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Bembya Fedorov, Three Legends About Kalmyk Tea

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Okonova, Altana 
Churyumov, Anton 


Legend One. Kalmyk tea is a present from gods to the Kalmyk people. In the past, the Kalmyks drank kumis, cow milk and spring water only. One day god in the form of an old man descended on earth. When he entered a Kalmyk yurt, he saw a young bride cooking lunch. The old man offered to make Kalmyk tea. Every one in the family liked the new drink. Since then the Kalmyks make this tea and offer the first cup of fresh tea to gods. Legend Two. Upon his arrival in China from Tibet, Bodhidharma spent nine years meditating. One day while meditating he fell asleep. To prevent this from happening again he cut off his eye lids and threw them on the ground where they turned into black leaves. The lama made a miraculous tea from these leaves. When the Oirats added salt and milk, it turned into Kalmyk tea. Legend Three. In the past, the ancestors of the Kalmyks noticed that sheep that fed on grass in a certain place became more active and quickly returned home. This grass was tea. The shepherds decided to drop the tea grass into boiling water, add salt, milk, butter, and nutmeg. The freshly boiled tea was as pink as the colour of dawn. It had an exquisite taste to it as well.



beverages, tea, legends, gods

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Sponsored by Arcadia Fund, a charitable fund of Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin.