David Urubshurow, (64) an original member of the community, will detail how the Kalmyks of Southern Russia were able, with help from writer Leo Tolstoy’s daughter, Alexandra, to overcome racial barriers in the winter of 1951-52 to become not only America’s first ethnic Mongolian immigrants but also its first congregation of adherents of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. “This is the first public exposition of the role the Kalmyk community played in the rise of interest in Tibetan Buddhist teachings throughout American society and especially in American academia,” Badushov explained.
The Tulip Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving Kalmyk cultural traditions and practices, according to Badushov (45) who was born and raised in Freewood Acres. He added that Tibet House’s founder and President, Dr. Robert Thurman of Columbia University, author of Why the Dalai Lama Matters, will also participate in the evening’s program. Badushov noted that Dr. Thurman, one of the Dalai Lama’s closest American supporters and father of the actress, Uma Thurman, began his illustrious academic career among the Kalmyks of Freewood Acres in the early 1960s. Please learn more at http://thetulipfoundation.org/
Urubshurow, a graduate of Monmouth College, West Long Branch, NJ and Antioch School of Law, Washington, DC, served on the founding boards of the International Campaign for Tibet and the Institute for Asian Democracy. From 1990 to 1993, Urubshurow was a Special Advisor to the Mongolian Government and has been a Trustee of the Tibetan Buddhist Learning Center (TBLC) of Washington, NJ since 1967. According to Badushov, the TBLC was founded in 1958 by the late Geshe Ngawang Wangyal, a Kalmyk monk-scholar, as the first center in the Western Hemisphere dedicated to the academic study of Buddhism.
“The Kalmyk immigrants’ story is a compelling one that is indispensable to understanding how His Holiness the Dalai Lama became the global phenomenon he is today,” Badushov stated. He added, “the Kalmyk contribution to His Holiness’s remarkable personal journey is a significant one affecting not only our small community but one that impacts all followers and admirers of the Dalai Lama no matter their religious affiliations;
Contact: Naran Badushov (732) 670-6944