Sunday, 21 September 2008

Song of Tamerlan

Belarus-born rapper Seryoga (Серёга) made a Chirayliq-themed video for his 2006 song "Chalk of Destiny or song of Tamerlan" ("Мел Судьбы или Песня Тамерлана"). The song was featured in the soundtrack of the Russian fantasy-horror movie Day Watch (Дневной дозор). The Chalk of Destiny is used to rewrite history... something rather useful for a warlord like Timur the Great, known as Tamerlane in the West. Together with Genghis and Kublai Khan, he belongs as much to the world of fable as the facts of history. Their history, too, is constantly being rewritten ... though not with magic chalks that make change eternal.
Timur is claimed as national hero by Uzbekistan. Just the name of its ancient cities make a romantic heart beat faster: Samarkand, Bukhara, Tashkent. To add to the legend:
Timur's body was exhumed from his tomb in 1941 by the Soviet anthropologist Mikhail M. Gerasimov. From his bones it was clear that Timur was a tall and broad chested man with strong cheek bones. Gerasimov also found that Timur's facial characteristics conformed to that of Mongoloid features, which he believed, in some part, supported Timur's notion that he was descended from Genghis Khan. Gerasimov was able to reconstruct the likeness of Timur from his skull.
Famously, a curse has been attached to opening Timur's tomb. In the year of Timur's death, a sign was carved in his tomb warning that whoever would dare disturb the tomb would bring demons of war onto his land. Gerasimov's expedition opened the tomb on June 19, 1941. Operation Barbarossa, the invasion of the Soviet Union by Nazi Germany, began three days later. Timur's skeleton and that of Ulugh Beg, his grandson, were reinterred with full Islamic burial rites in 1942. On that same day, the Soviets won a major victory at Stalingrad.
(From Wikipedia, disputed of course!)


Tinet said...

I want to believe.

Tinet said...

"Night Watch" and "Day Watch" are silly but fun movies. Here is the full opening with Tamerlan. (But, as the YouTube poster says, they should be speaking Chaghatay, not Kazakh ...)

Anonymous said...

didn't know Seryoga was from Belarus! I am, so glad to know that :) privet Uzbekistanu!