The modern Tyva Republic is situated in Eastern-Siberian Russia. It neighbors of Khakassia, Buryatia and Altay Republics, as well as Krasnoyarsky Kray and Irkutskaya Oblast. To the Southeast, Tyva borders on Mongolia. According to Rosstat (Russian state statistical agency), in 2015, Tuvan population was 313.7 thousand people, having slightly more women than men. The urban population was 169.2 thousand people, with the rest living in rural localities.

Despite the fact that the Tuvans live an ordinary modern life like most Russians, there are still yurts and camps across the Republic. There are hundreds of herds and flocks. The people continue to support the ancient shamanic traditions while sometimes simultaneously being of Buddhist or ancestor worshipping confessions. It is a part of the spiritual life of the Tuvans, to combine traditions, and for an outsider these ideas may be somewhat exotic, but in fact, they create a unique atmosphere of unity, respect for the elders and love for a diversity of minor folk beliefs.

Tyva is a whole world with people speaking their language and respecting customs and traditions, where the weather is kind and the music melodic. Despite the endless list of unique facts about Tuva, it is worth highlighting three things that the republic is famous for:

    • Tuvan Throat Singing. . Despite the fact that from time immemorial the throat singing was supported and spread by the peoples of Siberia: Mongols, Kazakhs, Altaians, Buryats and many others, the Tuvan style differs from the rest by the having a unique fundamental technique (horektaer) and with independent substructures— kargyraakhoomeisygytsengileerborbannadyyr. This style of Tuvan music is known all over the world.  Every year, practitioners and fans of Tuvan music gather during an August festival called Ustu-Khuree.
      (The Wikipedia page on Throat-Singing is actually pretty informative)
    • Tuvan Shamanism. One of the oldest religions in Siberia and the world, Tuvan Shamanism dates back as far as the bronze age, and even the Neolithic period. Shamanism peacefully neighbours with Tuvan Buddhism, and both religions are in demand in Tuva, working together. Today, Tuvan shamans arouse keen interest among many connoisseurs of unique cultures. Tuva is undeniably a spiritually strong place. Residents believe that the soul of Tuva and the world is in the mountains, lakes and rivers. After death, the spirit can influence the life of relatives. Shamans are able to communicate with spirits and can foresee troubles and sometimes solve them, interacting with those who are dead. Some Shamans claim they are able to suggest how to life in order to maximise prosperity, have a good summer and even bring about the right conditions for crops. For thousands of years, shamans have been and still remain a very important part of the spirituality of Tyva. Usually shamans live in isolation, but interact with visitors as spiritual beacons. In the early years of the Soviet period, under the atheist zeitgeist of the time, peaking during the Stalin’s rule, Shamanism faced criticism and repression, but later recovered in a rejuvenated form. Today in Tuva, there are about 700 practising Shamans. We recommend watching the detailed analysis by Mark Podrabinek about the ritual of communication with the spirits, consulting with famous shaman Lazo Mongush.
    • Beautiful Siberian nature. Mountains, mountains, mountains, steppes, taiga, rivers and lakes. In combination with clean air and secluded areas, the nature of Tuva makes it possible to truly meditate effortlessly and enjoy true peace and quiet. To realise the magic and power of Tuva, it is necessary to go to spend a few days surrounded by an endless maze of mountains, under the duvet of a clear blue sky and on mattresses of taiga slopes.

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We invite you to think of our website as an ambassador from the far-off land of Tyva, ready to tell you all about how you can travel around the republic, live in it, explore it and fall in love with it.

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Written by airamo