Schoolchildren from among the Sakhalin Indigenous Minorities met with Lyudmila Gashilova, Professor of the Herzen University’s Institute of the Peoples of the North. Lyudmila Gashilova, who was born in the Nogliki District, organised an unusual lecture for young Sakhalin residents at her own initiative.
The professor told the children about the role of the native language and its uniqueness, the three main dialects of the Nivkh language, and the specific features of the counting system. Lyudmila Gashilova encouraged the schoolchildren to make every effort to preserve and popularise their mother tongue by using its vocabulary in everyday speech.
Before the meeting, young Sakhalin residents had heard a lot about the eminent teacher, in particular about the Fairy Tales of Sakhalin—a collection of folklore tales of the Sakhalin Indigenous Minorities, published with her participation and presented at the 14th Treasures of the North International Exhibition-Fair a few days earlier. The opportunity to meet Lyudmila Gashilova was a pleasant surprise to the schoolchildren. Elena Mugdina, aged 13, shared her impressions of the lecture: “Lyudmila Borisovna cares so much about her work, about the language.”
Some of the children from the Sakhalin delegation are planning to go to study at the Herzen Russian State Pedagogical University after school. One of them, 15-year-old Anastasia Nkhirg from Nogliki, is studying the Nivkh language. The girl has two more years to master the language before she goes to university and shows her knowledge of the difficult ingenious language. Despite her young age, the Sakhalin girl presented her research paper titled “Remember Your Name...” at the conference devoted to the preservation of indigenous languages and culture.
“I simply could not miss the opportunity to meet my young countrymen. My goal is to instil in them the hope that their native language will be preserved, which will ensure the preservation and sustainable development of the entire ethnic group,” said Lyudmila Gashilova. She made a gift to the library of the remote Sakhalin village of Chir-Unvd—a set of her books.
The meeting with the schoolchildren was held at the Sakhalin Oblast booth, arranged specially for the Treasures of the North International Exhibition-Fair.
4 May 2019