Неполное собрание сочинений
Dear friends, after the trauma of my right knee which I had in the very end of 2005, my mobility in 2006 was rather limited. But by the end of 2006 my knee has completely recovered and in 2007 I could be as mobile as usual. True, all my trips in 2007 have so far been short, with a duration of one or two weeks, but very pleasant , fruitful and rewarding.
First , in march I went to Paris to attend one of the events consecrated to the opening of the Year of Arctic. It coincided with the 50-th anniversary of the French Centre d’etudes Arctiques and was marked by a semi-academic, semi-artistic conference. The place of venue was in the Jardins des Plantes , the weather was perfect (as in all subsequent trips, too) . Our hotel stood just opposite the Garden Gates , and , with the exception of two last days of the week, when there were no sessions and I could go and visit friends in Montgeron (famous for it’s Water Lily Pond glorified by Manet) , the rest of all the time I almost did not leave Les Jardins.
Some points of the conference were rather lyric, including poems, music, animation films for children etc., others were highly academic and very non- trivial. In general it has been an undoubted success.
In April three of us, my wife, my daughter and myself, went as tourists to Venice for a week. It was my first time there, but my daughter had been there before and acted like a very competent guide. The weather was absolutely perfect and the whole sejour was very pleasant.
In May I spent with my wife two weeks in Armenia, lecturing at two places, attending a small conference, and on week ends going to some more or less remote places in the mountains, mostly old churches, once abandoned and now brought back to the liturgical life by volunteering monks, all of them dating back to the end of 12 –th - or early 13 – th centuries, the short period of utmost glory just on the eve of the Mongol invasion. There was nothing new either for me or for my wife from the point of view of architecture, but we have seen these places before in a forlorn and neglected state , but now they are well kempt and orderly.
And in June there was a serendipitous occasion to go to Jerusalem, only for a couple of days, but this was enough to see a lot of the Old City, Gethsimany, Mea Shearim ( orthodox quarter).
And a good deal of other extremely impressive things. Unlike Tel Aviv, the atmosphere looked peaceful and relaxed, in spite of disgusting events happening in the Gaza strip and around it.
My real birthday is July 1-st , but since it was Sunday, we celebrated it in the Institute on July 3 –rd , rather informally and quite warmly. Now I am 75. In fact , it doesn’t feel like anything particular.
And finally, from July 9 to July 13 there was the 7-th Congress of ethnologists and Anthropologist of Russia, held in Saransk, the capital of the republic of Mordovia. It also was a very successful and interesting event.
In the end of July and the whole of August my wife Natalia Zhukovskaya will be in Buriatia for her regular fieldwork, and I will stay in Moscow , if I do not go to dacha. So far it is uncertain.
With all my best wishes to all of you, Sergey Arutiunov.