Variation on the Word Sleep

Monday, December 06, 2004

What I Learned Today

On a whim today I followed a link from's Museum of Online Museums which led to Timbres Chinois which tested my French capabilities, but which I managed to wade through. Now a guide to Chinese stamps might not sound like a particularly interesting web site, but it led me to a very interesting thing.

In the stamp commemorating the Sino-Soviet treaty of 1949 the country of Tuva can be seen in the map right behind Mao's head. The thing was Tuva was annexed by the Soviet Union in 1944 and the stamp was released in 1950:

Pendant longtemps, Touva fit partie de l'empire chinois. Un ouvrage chinois publié en 1727, indique que la frontière entre la Chine et la Russie se situe au niveau des monts Seyan (au nord de Touva). En juin 1914, la Russie occupe Touva. En 1921, Touva devint un État indépendant sous protection de la Russie mais en 1944, Touva est annexée par l'URSS et n'est plus qu'une région autonome. En 1961, elle est devenue République autonome et, enfin, en 1990, Touva a retrouvé sa souveraineté nationale.

Which loosely translated says that for a long time Tuva had been part of the Chinese empire. A work published in China in 1727 indicated that the frontier between China and Russia was the Seyan mountains (North of Tuva). June of 1914, Russia Occupied Tuva. 1921, Tuvas became an independant state under the protection of Russia, but in 1944 the USSR annexed Tuva. In 1961 it became an autonomous republic and in 1990 Tuva regained it's sovreignty.

Very interesting, but Tuva only has it's sovreignty in the same way Chechnya and much of the rest of Russia has it. They are part of the Russian Federation or whatever. A country which existed from 1921 to 1944 and I hadn't even imagined. A bit of further research yielded Tuva by Stamps which is the only website I've ever seen with the option to read it in Esperanto. I opted for English myself. It turns out Tuva made some pretty cool stamps during the years that they were a country. It also turns out that it has a population of 306,000 and the typical Tuvan is a Buddhist Turk.

Throat Singing is popular there, and I ran across this diary entry. You learn something new everyday. I wonder if I'll ever get to visit?


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