Peculiarities in perception and understanding of Baikal from the points of view of people of different nationalities

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One of the nationalities, which were "lucky" to create different unfavorable stories and myths among the inhabitants of Baikal were Czechs. First, there were episodes when the “Czechs”, marched to Siberia during the civil war, were sometimes committing violence against the local population, and this information was prominent in almost all books of history. In the folklore even a song preserved with such words: “we were attacked by angry Czechs”. For local residents the following facts were important that in 1918 the Czechs participated in the executions of the local population at the railway stations from Kultuk to Posolsk, and at the station Mysovaya even fatally wounded the icebreaker "Baikal". Significantly fewer people know that the same Czechs fought in the ranks of the Bolsheviks on the side of Soviet power, while supporting the idea of world revolution and internationalist brotherhood. Only some people kept in mind facts about their activities, the contribution of people like J.Hasek in the life of the region (as we have already discussed in the section on prisoners of war).

The second myth was about the Czechs at Lake Baikal in the 60-s of the 20 century, the rumors were kept discussing that they were "mercilessly catch tons of fish in Lake Baikal, and send it to their own country. This tale appeared, of course, not out of nothing, but it was excessively exaggerated. The reasons were as follows. First, the fishermen of Lake Baikal were among the first in Siberia, who established friendly contacts with the Czechs. Already in 1958 the representatives of Czechoslovakia Soviet Friendship Society visited the collective farm workers of "Comintern" in Kultuk. After the branch of the Soviet-Czechoslovakia friendship was formed in the collective farm in 1959, the contacts have increased, and the Baikal land in the 60-s was visited by many Czechs, including the famous travelers Jiri Ganzelka and Miroslav Zikmund. Secondly, following the traditions of the friendship, Baikal fishermen of Kultuk named several ships after Czechoslovakia cities: "Prague", "Bratislava", "Vltava", and they sailed on the lake, causing speculation about his foreign origin. It was also natural that the Twin Cities (as they say) exchanged gifts, from the Czech side were fine beers, and from Lake Baikal side was the salted omul. All these points could not but be misinterpreted. Third, in 1968 in Czechoslovakia undesirable events for the Soviet Union happened, and their active participants on the rebels’ side were those who were involved in the friendship of Lake Baikal. In that situation idea mongers needed a myth about the “bad Czechs”, and a legend that even during the restricted period they “catch omul” fitted those inquiries perfectly. Thus, Baikal joined the practiced social-psychological mechanisms of myths’ creation.

In Sweden, much of the specific information about the Siberian earth and its inhabitants became widely known from the POWs’ letters and memories of war, sent in these harsh lands after the victory of Peter I of Poltava. Many prisoners were in Tobolsk and other cities of Western Siberia. It was already mentioned that the Swedes were included in the expedition of Messershmit, with the permission of the authorities they were engaged in various researches in different Siberian regions. A certain Bentinck in 1726 in Leiden issued the translation of one of the historical chronicles, including the notes entitled "Description of Great Tartary, made on the basis of authentic memoirs of Swedish prisoners in Siberia during the war between Sweden and Russia." And in this book, in particular, some information about Lake Baikal is given: “Lake Baikal in Siberia has about 30 German miles in length from east to west and 15 miles is its greatest width from north to south. Since it is surrounded by very high mountains, and there is always a nasty wind blowing, and it is very difficult to move. Its water is fresh, clear and rich with fish. There you can see a large number of marine seals, completely black and hairless, like in the White Sea, what is quite unusual in the lake with fresh water, but they are also found in the Onega and Ladoga, north of St. Petersburg ".

It is interesting that there was a place near Irkutsk, which differed by its mystery and was associated with the inhabitants of the concerned country. Old-timers told us that the so-called Shvedov Winter hut got its name because in olden times there old Swede lived, probably one of the prisoners who were sent to Siberia by Peter the Great. The legend tells us that there were lots of hidden treasures. Over time, when there was neither old Swede, nor winter quarters, people still saw mysterious lights in the locality, and some even claimed that the Swede went out with a candle in his hand and extinguished it, turning the flame down. But those who dare to seek for the treasures, for sure began to wander in the woods, and could not even find a place of Shvedov winter hut.

It is quite possible that this somewhat mystical character has a real prototype. History tells us that a member of the Second Kamchatka Expedition of Vitus Bering the Swede Jakob Lindenau fell in love with the Siberian land and its nature and stayed here, having bought a small hut near Irkutsk in the village of Osa. It is believed that he died in the fire in his house in 1795 in a very advanced age of 95 years, leaving numerous descendants, many of whom have the surname Lindenau or Russified version of it – Lendenevy. In December of 2007, in Irkutsk the descendants of the famous explorer of Siberia gathered in order to establish the degree of relationship and find details of the life of their famous ancestor. If I.Lindenau is the legendary owner of Shvedov winter hut, then one of the mysteries of Pribaikal places removed. However, as it was already mentioned, in the southeastern part of Lake Baikal there is the Swede Cape which name origin is still unknown. But it's possible that this Cape during their journey to Lake Baikal in 1745 was visited by the same legendary I. Lindenau, and that fact was kept in the legends.

If we talk about current cases of Swedes’ being on the lake, then it is necessary to mention Daniel Lekman, who with his companions L. Kopylov (Novosibirsk), and L. Shubin (Listvyanka) at the seventh (!) attempt in 2003 first broke the Baikal from Listvyanka to Severobaikalsk on ice boats. The difficulty was not only that ice boats often "covered" the travelers and the cars were to be repaired. At some sites of the way the snow cover with the depth of about 30 cm covered ice and ice boats had to haul in tow. Crossing on the ice boats on the complexity and distance of 600 km. can be regarded as the world record. Travelers not only overcame the difficulties, but two hours a day they spent on shooting a film about the winter Baikal for Sweden national television.

Talking about of cases of Swedes visiting Lake Baikal, you can remember about traveling along the lake of a famous Norwegian, the Arctic explorer F.Nansen. In his time he traveled in Siberia and the Far East of Russia and wrote a wonderful book "To a country of the future." In this book much space is set aside for natural, geographical, geological features of the "big mountain lake, the deepest inland sea in the world" (11, pp. 270). And in his work the interesting and mainly unknown facts are traced. In particular, he wrote: "Various inhabitants of the lake were studied by the Russian expedition, and which results of the work have been described by the Norwegian professor Sars".

If you burrow in the literature and archives, especially in foreign ones, in periodicals, in business correspondence of different authorities, businesses and community organizations in their relations with foreigners, you we can find a lot of interesting data about the collaboration and cooperation of pribaykaltsy with representatives of many countries of the world. These materials are still waiting to be explored. Their synthesis will help us to understand better the uniqueness and majesty and spirituality of the Holy Sea as one of the best creations of nature “from the other side”. Reflecting the features of different points of view, it would be easier to understand people of other nations and use their knowledge and experience for the benefit of Lake Baikal.

See also


  1. A.D. Karnyshev "The Many Faces of Multilingual and Mysterious Baikal"© BSU Publishing House, 2011

Выходные данные материала:

Жанр материала: English | Автор(ы): Karnyshev A.D. | Источник(и): The Many Faces of Multilingual and Mysterious Baikal. Ulan-Ude. 2012 | Дата публикации оригинала (хрестоматии): 2011 | Дата последней редакции в Иркипедии: 30 марта 2015

Примечание: "Авторский коллектив" означает совокупность всех сотрудников и нештатных авторов Иркипедии, которые создавали статью и вносили в неё правки и дополнения по мере необходимости.

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Тематический указатель: Irkipedia English