Tuesday, 30 September 2008


All photos in this post are by me, taken at Otgontenger mountain, Mongolia, in the summer of 2006. Click to enlarge.
These monks, other guys, and horses are not really related to the following text ...

Looking through discussion forums in search of Chirayliq material, I came across a thread discussing sex in nomadic Central Asian cultures. It was mostly a guy from Ulan Bator, nicknamed Bor Chono, writing in that thread, and he had some fascinating things to say:

"Surely Nomadic ppl have many children but it doesn`t mean that they have sex a lot. ;)

I guess Europians think that Nomads(=men) are monsters of sex -I mean "nomadic" barbarian men love women a lot.-who doesn`t? ;D
I can claim that nomads never had problem with erection. (Mongol)Old ppl claim that men who rides a horse will never have thingy problems. They say shaking your balls up & down is good for your thingy health. Riding a horse naked will increase your 'Hii-mori'='spiritual horse' & it`s also helpful for women.
But presently Mongols became sedentary so they face problems which sedentary ppl faced long before. So it seems like Mongols have almost no traditional knowledge about how to make thingy-standing. Surely Buddist monks have medecine to help men(=knowledge comes from India, Tibet & China). ::)

btw I don`t have such problems! ;D


Hii-mori is not a god to worship. Hii-mori is one of your Spirits -That`s inside U. It`s something like Men`s Energy-Level. If your thingy is not standing when it`s needed -Mongols likely to say 'Chalha muu'='bad tone' or 'Hii-mori doroi' means 'low spirit'='low spritual horse'.

Some mountain have a worship place where U can increase your Hii-mori. Riding a horse can increase 'Hii-mori' ;D"

Some more Mongolian men from Otgontenger mountain, also not ... really ... related to this text ... maybe:

These cowboy-like hats are popular, and cute!

A guy who is more into modern fashion.

Saturday, 27 September 2008

"A handsome Circassian student"

Originally uploaded by jeffinmoscow

I found this wonderful photo among Ainur's favourite photos on Flickr. It had to be shared on Chirayliq! Click the photo to see it in closer detail ...

I wonder what definition of "Circassians" this guy belongs to.

Back when I studied in Moscow I also knew some cute guys at the Peoples' Friendship University of Russia named after Patrice Lumumba ... The tuition was more affordable there compared to Moscow State University, but at least I got to live in a Stalinist skyscaper.

Jeff, the photographer, has a blog, too, where you can read about his adventures in Moscow.

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!)

Friday, 19 September 2008

Finnish Romani tango musicians

It all started when mum sent me a YouTube link to the song Kuumat tuulet ("Hot winds") from the Aki Kaurismäki film Kauas pilvet karkaavat (Drifting Clouds), performed by Markus Allan, and swooned about how cute he was when he was young. I found a photo of the young Markus Allan on the record cover on the right - a compilation of Finnish tango music. Markus is, of course, in the middle. (You can buy the record here.)

Maybe it is appropriate to take a moment to explain something about Finnish tango. People unfamiliar with the eastern tango traditions might only think of tango as fiery and temperamental, but in Finland, tango is slow, dark and melancholic. (Russian tango is kind of like that, too.) There is a strong tradition of going out to dance, mostly to tango and various other types of schlager music, so there is a lot of demand for this type of music.

Some Finnish tango musicians are cute guys of Romani descent.

Dimitri (Sjöberg) was born 1980 in Vammala.
At the age of 14 he participated in the preliminaries of Tangomarkkinat ("the tango market", the big tango festival in Seinäjoki). However, he was still too young, and had to wait another two years: at 16, he got to the semifinals and was made "Prince of Tango" in 1997. In the following year he won the same title again.

After his victories in Seinäjoki Dimitri dropped his last name and called himself only Dimitri.

Dimitri has no formal musical education, but he not only sings, but plays guitar and piano as well.

Here is his profile (in Finnish) at the venue Halssin lava in Nilsiä ...

Saska Helmikallio is another young and charming singer. He was born in Helsinki, also in the year 1980.
In 2005 he was crowned "King of Tango" at Seinäjoki (the second Rom to have won the title after Sebastian Ahlgren in 1997).

Next year Saska Helmikallio will be acting at the Imatra theater as the main character of the play Rakkauden rikkaus ("the riches of love"), which tells the story of the legandary tango singer Taisto Tammi, who died at a young age.

Here is Saska Helmikallio's official website, with some photos. Unfortunately they are quite small. Auraviihde, on the other hand, has a few high-resolution photos of him for press use, and a short audio clip.
Here is a slightly disturbing Titanic-themed fan made music video with his song Niinkuin tähdet ("like stars") ...

Finally, Benja (Jean-Benjamin Rooth) became known as a child star when he made his first solo album at 11 years. He studied music at the conservatory, and later on piano, composing and arrangement with a private teacher. In 1995, when he was 16, Benja won the competition Syksyn sävel ("autumn song") together with the duo Pelimannet (whose name is a pun on "pelimanni", musician, and "manne", a common, perhaps slightly derogatory, term for Roma among Finns). They toured together and recorded an album. Benja continues to make music and works in various studio projects.

