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Anna Shurguchinova, Maria Mudzhikova, A Well Wish to the Person Who Made the Tea

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Terbish, Baasanjav 


This is Anna’s story: During matsg odr, a fasting day, Buddhist practitioners take a vow not to eat meat, eggs or fish, as well as not to consume alcohol and other intoxicators. In the old days, when food was simple, practitioners would eat only flat bread or bortsg and drink tea. According to the Buddhist tradition, people who cook food for practitioners can also acquire spiritual merit. In the Kalmyk Buddhist practice special well wishes (yoryal) could be created by lay people as well. Such well-wishes compare food providers with ‘the givers of the Buddhist teachings’ (oglgin ezn). Buddhist practitioners reciprocated for food by uttering well-wishes to the cooks, thus sharing spiritual merit. In this video, Anna thanks the host by saying the following well wish: ‘May my dear niece live a long and fulfilling life. May she be healthy and free of suffering. May she not be afflicted by a cough or flu, or by unhappiness. May all Buddhas and Tsagan Aav, who is the master of land, protect her. May they look after her!’ Maria wishes happiness and prosperity to the host.



Tea, well wish

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Kalmyk Cultural Heritage Documentation Project, University of Cambridge

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