into European Russia didn’t work out that well, otherwise why are you saying Turkey should not be integrated into the EU? Yet at the same time you’re trying to say it was a good thing that Russia tried to “bring these countries up” even though you seem to admit the results weren’t great. I don’t disagree with you that European Russia transferred massive amounts of capital to those areas, I’m just saying there really isn’t a lot to show for all those years of investment in 2006. And no, as a matter of fact I don’t agree that Northern China or Inner Mongolia are worse off than Turkemenistan, quite the contrary. I lived in Kazakhstan for years – and yes, in Kazakhstan arguably Russian colonization was a benefit, the Russians left behind an oil industry, an infrastructure and a decent education system. But at the cost of millions of deaths, the degradation and near destruction of the Kazakh language, and the creation of a massive cultural divide between “city Kazakhs” and “country Kazakhs” that is still creating political tension. Maybe it was worth it in the long run but it’s certainly debatable. Tatyana, you are an expert at creating strawmen and assuming everyone who disagrees with you on one point must disagree with you on every point. Where did I criticize British colonialism in India? The divide and conquer technique was not exactly a state secret, every good Victorian knew that playing tribes off each other was the only way for a small island to rule an entire subcontinent. Actually I think the British Raj did do a lot of good for India and was better than most Pakistani and Indian governments over the last 50 years. I agree that British colonialism was much better than the French and Spanish sort, it was also better than the Russian sort. No doubt Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan would be much better off today if they’d fallen under British protection in the 19th century rather than Russian.

  22. *vanya,
    I’m glad we agree on some things.
    I apologize if I misunderstood your words “Like the British in India the Russians actively encouraged linguistic and tribal differences between related tribes as a “divide and conquer” strategy” (right after your disapprooval of said Russians) to be a criticism of the British colonial policies. I can’t fathom how else this sentence could be construed, though. Blame it on me being unused to academic sophistry.
    Speaking of strawmen erection: where did I say I’m against the acceptance of Turkey in the EU? All I said (again), that it would be more efficient if instead of speculating on possible scenarios there would be some effort of studying the existing experience on example of adaptation of Turkic nationalities into Russian Federation.
    Not related to the topic at hand, but since you touched on it: division between “city Kazakhs” and the “country Kazakhs” is not entirely attributable to the policies without. I would say it’s more universal phenomenon, no matter what nationality is involved, and is rooted in natural progression in course of industrialization.
    I can answer to all your other points, but the thread, I’m afraid, is already went too far from the original post.
    Where, if you don’t mind me asking, did you live in Kazakhstan? Me-in the Eastern Kazakhstan, on Irtysh (or rather – Bukhtarma), and in Ust’-Kamenogorsk.
    And , of course, I can’t very well claim that I remember Tzar-Imperator. But thanks for the laugh.

  23. Tatyana,
    I lived in Alma-ata and Chimkent. I’ve been to Ust a few times and actually had a decent time there. Especially when coming from Chimkent Ust always seemed fairly green and pleasant.
    I still don’t think my original post was quite as critical of British colonial policy as you seemed to take it. My basic point was that feudal and tribal divisions were not eradicated (either in India or Central Asia or Africa) but were consciously exaggerrated by colonial rulers, which seems to me to be a simple fact. Whether you construe that as a positive or negative development is up to you but it seems to me difficult to argue that the opposite took place.
    I apologize for misconstruing your position on Turkey. I do agree with you that the EU as an entity does more harm than good and assumed that on that basis you would be opposed to expanding the monster to even more countries.

