Galsan Tschinag, Mongolia
Galsan Tschinag, was honoured with the „Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany“and with the literary prize of German industry and trade. He is a tribal patriarch of the Mongolian Tuwa nomads.
Galsan Tschinag was born at the beginning of the 1940s in the Altai mountains as a Tuwa nomad of western Mongolia. He was born and raised in a Mongolian yurt and his first teacher was a female shaman. The chants and epics of his tribe and the landscape of the mountain steppe, which he expressed in verse early in life, left an imprint on his personality. After graduation from school he went to Leipzig (former German Democratic Republic) in 1962, where he studied the German language and philology. It was in Germany, where he began his authorial work. In 1968 he returned to Mongolia and became a lecturer of German language at the University of Ulan Bator.
In 1981 his debut novel was published, called „Eine tuwinische Geschichte“ (engl. „A Tuwinian Story“) and other German narrations. In only a short period of time he wrote different narrations, novels and volumes of poems, especially in the German language. Until 2009, 29 books have been published in German. In 1992 he was distinguished with the „Albert-von-Chamisso-Prize“, in 1995 he received the „Puchheimer Leserpreis“, in 2001 the „Heimito-von-Doderer-Prize“. In 2002 he was honored with the „Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany“, in 2008 he received the literary prize of German industry and trade and in 2009 the „Ink Trebbia Prize“ in Prague for his cultural linking work in Europe.
His writings have been translated in more than a dozen languages. Since approximately 10 years he has been on the road all over Europe as an inexhaustible shamanic ambassador and healer. In 2006 he established the „Galsan-Tschinag-Foundation“, which predominantly gives cultural and financial support (like the Tuwa elementary school, etc.) to nomadic families of the Altai region in need.
In 2008 he decided to plant one million trees in Mongolia to support his motherland and bring back life and water, where aridity is on the increase because of predatory deforestation and climate changes. Until 2010 the first 100.000 trees have been planted.