Voices from Russia

Thursday, 17 November 2016

Climate Change: 80,000 Reindeer Starve to Death as Arctic Sea Ice Retreats

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In 2006 and 2013, tens of thousands of reindeer died because of global warming caused by human-influenced climate change in the polar regions of Russia. If similar meteorological effects take place this year, Russia’s reindeer industry will face catastrophe. Reindeer, Russia’s cattle of the Arctic regions, suffered terrible losses in 2006 and 2013, as thick ice covered snow due to effects of global warming. Over 80,000 animals died during the period, a repeat could be a tragedy for the 270,000-animal population. In the autumn of 2006 and 2013, sea ice began to melt instead of building up as it normally does at that time of the year, leading to a high level of water evaporation, forming large storm systems over the shore. Then, winds moved the clouds south, where indigenous herders were moving their reindeer. According to Bruce Forbes at the University of Lapland (Rovaniemi FINLAND), resulting rains covered the snow with a thick layer of ice that became unbreakable for the animals when temperatures plunged to —40 degrees. He said:

Reindeer are used to sporadic ice cover, and adult males can normally smash through ice around 2 centimetres thick, but in 2006 and 2013, the ice was several tens of centimetres thick.

This year, the sea-ice cover was the second-lowest on record in the Arctic, and there is fear of another famine. Forbes commented:

If we see such events again this year, it could mean that they’re becoming more frequent. Now is the risk window, and if it happens again, it will be a major problem for traditional reindeer herders still suffering from losses in 2013.

This year, a famine would be especially damaging as authorities scheduled a massive cull to cope with an anthrax outbreak amongst reindeer. Anthrax, a bacterial infection that quickly spreads among animals, can spread to humans. Recently, at least one child died and 90 people went to hospital in the region due to the deadly disease, causing state authorities to order emergency culling and vaccination of reindeer herds.

17 November 2016

Sputnik International

https://sputniknews.com/russia/201611171047524973-climate-change-reindeers-famine-russia/

Saturday, 26 March 2016

26 March 2016. DNA Nails It… Siberian and American Natives ARE Brothers!

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Researchers proved scientifically what American and Siberian native peoples have known in their bones since Adam… that Indigenous Siberians and Native Americans share a common ancestry. Who woulda thunk it… science PROVES what people always knew to be so. I’d say that you needn’t have gone to such lengths… merely look at these people and listen to their native languages… but that’s the way science works. It never states something as FACT until one observes actual occurrences and other uninterested objective parties repeat the process. That’s why all theories on evolution are theories… no one actually observed it… but one CAN deduce from observable facts in the real world. What’s bogus is imposing a rigid artificial construct on the natural world… that’s lunatic and not completely sane. What does that tell us about fundies (of all sorts, including nutters obsessed with pseudoscience and activists hagridden by causes)? I’d say volumes… none of it good!

BMD

Saturday, 23 August 2014

Вечная ему память. Reader John Richard Daeunhauer: Orthodox Christian and Poet

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A note to my readers… anything that you see on this blogsite, you can post on yours… I don’t believe in suing people, puffing myself up, or trying to steal credit that’s not mine to steal. We’re all in this together…

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00 John Richard Daeunhauer. 23.08.14

Dick and Nora earlier this year, in May…

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Reader John Richard Daeuenhauer wasn’t only a scholar and preserver of Tlingit language and literacy. He was a faithful Orthodox Christian and Church Reader who attended services, received sacraments, served on his parish council, and was on the St Herman Seminary Board. One of his many legacies is his poetry, which fuses Orthodox theology with creative expression and interactions with the Alaskan landscape and people. Daeunhauer’s writings and poetry are full of the themes of personal transfiguration, death, and resurrection in Christ. The Orthodox faith helped shape his worldview; his essay The Spiritual Epiphany of Aleut clearly expressed that. Reader John showed an abiding interest in the Orthodox teaching of theosis, the gradual process of human beings becoming “partakers of the divine nature” (1 Peter 1.4) and growing in the likeness of God. He wrote:

The potential for divinity is inseparable from the potential for humanity, because, as Jesus teaches in the Gospel according to St Luke (17.21) that the Kingdom of God is within us and doesn’t come visibly in the form of a geographic place. Likewise, St John the Theologian repeats a theme throughout the Fourth Gospel that we all have the potential of being born as children of God (1.12-13) and that unless we undergo a spiritual rebirth or enlightenment… a spiritual coming alive… we can’t see the Kingdom of God (3.3-8). Conversely, the act or experience of enlightenment reveals the Kingdom of God.

Orthodox Alaska

January 1979, p. 35   

This quest for spiritual rebirth and regeneration certainly was a major theme in Dauenhauer’s life and work. As a faithful Orthodox Christian, Reader John sought to be personally transformed and transfigured by Jesus Christ and the life of the Church. Through personal rebirth, not only do we see the Kingdom of God (even in this life), but we become truly human. It’s only in relationship to God that we can become human beings.  Reader John’s love, humour, and kindness show that he had truly become a new creature in Christ.

