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Poet G.Mend-Ooyo's presentation for the opening ceremony of The 3rd Uralic-Altay PEN solidarity network Conference

Ural-Altay PEN Solidarity Network | 20 June 2011

Ulaanbaatar/Höshöö Tsaidam, Mongolia 02-08 July 2011

The 3rd Uralic-Altay PEN solidarity network Conference On Literary Translation and linguistic issue in the region

(Past, present and future)

Organizers: Uyghur Pen & Mongolian Academy of Culture and Poetry

Working languages: Uyghur, Mongolian, English Coordinating Organizations: International PEN office-London, Ural-Altay PEN solidarity network Center’s

Ladies and gentlemen, my dear writer friends,

I am deeply grateful that you all chose to hold the third Ural-Altai PEN solidarity network Congress in Mongolia. We have spent the past days discussing literary translation from, and linguistic questions concerning, the Ural-Altaic languages and I am also deeply grateful for the trust you have placed in me to organise this gathering.

I am pleased to acknowledge the great contribution made by Hori Takeaki, the International Secretary of PEN International, the President of Uighur Kaiser ÖzHun, the President of Korean PEN Lee Gil Won, and the President of the Central Asian PEN Dalmira Tilepbergenova and all our friends in making this a most successful congress.

Today we are flying speedily towards our future. I am keenly aware that, the further we move towards this future, the further forward we lead our traditions, there will be some things which are valuable to us which are left behind amid the dusts of time. It would seem that this congress would safeguard the traces of Central Asian nomadic culture, which brought forth the roots of the Uralic and Altain languages in the current historical cycle, and would travel deep into the land and heritage of the Mongolian people and into their customs and literary arts. You, our welcome and honored guests, have travelled through our history, and have rought this congress to order in the Orhon Valley, and in the city of Harhorin, and in the saltmarshes at Höshöö Tsaidam.

The recent research which has been carried out on history and cultural linguistics, and the ideas and theories which have come from this researh have without doubt been profitable. It is especially wonderful for those of us involved with literature and the written arts to journey through the languages of previous times.

Mongolia today is in a period of transition. It is putting considerable effort into travelling the paths of advanced nations, the paths of the free market, and the paths of mining and urban construction. As it travels these paths, it is abandoning the nomadic culture and all that is of value to its people, which was created during pervious eras of history. This is very disturbing for people like me.

What makes Mongolian nomadic culture special is that it has preserved the artefacts of human civilisation, as well as Mother Earth, and that it illumines the sensitivity and thoughts of future human civilisations, manifest in the clarity of the broad skies and the plants and the trees. That is to say that we will be able to find, in the future nomadic cultural heritage, humanity’s natural way, of living as part of the natural world.

Mother Earth is saddened today. We are everywhere confronted by natural disasters, water is contaminated and poioned, there are inundations and storms, earthquakes, and epidemics. All of this is the consequence of the abuse of Mother Nature, of the greed of mining, and of development, chemical industry and the mistreatment of food and produce.

As with other countries, ine last few years, Mongolia has begun to turn away from the land. The earth has expressed its annoyance with society through the recent earthquake in Japan. Recently, the grief among our Inner Mongol brothers and sisters has clearly shown the disagreements regarding the land. We are sensitive to these young people’s distress about the land. Many years ago, my friend, the late poet O.Dashbalbar was well aware of the chllenges to come, and wrote about “the battle for our land.” Nowadays, society must not only move away from nuclear power, it must also move away from mining. Ethical government should establish the purity o the natural world.

One of the aspects of changing our hearts and our thoughts is the problem of language. Today, the lexicon of every people is growing poorer, notwithstanding the disappearance of many languages. Language is the thoughts and the heritage and the very entity of the world. If languegs becomes poorer, civilisation will die out. Writers are the masters of language, they shouldn’t struggle against language. Language creates its own sphere of imaginative power. We should extract from our treasury of language, and not from the treasury of gold and silver and diamonds, which is the earth’s womb, and the important thing now is to enrich the coffers of society and of civilisation. The scholars and writers whose work is the languages and linguistic richness of the Uralic and ltaic region will call, in the future, for the preservation of humanity’s coffers, taking not from the earth but from language and from culture. I trust that the Ural-Altai PEN solidarity network Congress will at this time take the first step in addressing such vital concerns.

Let’s shed more light on the shadowy side of human soul by magical, sensitive and great energy of Poetry.


President of the Mongolian
Academy of Culture and Poetry


Tel/Fax: 976-11-331208

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