Exhibition ‘Kalmyks - a Buddhist nation in Europe’
Research on the language and culture of the Kalmyk people has a history of over 200 years at Göttingen University. During the second half of the 18th century many Kalmyk manuscripts and prints, as well as ethnographic objects were sent to Göttingen by one of her earliest alumnus, Georg Thomas von Asch, who later became a high ranking officer in the service of Catherine the Great in Russia. In this exhibition ‘Kalmyks – a Buddhist nation in Europe’ we present objects from this unique collection as well as photos and texts commemorating the more recent life of a Mongolian nation on the banks of the river Volga.
The history and culture of the Kalmyks is presented in five parts, illustrating the close interaction of Mongolian with European history. The different subjects of this exhibition cover the historic place of the Kalmyk, as well as their role as objects in European zoos towards the turn from the 19th to the early 20th century and the personal experience of a Kalmyk family deported by Stalin in 1943 to Siberia leading towards the present situation in Kalmykia.
The exhibition illustrates the role of the Kalmyk and Kalmyk literature in connection with the Moravian mission station Sarepta amongst the Kalmyk initiating Mongolian studies in Germany and especially at the University of Göttingen.