Reader John often meditated and wrote on death and mortality in the Light of Christ’s Holy Resurrection. Now, he’s personally made that passage from death to life that he prayed about for many years.  His unpublished poetry collection Doxologies has two beautiful poems on Pascha, which express his belief in life after death and the unique way in which Orthodox services link the Church on earth with the Church in heaven. In these poems, the liturgical worship of the Church mirrors and reflects cosmic worship and transformation of all of God’s Creation. As we pray for Reader John, Norah, and family, his poetry can help us experience the Empty Tomb and the Light of Christ’s Holy Resurrection. They form a lasting legacy to Reader John’s abiding faith and hope in Christ. We believe that Reader John is now experiencing the heavenly cosmic Liturgy of which he wrote so convincingly. May His memory be eternal!

Вечная ему память

undated (after 19 August 2014)

The Diocese of Alaska

http://www.doaoca.org/news_140821_1.html

Friday, 22 August 2014

A Partnership of Language and Love: Reflecting on the Life of Dick Dauenhauer

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Nora and Dick Dauenhauer at St Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church

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Russian Orthodox funeral services are pending for former Alaska poet laureate Richard Dauenhauer who died on Tuesday. Dauenhauer had worked in many areas, including poetry, translation, and teaching. He was also the husband of Tlingit scholar and Alaska writer laureate Nora Marks Dauenhauer. For more than 40 years, they had a partnership of marriage and scholarship. In the early 1970s, Dick Dauenhauer taught folklore at Alaska Methodist University

, that’s when he met student Nora Marks. Her friend Rosita Worl, now president of Sealaska Heritage Institute, was also a student. Worl remembered, “She and Dick just hit it off. I think they had the same kind of sense of humour as I recall. That was when their work started”.  Dauenhauer and Marks married on 28 November 1973, she was 15 years older than he was. World told us, “They became quite a team. He had the technical knowledge of languages and stories and he was an educator, and she had all the traditional knowledge of Tlingit and it was a great combination”.

Born in Syracuse NY in 1942, Dick Dauenhauer was a linguist for most of his life. He earned degrees in Slavic Languages and German. He translated poetry from Russian, Classical Greek, Swedish, and Finnish. In 1969, he moved to Alaska to teach at Alaska Methodist University (now, Alaska Pacific University). Dauenhauer and Marks spent a few years at the Alaska Native Language Center at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. In 1983, they moved to Juneau. Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, they worked at Sealaska Heritage Foundation in Juneau, now known as Sealaska Heritage Institute. They co-authored Tlingit language books and developed teaching materials. With the publication of Beginning Tlingit, Worl credits the couple for popularising the language’s written form, saying, “What he and Nora did was to bring the orthography into everyday use. They made that available to the students of the language”.

They collected hundreds of recordings documenting Tlingit history, culture, and language. They co-edited a four-volume series, Classics of Tlingit Oral Literature, and received American Book Awards for two volumes. Juneau playwright and screenwriter Dave Hunsaker based his play Battles of Fire and Water on the tri-lingual volume, The Battles of Sitka, 1802 and 1804. He noted, “However, really, the book Tlingit Oratory was, to me, stunning. By that time, the Tlingit had adopted me. I lived here in Juneau for 30 years and I felt like I knew a lot about the culture and when that book came out, I realised I didn’t know anything about the culture”. Hunsaker said that the Dauenhauers revealed the complex and poetic oral tradition of the Tlingit culture through the translated speeches of Tlingit elders, “They recognised that these aren’t charming campfire Indian lore stories; these were world literature. They treated them as world literature. The way they rendered them, and the way that they’ve been published so we can all now read them forever, by God, they are world literature”.

Between their joint books and separate volumes of creative writing, Dick and Nora Dauenhauer produced an abundant body of work. Nevertheless, their partnership held much more. Hunsaker related, “It’s one of the great love affairs of any life that I know anything about. They never got past the hand holding stage”. Hunsaker was friends with the Dauenhauers for about 40 years. Throughout that time, he said that they always acted like newlyweds, “In spite of age difference, in spite of their incredibly different backgrounds, I just saw them be always fascinated with each other”.

In 2005, Dick Dauenhauer became President’s Professor of Alaska Native Languages and Culture at the University of Alaska Southeast. Chancellor John Pugh said that the couple spearheaded the creation of the programme, “They just were really the heart and soul of the Alaska Native Language programme”. Pugh said that up to that time, other UA faculty members had studied the language, but the Dauenhauers wanted to make sure that people spoke it. Pugh pointed up, “That was the real change in terms of not being an academic language, but trying to actually think about how we might have the speakers that we presently have and have them really be able to transfer the language to younger people who’d carry the language forward, so that it could be a living language, continue as a living language”. Assistant Professor Lance Twitchell now heads the Alaska Native Languages degree programme at UAS. He said that it’s been an honour to know and work with Dick and Nora, “and see how they operate just as poets and artists and linguists and anthropologists and just wonderful human beings. I had the chance to tell both, ‘If I’m one-tenth of what you are, I’m pretty happy with the way my life went’”.

When Dick Dauenhauer passed away on 19 August at the age of 72, he and Nora were nearing the end of a multi-decade project… a collection of Tlingit Raven stories.

22 August 2014

Lisa Phu

Alaska Public Media

http://www.alaskapublic.org/2014/08/22/a-partnership-of-language-and-love-reflecting-on-dick-dauenhauer/

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