A book by Yukagir writer Gavril Kurilov-Uluru Ado - "The Stories of Yuko" - is published in Paris. The book was translated into French by Yakut culture specialist Émilie Maj and released by the BOREALIA publishing house.
- I have been visiting the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) since 1999. For a total of five years, I have lived in Yakutia since that time. I am familiar with the Even culture, because I have visited the Even-Bytantai ulus many times. With my husband, we shot a film in Moma together with reindeer herders. Every time I come to Yakutsk, I buy a lot of books. And Uluru Ado's book has been in my library since 2013. I do not have time to read everything. This year I decided to open a book and came across Yuko's stories and fell in love with them! - Émilie Maj admits.
The stories are written on behalf of a boy named Yuko, the son of reindeer herders. He enters into the big world, full of contrasts, trying to know everything and all to understand, and learns to be courageous, hardworking and kind.
The publisher reports that the stories are understandable to French children and open a new world. Two years ago, a book by a Mongolian writer was released in the same publishing house, which describes the boy's stories about life in the steppe. These two books seem to complement each other, written on behalf of the child and with a great sense of humor, Émilie Maj notes.
In autumn she is going to Yakutsk and the date is already scheduled, September 11, where the presentation of the French edition of "The Stories of Yuko" and a meeting with the Yukagir writer Uluru Ado will take place.
- I know the situation of the languages of the indigenous peoples of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) in comparison with the Yakut language, which, it can be said, even develops. I know about strange situations like, for example, in Honuu, where Maria Fedotova writes books in the Even language without the possibility even to communicate with at least one person, since everyone has forgotten their native language. The same situation is observed in many places. What to do, how to develop such languages as the Yukaghir, when only 30 people can still communicate freely, but they are separated from each other by long distances? What to do in order to preserve the language? I cannot help, but at least we, in France, will know about this. That’s why I included twenty documentary pages about the culture of the Yukaghir people in the book of Uluru Ado, together with an interview with the writer, - Émilie Maj said.
The French publisher plans to release a collection of Yakut writers of the 20th century. Then Émilie Maj is going to translate a book of the Even writer Maria Fedotova "Nulgynet the romp."
By Irina Kurilova
On the photo: Émilie Maj (left) with Isabelle Salmon, book artist.