Journalists met with renowned Anthropology Professor from the US, Susie Crate, and her daughter Tuyaara-Katie, a future scientist.
They became known in Yakutia after the performance of the song Kyoregei on the Day of the Yakut language. By the way, even at home in Fairfax (Virginia), mother and daughter speak Yakut.
“My sister from Yakutsk asked to make a video for her friend, an English teacher. We recorded it and sent. What was our surprise when we found out that we were shown on TV, posted on all publics and social networks,” says Tuyaara-Katie.
“Moreover, because of this video, many people began to recognize us, so, at the Ysyakh festival in Kutana (village in Suntar ulus - Editor's note) they asked us to sing two songs. Everyone began to shoot, the video spread throughout social networks, now strangers come to us and ask to be photographed with them. A little uncomfortable somehow,” laughs Susie.
Susan and Katherine visit Yakutia almost every year not only to study ethnography and anthropology, but also to see their relatives in the village of Elgyai, Suntar ulus. This time they spent almost two months in Yakutia.
It all began in 1991, when Susie first came to Yakutia, fell in love with the harsh land and decided to stay to study ethnography and local nature. At the same time, she met her future husband Prokopy Egorov-Uran, a scientist, a teacher of the Yakut language, a jeweler, a woodworker, and an athlete. In 1995 they had a wedding in Yakutsk and soon moved to America. Their daughter Tuyaara-Katherine Egorov-Crate was born there.
- In 1991 I came here at the invitation of Vargan Music Conference. At that time, I worked in Buryatia and Tuva. On my first visit, I visited Ysyakh in Vilyuisk, I liked it very much, and I decided to write my master's degree about this national holiday. Andrey Savvich Borisov, ex-minister of culture, made me an invitation, and through the Ministry of Culture I began my research. Worked in the archive. I traveled through the Vilyui group of uluses, interviewed local residents, visited five Ysyakh festivals. Then I began to study Yakut, because for my research it was not enough to know Russian: in the villages they speak more Yakut. I studied nature, there were biennial museum projects. In 1999 I came back, I can talk about it for hours. Then another project appeared - a two-year one.
Prokopy and I had a wedding in 1995, he is a wonderful person, all-round talented, our daughter was born the same year. But ten years ago, Prokopy and I divorced.
In America, I miss relatives, friends, close people, life, lifestyle, Sakha traditions and nature. When we are here, we spend more time in nature.
Now I am writing a book on anthropology, Katie is my assistant, helping me to interview, question respondents. In 1999, when I was working on my dissertation, 30 percent of my respondents were married couples, this time we met with them again. We looked at how their lives have changed during these 20 years. Of course, there are a lot of changes, as well as around the world. The climate, people, standard of living, communication development are changing.
I did not know about Yakutia, did not aspire here, it was all fate, it brought me here and intertwined my life closely with this land.
Tuyaara-Katherine is 23 years old now. Last year she graduated with honors from Indiana University. She has a bachelor's degree in Slavic and Eastern European languages and cultures, her specialism is Russian. She also has a bachelor's degree in international relations, specialism is Culture and Politics. Like her mother, she is deeply involved in anthropology. She has all diplomas with honors. This year she enrolls in graduate school at the University of Texas. In 2017, she came to St. Petersburg State University to learn Russian on a basis of student exchange program. In total, she visited Yakutia16 times, even as a child she attended the Chuoraanchyk kindergarten, since then she has been fluent in the Yakut language.
- In this family I could not help speaking Yakut. My father is a teacher of the Yakut language, he is very proud of his native culture, like me, and my mother also speaks Yakut very well. At home we speak three languages: English, Russian and Yakut.
Almost every summer I visited my grandmother in Elgyai. She spoke little Russian, and we only spoke Yakut with her. From three to four I lived with her, used to go to the Yakut kindergarten ‘Chuoraanchyk.’ I am very attached to my grandmother, unfortunately, she died this spring. Last year my father came here to look after her.
Of course, I am equally American and Yakut. I have been here every year since six months. In America, many people ask me about my nationality. If they have little time, I say, mom is white American, European, dad is Asian. The simple answer. If you need a detailed answer, I am happy to talk about Yakutia and explain.
I have been blessed by my very talented, creative parents. My mom is also a singer and a writer. The Egorov family is very creative and talented. My mother and I love to sing, more Yakut folk songs, I know five songs right by heart.
I would like to deepen my knowledge of the Yakut language, I speak at a conversational level and read. But in America there is no proper literature, and I cannot find an appropriate information on the Internet either. I speak Russian more often, because I learn it at the university, and I also practiced it in St. Petersburg.
If we talk about our work with my mother, this may be a completely different article ... If briefly about our anthropological studies, we observe changes in the climate, the culture and how they affect each other. How the villages are changing with the advent of the Internet and mobile phones. How they have changed due to the fact that young people are leaving to live in the city. And what changes are taking place in the life of the village due to unprecedented climate change. We can talk about it for hours.
My mother and I are very fond of small Ysyakhs, where there are few people, where everyone knows each other. We went to Ysyakh festivals in the villages of Suntar, Kutana, Elgyai in the Suntar ulus and in Nemyugyu of the Khangalass ulus. Small villages have best Ysyakhs.
I adore Yakut cuisine, especially is miiine (giblets soup), khaan (blood sausage), kүөrchekh (whipped cream). In America, I miss strawberries. At home we do not cook Yakut dishes, they are completely different.
I love Yakutia very much, I like everything here: nature, people. The only negative thing - Yakutia is far from America.