Urubshurow, (64) an original member of the community, will explain how the Kalmyks of Southern Russia, with help from Alexandra Tolstoy (daughter of the writer Leo Tolstoy), were able to overcome racial barriers to emigration and became America’s first ethnic Mongolian immigrants and its first congregation of followers of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. The Tulip Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving Kalmyk cultural traditions and practices, according to Badushov who was born and raised in Freewood Acres. He noted 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 earliest American supporters and father of the actress, Uma Thurman, began his own academic career among the Kalmyks of Freewood Acres in the early 1960s.
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 Kalmyks’ story is a compelling tale of triumph against enormous odds that also propelled the personal journey of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to global iconic status. It all begins in New Jersey,” concludes Badushov emphatically.
Contact: Naran Badushov (732) 670-6944