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ARCHIVE - Passport Control 1-41 - MEDIAWAVE Art Workshops :: PASSPORT CONTROL 3 - Altai & Novosibirsk (Russia), 2007 :: 5 September, ALTAI

5 September, ALTAI
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The photos on this page were taken by Péter Szabó, a teacher of PASSPORT CONTROL Workshop.
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Jenő Hartyándi:
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We had to get through several cols travelling on a road which got worse and worse to the native village of Artjom. Here it turned out, that we missed a real Altaic wedding ceremony, thus he got married just a few days before, as the poplar branches tided on the two gate-posts and the top of the ail still manifested it. Artjom’s mother, who had just arrived home from the pasture, told us that we also missed a sheep-killing. However even in these conditions we were served tasty local specialities for lunch, such as marrow – and strawbery jam, a meal made of mushroom and the usual delicious tea with milk. Soon her sister arrived, who studied Turkology in the university.
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Artjom proved to be a first prize for us and for our film not only because he was a wonderful singer and musician, but he could tell us a lot about the songs, the history of his village, his peoples, the believes of the local people and about the special way they sing using their throats. He spoke not only in Russian, but in his language. As the Altaic language is a part of the Turk languages, common, thus familiar words were told time to time, like szakál (beard), alma (apple), etc, and it turned out that they call the Russians the same way as we do: ‘oroszok’.
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Having finished shooting around his house, Artjom advised us to climb up on a rock to a cave, which was the home of the guarding spirit of the village. The cave was situated almost at the top of the rock, with a really tiny entrance, through which you could go through the whole mountain, to the other side of it. As the fire in a bigger room of the cave and the sheep droppings evidenced it, this place was used by the shepherds as well.
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Continuing our trip to the inner lands of the Altaic region, our guides showed us a „stone doll”, which is a common religious symbol from the ancient times in the Central-Asian regions. Although we should have shot a lot of editing and atmosphere pictures, our guides didn’t want to stop for at least 50 kms, as the villages there were really dangerous.
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It was sunset, when we stopped at a pub for a pillmenyi. The waitress of the inn was so classical, as she hated us so much. I’m sure if we had travelled here earlier, during the Soviet Union, she would have even casted us out of here. On the walls of this pub left from the classical times of the Soviet Union, there was a poster of the Swiss Alpes, which made the place more ridiculous. A picture of the Alpes in the Altaic region, which is more beautiful on any scales than Switzerland…
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We arrived home after midnight. Our poor driver really suffered during the last 50 kms. The lady with our dinner was waiting for us, and for demonstraing in how privileged situation we were, we could eat our meals in the kitchen, where only the driver had had permission to go in formerly. The last night in the Russian steam bath we only washed ourselves and had a look at the place in case I can make use of it in building a Russian steam bath in Ravazd.
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