圖、文／Irkutsk State Technical University Anna Zarubina
＜編按＞Anna Zarubina是本學期來建國交換就讀的三位俄羅斯學生之一，她就讀Irkutsk State Technical University建築系，家鄉也在Irkutsk。俄羅斯幅員廣闊，但很容易能在地圖上找到 Irkutsk這個城市(建城於1661年)，因為它就位在俄羅斯最大湖泊Lake Baikai的左側，是俄羅斯境內重要交通樞紐之一，也是一個融合傳統與現代的城市。目前Irkutsk State Technical University只收俱備俄語溝通能力的國際學生，就讓我們先藉由Anna的介紹，認識Irkutsk這個城市。另外，透過空間設計系協助，Anna 與另一位俄羅斯交換生Alisa將於4月8日起在本校藝文中心二樓展出Irkutsk木雕特色展。
My name is Anna. I will study in Chienkuo Technology University for half a year. I really like Taiwan, local nature, and Taiwanese people.
When I communicate with somebody here, people are always asking me where I am from. I say to them that I am from Russia. I am from a country where you can find many different cultures and nations because Russia is the biggest country in the world (17,075,400 square kilometers). Russia is surrounded by unbelievable nature and beautiful places. One of these beautiful places is Lake Baikai which is located in Irkutsk city, the topic of this article.
My city ,Irkutsk, is the administrative center of Irkutsk Oblast, the capital of Eastern Siberia in Russia, and one of the largest cities in Siberia region. The city population is 587,891. Irkutsk was founded in 1661 when Yakov Pokhabov built an ostrog nearby. The first road connection between Moscow and Irkutsk, the Siberian Road, was built in 1760, and benefited the town economy. During that time Russian products were often imported from China (including gold, diamonds, fur, wood, silk and tea).
Modern Irkutsk is a historical city, which combines magnificent and unique nature of a historical center with blocks of modern buildings, traditions of the most intelligent and educated Siberian city with modern industrial, research and educational potential.
Even today, Irkutsk still remains at crossroads of transportation routes, which bind the West and the East of Russia and connect Russia with China and Mongolia.
Transsiberian railway and federal road Moscow - Vladivostok run through Irkutsk. The International airport of Irkutsk is an important intermediate landing for airlines connecting airports of South-East Asia and Far East with the European part of Russia and other countries of former USSR.
Tourists of Irkutsk immediately fall under impression of its historic memory, which is primarily imprinted into the city's architecture. Our city contains the old and the new, the historical and the modern. Irkutsk has great wooden heritage. You can see old wooden houses. Some of them became museums.
Located next to the city of Irkutsk is Lake Baikal. Baikal is the largest lake in Eurasia, and the deepest lake in the world (1,620 metres). On the merits of magnitude alone the lake is renowned as one of the earth's most impressive natural wonders, and rightfully so - Baikal is so large that it would take an entire year and all of the rivers on earth combined to fill it.
What fewer people realize, however, is that Baikal's majestic expanse is situated in a region of surpassing beauty. Its forested shores surmounted by the jagged, snow-clad peaks of the Barguzin mountains is surely a beautiful scene to see. In the winter Baikal freezes over, with ice so thick that the Trans-Siberian Railway was briefly run over due to its surface. At this time of year the lake provides an unsurpassed venue for the pleasures of a tour by sleigh. In the summer, its crystalline blue waters are transparent to a depth of forty meters, and its shores are ringed with the brilliant colors of seasonal wildflowers. Boat tours offered during the warm months are one of the best ways to gain an introduction to the lake, as is hiking amongst the forests, streams, and waterfalls of Baikal's parks. The lake region is home to an enormous variety of plants and animals, most of which - like nerpas, the lake's freshwater seals, and its trademark delicacy, the omul salmon - are found nowhere else in the world. Bears, elk, lynx, and sables are found abound in the surrounding forests.
Lake Baikal long ago became famous for the purity of its waters and surrounding shores, a pristine state that had been seriously threatened by planned industrial development in recent years. Luckily, Baikal was one of the first to benefit from the new Russian government's reversal of decades of anti-environmental industrial policies. Since 1992 Lake Baikal and the entire surrounding area have been designated as a national park, and Baikal is today a naturalist's paradise and an idyllic holiday destination. With fine beaches, excellent hiking, birdwatching, and pleasure boating, Baikal is well-positioned to become one of the most attractive vacation spots in Asia.
When you are travelling there you feel unbelievable emotions. There is some special energy which makes you enjoy your life and feel better. There is a really magic place. Local people have their own spirituality which is referred to as “Shamanism”. On the island Olkhon, which is located on the lake, you can see shamanic rituals. The shamanists have they own foundations of life. It possible to become a shaman simply because it is in your ancestral line. It is believed that shaman people clearly understand the Baikal`s nature and can be so close to the lake`s power.
Every summer my parents and me making a big journey to the lake. And every time this place seems more and more interesting for us. You can discover new things there.
LEGENDS OF LAKE BAIKAL
The Russians have heard that there was a huge lake in Siberia. But they didn’t know how it was called. When the Russian merchants and also Cossacks topped the Ural Mountains and came to the Ob and Yenissei Rivers, they get to know, that the people live around this sea, which bubbled day and night. This sea was rich in fish and a lot of animals.
The Cossacks and the merchants hurried to this sea. They came without sleeping, they didn’t feed their horses, they didn’t know, when day begins and night ends. Each of them wanted to reach it in first. The merchants and the Cossacks had gone some years, when they reached the sea; they saw the Shaman cliff before them.
The Cossacks and the merchants stood near the Shaman cliff and thought that they couldn’t reach the sea, but they heard the lash of the waves on the rocks. Fortunately a stranger came to them and called himself as Buryat. He helped out them to the sea and said:
The Russians asked him:
What does it mean?
— It means - a fire place. It was fire here, and then the ground collapsed and sea appeared. After that we call our sea “Baigal”, what sounds “Baikal”in Russian.