October 15, 2018

IBT has translated and published three more books of the Old Testament in the Kalmyk language – Job, Ecclesiastes and Song of Songs.

The Kalmyk people migrated from northwest China to the European part of Russia (the northwest corner of the Caspian Sea) in the early 17th century. Their language is closely related to Mongolian. They are traditionally nomadic cattle-herders, and are the westernmost ethnic group that practices Buddhism as their traditional religion. According to the 2010 census of the Russian Federation, there are more than 180,000 ethnic Kalmyks, with about  80,000 of them still speaking their native language.

February 18, 2016

One of IBT’s newest publications is an illustrated edition of Bible Stories in the Kalmyk language. This is a collection of 58 short narratives taken from both the Old and New Testaments, beginning with Creation and ending with Revelation. It is a significantly revised and shortened form of the Children’s Bible, which IBT published in Kalmyk in 1998. Even though Kalmyk is an endangered language (only 44% of the ethnic Kalmyk population can speak their language), there has been a serious revitalization movement in progress among the Kalmyks over the past decade. One of the  multitalented young activists in this movement who is working to strengthen her mother tongue is Elistina Shinyakaeva...

November 2012 Newsletter on the Kalmyk project

The Kalmyks are famous for their Kalmyk tea, a very special drink with cream, salt and spices, but no sugar. You drink a cup of this tea for breakfast and you do not have to eat any food till lunch time. They boast of their keen eyesight and good teeth thanks to this sugarless diet. The Kalmyks are the only Buddhist people in the whole of Europe, so they should be, and actually are, contemplative in comparison to other Europeans. They have deservedly earned their reputation as calm and peaceful people, who are never in a hurry. They have also earned their reputation as an intellectual nation because they have adopted chess as their national game and it is being taught even to little children from the first years of schooling...

The Kalmyks number about 200,000. They live in the Republic of Kalmykia in southern Russia. The Kalmyk language belongs to the Mongolian language family. The Kalmyks are Buddhists.