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Profile of Galsan Tschinag
Galsan Tschinag is a singer, storyteller, novelist, poet, and Tuvan chieftan. His published short stories, novels, and poetry reveal his existence as a modern day nomad, living partly in primeval society and partly in the modern world.
Tschinag was born in Mongolia in 1944, the youngest son of a nomadic cattle herder. From 1962-1966, he studied German at the University of Leipzig, which became the language of his literary work his native tongue, Tuvinian, had no script. He later taught at the University of Ulaanbaatar and worked for some time as a journalist. In 1994, as chief of the Tuvans, he led his people, scattered in the course of the last century, in a huge caravan back to their original home in the Altai Mountains in western Mongolia. The journey of 2.000 kilometers, included 130 heavily-laden camels, and 300 horses, sheep and other animals.
Tschinag lives alternately in Altai, Ulaanbaatar, and Europe. His publications include Ein tuwinische Geschichte (A Tuvan Tale) ; Der siebzehnte Tag (The Seventeenth Day) ; Nimmer werd ich dich zähmen können (Ill Never Be Able to Tame You) ; and Die Graue Erde (The Grey Earth). Tschiang was awarded the Adelbert von Chamisso Prize in 1992, and the Puchheimer Leserpreis in 1995.