  24. It makes me so proud to hear words pleasing about Aihi, my compatriot and most awe-inspiring and exciting poet born to Chuvash and world literatue. Though most of his most appreciated poetry is written in and translated from Russian, verses in Chuvash is what enchants and fascinates me. The sound is so soft, the light is so suttle, the music of it is so agreeable – I drown so helplessly in it and fall in despair and dismay but so satisfied!!! cuz I JUST LOVE IT.
    Here is a verse in Chuvash:
    Nikam tuti, nikam cĕlhi te
    Man pek kalajmĕ san jatna, —
    şemşe te tikĕs, vitĕr-vitĕr
    tasa sassem tupsa kăna —
    tutan kashni huskanăvne te
    pĕr tikĕs shutarsa pyrsa,
    cĕlhe-şăvarăn ăsshine te
    pĕr sivĕtse, pĕr ăshătsa —
    ep kalajatăp şak jata…
    Şapla, ten, sukkăr şyn tata:
    căr-căr cĕvĕltetü iltse,
    jurlană kajăka kurashshăn,
    un pü-sine, tĕsne pĕlse,
    sas hăvatne ănlanajasshăn
    tutisene huskatkalat’…
    Ep tĕlĕk vitĕr turtănatăp, —
    ănran kajsa păshăltatatăp —
    ham ta sismesĕreh — şapla.
    Mĕnpur üt-pĕvĕm yratni te,
    Pur huskanu ta man — jăltah —
    Văl — san jatna cĕr syvlăsh vitĕr
    Tupsa păshăltatma ancah!..
    1957
    Nee`gum tu`dee, nee`gum chel`hee deh
    Man `bek ka`laime zan yat`na, —
    Shem`zhe de `deeges, `veeder-`veeder
    ta`za za`ssem tup`sa ka`na —
    too`dan kash`nee huskanav`ne de
    pĕr `deegĕs shudar`za pir`za,
    chel`he-sha`varan eshshee`ne de
    pĕr zivĕt`se, pĕr ăzhăt`sa —
    ep kala`yadăp şhak ja`da…
    Şap`la, den, `sukkăr zhin ta`da:
    chăr-`jăr cĕvĕlde`dew ilt`se,
    yur`lană gayă`ga kou`rashăn,
    un bü-zhi`ne, tĕs`ne bĕl`ze,
    sas hăvat`ne ănlana`yashăn
    tudize`ne huskatka`lat’…
    Ep tĕlĕk `veedĕr turdă`nadăp, —
    ăn`ran kai`za păzhălda`dadăp —
    ham ‘da zismezĕ`reh — şhap`la.
    Mĕn`boor üt-`pevĕm irat`nee de,
    Pur huska`nu da man — yăl`dah —
    Văl — `zan yat`na cher `syvlăsh `veedĕr
    Tup`sa păzhăltat`ma un`jah!..
    1957
    Noone’s lips, noone’s tongue
    Won’t be able to pronounce your name like mine, —
    With only soft and smooth, lucent
    and pure sounds made out —
    Every move of lips
    Being articulated solely glossy,
    The warmth of mouth every now and then
    cooled or heated —
    I say this name…
    So, might be, a blind person does
    When hearing a vibrant whistle,
    Wishes to see the bird that sings it
    To know it’s form and color,
    To conceive the power of its voice,
    Motions his lips…
    I reach through a dream,
    losing conscious I whisper,
    not sensing myself – so.
    The pain all over my body,
    All of my agitation – all -
    It’s — having found your name through live air
    To pronounce it!..
    1957

  25. And on Russian policy of opressing minorities. I don’t agree. The situation has been that the Chuvash language is dying and the nation will soon vanish as we are only able to identify ourselves in the past, the future of the Chuvash blurred and uncertain. We now can’t even elect our President, he’s appointed by the Kremlin. And no one will ever be able to stand up against it like they did throughout XVII-XIX centuries, in the early XXth century, and in the time of collapse of the Soviet Union. And in Shupashkar (Cheboksary) the capital of the Chuvash Republic things are even worse for the Chuvash for the authorities are corrupt and act as if pro but actually contra Chuvash language, culture, identiy.

  26. Victor Vakar says:

    So far, the Chuvash could find themselves more comfortable out of Chuvashia.

  27. Thanks for the Chuvash poems, Victor!

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