Tuesday, 16 September 2008

Cirayliq rock climbers

I used to do some rock climbing a while ago. I haven't officially quit, but I just haven't done it for a long time now, since I lost my climbing partner and also it's a bit expensive when you live in the city.

Anyway, rock climbing is a sport for which teenagers are the most suited. One of the greatest, albeit aging, stars of rock climbing today is 18-year old David Lama. His parents met in Nepal, where his dad worked as a sherpa and his Austrian mum was mountaineering. They fell in love, and settled in his mum's home country, where they continued to trek on mountains together. When David was born, they soon noticed that he liked climbing around on rocks more than trekking, so they put him in a rock climbing class at the tender age of six.

The rest is, as they say, history. Here David does some tricky bouldering at a competition in Birmingham, 2007:

Both photos in this post are by Rainer Eder. The first one is from David Lama's official website, and the second one is from an interview at Climb and More.

Furthermore, here is a clip from Malaysia (in German and English) - David Lama and a few others among today's top ten rock climbers were invited to the country to explore the rock formations and build new routes (for future rock climbing tourists). Probably for some sexist reason there is hardly any focus at all on the girls, but at least the boys are cute.

Someone who has been around a little bit longer is Serik Kazbekov, 38. He was born in Alma-Ata, but is nowadays competing for Ukraine.

Here is a gallery of photos with Kazbekov (and his daughter with insanely long hair) climbing in the Crimea, by Anna Piunova. Here is his profile at Risk Online.

Serik Kazbekov actually got into rock climbing because of fellow Alma-Ata local Salavat Rakhmetov, who nowadays climbs for Russia. This "ancient" 41 year old family father is still among the world's top climbers! Salavat was introduced to rock climbing by his older brother Kairat, after which he, in his own words, "stopped running 'horizontally' and started running 'vertically' instead". Up until then he had been a professional in light athletics.

In the following video he wins 1st place in bouldering in the rock climbing world championships in Munich 2005.

Thursday, 11 September 2008

For Sultan Galiev fans

muslim national communism
By Alexandre A. Bennigsen, S. Enders Wimbush
Contributor S. Enders Wimbush
Published by University of Chicago Press, 1980

Google Books Free Preview - check it out!

Based on the ideas of Volga Tatar Sultan Galiev and other fascinating early 20th century thinkers and doers. Also, the cover is hilarious...

Thursday, 4 September 2008


Shaxriyor is a young Uzbekistani rapper. He was born April 15th 1989 in Samarkand. His mother is a teacher, his father a worker and his brother is a businessman. In his childhood Shaxriyor was a noisy and restless kid, "but did everything within reason", as the bio on his official website says. "Today he is conscientious and a hard worker, leads a healthy lifestyle, visits the fitness club and practises kickboxing."

In 2006, Shaxriyor took part in a casting at the company Tarona Records, and distinguished himself among the participants with his unusual looks and natural talents. He won the hearts of the jury and got a contract with the company.

Shaxriyor for some reason points to the adidas label on his sneakers. Thanks to KoRn, there is only one thing that comes to my mind ...

As his bio says, "he loves the eastern cuisine very much, and of course especially pilaff. The clothes he prefers are sporty, rapper style, in moderately youthful tones." The bio also points out that he, being a real rapper, writes his own music and poetry.

Here, together with fellow star Shoxruxhon, Shaxriyor performs a song from the soundtrack of the gangster movie Bo'rilar ("Wolves"):

Shaxriyor's official website
A fan site with lots of photos and videos

Monday, 1 September 2008

Unidentified chirayliq guy in the music video of Mumiy Troll's "Delfiny"

Mumiy Troll (Мyмий Трoлль) is a Russian rock band that was founded 1981 in Vladivostok. They most likely got their name from Tove Jansson's books about the Moomins, but they don't really make any big deal about that.
They were at first a garage band that performed illegally and was even arrested a few times in the Soviet crackdowns on youth culture. Gradually they became pretty popular in Vladivostok. When front man, linguist Ilya Lagutenko, had to serve in the army, the band took a break. But with his return and their first official album in 1997 they gained immense popularity all over Russia, and they remain one of the most popular rock bands in the country.

I like Ilya Lagutenko's lyrics, but I don't really like his voice, so I haven't listened to them that much. Also, he is not really my type of man. He is quite androgynous, which certainly appeals to many women (the band has a big fan base in Sweden, for example, also among people who don't know enough Russian to understand his well-written lyrics).

Yet, one day I came across the video for the beautiful Mumiy Troll song "Delfiny" (Дельфины, 1997) on YouTube.
While all the fangirls go crazy over how sexy they think Ilya Lagutenko is, my eyes are glued to this chirayliq guy in the leather jacket who mostly stays in the background behind Ilya. I don't know the band so well, so I don't know who he is. He doesn't look like any of the band members. Maybe a friend? Does someone know?

Here is the whole video: