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Nina Koksunova, Parental Advice

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Terbish, Baasanjav 
Churyumova, Elvira 


Nina is a teacher of the Kalmyk language at a secondary school in Khar-Buluk. In this video she talks about what parents teach their children: Children should be taught from a very young age. Parents should serve as an example to their children. I believe that the mother's milk nourishes children in the same way as the father’s advice helps the children grow into proper human beings. My father Badma Ulanov was a very educated man who spoke the Kalmyk language well. He educated us from our childhood. We grew up listening to his proverbs: ‘A person has relatives and a fur coat has a collar’ (people should respect their relatives), ‘Relatives are not a burden, carrying sand is a burden’ (people should revere and listen to their relatives). My father's sister lived with us and he always respectfully addressed her as ‘my sister’. He taught us, his children, how to show respect to elders. Whenever his relatives fell ill, my father paid them a visit. My father was an active man. He got up early in the morning, did the household chores, and had a break only after he had finished all the work. We, the sisters, also cleaned the house, our brothers grazed the cattle, cleaned the cattle hut, and only after that we could play. In the evening we locked our cattle in the hut. Our father taught us how to milk a cow and help the host when we were visiting others. There is a saying ‘If you raise cattle, your mouth will be in oil’ (if you have livestock you will be always fed) and ‘If one’s arms and legs work, his/her mouth will chew (hardworking people never go hungry)’. We were 4 siblings: 2 boys and 2 girls. Now we all have our families and remember our father’s instructions. Customs and traditions should be taught inside the family. In our family we always celebrated Tsagan Sar and Zul. At the end of the video Nina recalls how they celebrated these two national holidays in her family.




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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