June 2012 Newslatter on the Crimean Tatar project

It was an ordinary working day in our IBT office. Two translation teams had come to Moscow for consultations. For both teams it was the final stage of their work. Both Bibles are already fully translated. In one case the Bible is almost ready to be submitted to the publication department, and the last technical details are being discussed. In another case the team is working with the third and fourth drafts of different Bible books. I was intrigued by the similarity of these two situations and I wondered how the translators representing two great people groups, one from the Caucasus and one from the Crimea, feel after their tremendous work.

April 2012 Newsletter on the Tatar project

The Tatar project is a very special one, for the Tatars are the second largest ethnic group of the Russian Federation after the Russians. This is no wonder, for the histories of the two peoples are deeply intertwined and in the course of the centuries the two cultures have interpenetrated each other profoundly. The Mongol-Tatar invasion of Rus’ in 1237 and their subsequent domination of it (the so called Yoke, which lasted till 1480) was a great blow to this young Slavic Christian culture and changed the course of Russian history for ever. The Mongol-Tatars of that period were pagan tribes of different origins and thus they assimilated the customs and traditions of conquered peoples rather easily, but in 1262 the Golden Horde announced its adoption of Islam...

January 2012 Newsletter on the Nenets project

“The choom is made of reindeer skins and covered with tarpaulin, so it is really warm inside even when it is very cold outside. You should take your tame deer always with you into the choom, otherwise they go completely crazy because of the mosquitoes”, - this is how Tatiana Lar, the translator in our Nenets project and a world famous singer of national Nenets songs and epics, starts her story.

November 2011 Newsletter on the Kurdish (Kurmanji) project

The Kurds are probably the largest nation in the world without a state. They live scattered in many countries, but this life dispersed through alien and often hostile surroundings makes them cling even more strongly to their historical roots and cultural identity. In the course of the centuries the majority of Kurds have become Muslim, yet there are also Kurdish Yezidis, who follow a mixture of faiths including elements of Zoroastrianism, Islam, Christianity and ancient paganism. This syncretistic religion dates back to a Sufi Sheikh who founded it in Iraq in the Middle Ages. The Yezidi cult focuses on sun worship and gives much space to the worship of angels with the spirit of evil among them. Kurds living in Russia are for the most part Yezidis...