Надежда Колесникова

Я родилась в отдаленной деревеньке республики Бурятия. Мы, деревенские ребятишки, имели много свободы. Весной мы часто бегали в лес и восхищались цветением рододендрона. В поле мы радовались подснежникам, желтым макам и саранкам. А наши игры! Родителям всегда было трудно «загнать» нас домой. А еще книги, книги и книги! Я умудрялась читать даже при лунном свете. Я думаю, что именно воспоминания о моем детстве, проведенном среди чудных творений природы разбудили во мне, спавший много лет, призыв выразить чувства к природе, к своему народу, его культуре и истории, к выдающимся и самым обычным людям. Я хочу, чтобы мир узнал, что есть такая республика Бурятия и священное озеро Байкал.

I was born in Buryatia in a far-away village. My parents were just ordinary people. I was the youngest of four children. Father died when I was seven. Mum had to overcome all hardships of widow’s life. I think her to be a great woman. We, village kids, had pretty much freedom. We often ran to the near-by forest to admire the blossom of rhododendron in spring, to gather mushrooms in the fall. There were a lot of snowdrops, yellow poppies and lilies in the fields. What a wonderfully gay time we had playing outdoor games! It was a hard work for our parents to make us go home. And books, books and books! I remember reading even under the moon light. Then I fell in love with the English language. So I entered the faculty of Foreign Languages of the Buryat Teacher’s Training Institute. At school we often tried to translate classics, to compose some literary works. Now I want to express my feelings to my native land, to its nature and history, to its outstanding people. Prose and poetry is the way. I’d like the world to learn about Buryatia and the Baikal.
Отрывок из произведения «The Exodus of the Khongodor tribe from Mongolia»


At the same time…

Driving herds of new to saddle horses-

That the tribe’s wealth and life, and force is-

Having left fires blazing in the hearth,

The Khongodors take their dangerous path.


Day and night, night and day,

They are spurring away.

To leave from the chase they do their best

Without having any rest.


No time their horses to feed.

To hang a trivet. To have a fire lit.

No time to have a drinking tea bowl.

To bend the knee to the totem pole.


Day and night, night and day-

It’s a very terrible way.

Day and night, night and day-

They seem to have drawn away.


It’s time to catch some breath at last.

People are hungry and tired. They ask:

-Are we on the right track?

Haven’t we lost our track?-


Sacred fire is ready. The shaman has come.

Ritual dancing. Sounds of a drum.

-We must make our way through thick and thin.

We are sure to save the tribe and win!-


Day in and day out in the road.

Meat supply has run low.

They are short of herbs.

They are in lack of curds…


Day in and day out.

All supplies have run out.

Young horses are dead on their feet.

Children are whimpering and asking for meat.


It’s high time to rest at last

People are hungry and tired. They ask:

-Are we on the right track?

Haven’t we lost our track?-


Sacred fire is ready. The shaman has come.

Ritual dancing. Sounds of a drum.

-We are descendants of a superkhan.

We must do what should be done!-


Day in and day out, again and again.

For all the heat. For all the rain.

New to saddle horses have been eaten up.

Draft horses’ bones have been gnawned up.


People are dragging their feet. Bags and bones.

Babies keep silence. Elders become stones.

-Are we on the right way?

Haven’t we lost our way?-


Sacred fire is ready. The shaman has come.

Ritual dancing. Sounds of a drum.

-We are on the right way.

We haven’t got astray.-


Here happens a never heard act.

I’m sorry to say- it’s a real fact.

The order made by Bakhak, the leader of the tribe,

Is very difficult to describe:


-The task is to save the family.

The food must be used rationally.

Each piece of food be divided in half.

One’s for a warrior- that’s sure enough.


A fighting man is for power and defence.

The left- for future- for children.

To keep the Elders is no sense.

So the Elders must be killed then.-


No sound. Dead silence covered the place.

Blood curdles. Not a drop in a face.

All of a sudden- a sound of the drum:

Has departed this world the old shaman.


The well on in years understand the mark-

They are to carry out the will of Bakhak.

Having bent their knees to the land,

Having embraced their flesh and blood in the end,


Keeping cool, they throw themselves down in

The open jaws of a terrible ravine.

Some elders lose their heart — the few-

Their children push them, in full view.


The tribe don’t dare to rebel-

They do what they shall.

Submitting to a khan without any hint of thought

Through several generations has been brought.


Mourning and wailing, plaint and curse,

Never before heard on Earth,

From the inside of the wooded pass

Follow the people on their further path…



All of a sudden, mountains step aside

As if to show the Baikal in all his pride.

Baikal the Great is wise but severe

Only open-hearted people can live here.


Hurling huge waves upon the rocks

He seems not to be glad to welcome people.

He threatens them with shrieks of a sinister eagle

Who’s flying and crying over the rocks.


The people are struck by a vast expanse of the sea-

Water, water and water they can see.

Alas! Lifeless rocks separate them from the sea

Rocks, rocks and rocks they can see.


Keeping silence, they understand:

The tribe’s history comes to the end.

No fertile steppe and deep wood.

Sacred Baikal won’t give them food.


Their killed and forsaken Elders’ curse

Will never give them life on Earth.

They have got astray

And lost their right way.


They think of the Reckoning day

It seems to be so far away…

Has anybody right to despise?

Is everyone always strong and wise?


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