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Quiz about Tuva  Now for Somewhere Completely Different
Quiz about Tuva  Now for Somewhere Completely Different

Tuva : Now for Somewhere Completely Different! Quiz


Here's a quiz about the fascinating but little known Russian republic of Tuva. No expert knowledge is expected so come along for an entertaining and enlightening tour, especially as I've enlisted the help of consummate World traveller PDAZ as your guide.

A multiple-choice quiz by glendathecat. Estimated time: 5 mins.
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Author
glendathecat
Time
5 mins
Type
Multiple Choice
Quiz #
315,250
Updated
Jul 23 22
# Qns
10
Difficulty
Average
Avg Score
7 / 10
Plays
358
Awards
Top 5% quiz!
This quiz has 2 formats: you can play it as a or as shown below.
Scroll down to the bottom for the answer key.
1. You fly with PDAZ into the small airstrip at the capital Kyzyl and she explains that one third of the Tuvan population lives here. The Republic is about 170,000 km2 in area which makes it bigger than Greece and on a par with Tunisia, Uruguay and Florida. It is, however, sparsely populated with peoples who have traditionally been nomadic. Approximately how low is the population? Hint

300,000
3,000,000
300
30,000,000

2. You're interested in history so you naturally ask about Tuva's past. PDAZ tells you that, prior to 1912, the area was under Chinese control but with increasing Russian influence from the mid-nineteenth century. You smile when she relates the unusual stipulation that, in 1860, was laid upon would be settlers from Russia. What was this requirement? Hint

They had to marry local women aged over 40.
They had to share their beds with llamas.
They had to shave their heads.
They had to live in boats or tents.

3. As you leave Kyzyl, you notice some distinctive dwelling places called yurts. PDAZ explains that these have been a traditional home for the nomadic Tuvans for centuries. What is a yurt? Hint

A fabric covered portable shelter
An elaborate tree house
An underground burrow
A Soviet built one room apartment

4. Stamp collectors will be familiar with the stamps produced through the 1920s and 30s under the name of Tuva. These have distinctive, exotic designs showing aspects of national life. In reality many of these had little to do with Tuva, being produced in Moscow for the worldwide collectors' market. Indeed, one classic 1936 stamp, showing a camel racing a train, misrepresented Tuvan life in which crucial respect?
Hint

There are no camels in Tuva.
A camel is far too valuable to be left loose.
Everyone knows that Tuvan camels are too smart to race trains.
There are no railways in Tuva.

5. PDAZ promises you a unique experience as she calls at your yurt to take you to the Ubsu-Nur hollow. She's not wrong. This is a Biosphere Reserve and World Heritage Site situated on Tuva's southern border. Here you discover an almost unbelievable diversity. Which of these geographical features do you NOT see represented in the area? Hint

Tundra
Glaciers
Equatorial rain forest
Desert

6. PDAZ points out to you a remarkable variety of animal and plant life. Some of these are endangered and many aren't found anywhere else. She gives you a rundown on the local wildlife but you know she's pulling your leg with one of the following animals which hails from the other side of the globe. Which of these is NOT a natural Tuvan resident? Hint

Yaks
Gerbils
Snow Leopards
Llamas

7. Up until now, the lifestyle of the Tuvan people has had minimal environmental impact on the land but PDAZ wants to show you a different side. She takes you to Tuva's second city, Ak-Dovurak. Here you find one of the World's largest open cast mines. Tuva's economy is still very heavily based upon agriculture but the mining industry is developing rapidly. Which of these is NOT mined in Tuva? Hint

Asbestos
Truffles
Gold
Coal

8. You are invited to watch two grown men engaging in a bout of khuresh. PDAZ explains that this is a centuries old form of Tuva's national sport, which is what? Hint

Wrestling
Table Tennis
Polo
Golf

9. PDAZ confesses to you that she is a devotee of the Tuvan art of throat singing and insists that you come to hear it being performed. As you drink it in, you recall that this formed the backdrop to a 1999 Oscar nominated film. Which 'blue' movie was this? Hint

Into the Blue
Varsity Blues
Genghis Blues
Blue Thunder

10. You're back home and decide to relive some memories by typing Tuva into a search engine, but the ubiquitous PDAZ warns you that your search is just as likely to throw up the Microsoft product "Project Tuva" as the Russian republic. What reason does she give for "Project Tuva" being so named? Hint

Bill Gates was born in Tuva.
The late Richard Feynman was the inspiration behind the project and he had a lifelong desire to visit Tuva.
It is sponsored by the Russian Government to promote vacations in Tuva.
No connection. Tuva is an acronym standing for Tomorrow's Universal Video Arcade.


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Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. You fly with PDAZ into the small airstrip at the capital Kyzyl and she explains that one third of the Tuvan population lives here. The Republic is about 170,000 km2 in area which makes it bigger than Greece and on a par with Tunisia, Uruguay and Florida. It is, however, sparsely populated with peoples who have traditionally been nomadic. Approximately how low is the population?

Answer: 300,000

Tuva lies in Central Russia, on its southern edge, between mountain ranges and bordering Mongolia. The climate is typically continental with a massive range of average temperature from −32 C in January to 18 C in July although temperatures on the plains can be much higher.

Kyzyl purports to be the geographical centre of Asia and a marble obelisk was erected in 1964 to mark the claim. The 2002 Census recorded the population of the town as 104,105 out of a total population of 305,510. Kyzyl's latitude is 51 42' N, roughly level with London and Calgary.

By way of comparison, the populations of Uruguay, Tunisia and Florida are approximately 3.5, 10 and 18 million respectively.
2. You're interested in history so you naturally ask about Tuva's past. PDAZ tells you that, prior to 1912, the area was under Chinese control but with increasing Russian influence from the mid-nineteenth century. You smile when she relates the unusual stipulation that, in 1860, was laid upon would be settlers from Russia. What was this requirement?

Answer: They had to live in boats or tents.

From the 13th Century, Tuva was governed first by the Mongols and then by the Chinese. This continued up until 1912 when Russian troops invaded in the wake of the 1911 Chinese Revolution. For a very brief period Tuva became the Urjanchai Republic before becoming a Russian Protectorate in 1914. It was at this time that the capital was established firstly as Belotsarak (1914-18), then as Khem-Beldyr (1918-26) and finally as Kyzyl (which means 'red' in Tuvinian) in 1926.

The population is now about 2/3 Tuvan and 1/3 ethnic Russians.
3. As you leave Kyzyl, you notice some distinctive dwelling places called yurts. PDAZ explains that these have been a traditional home for the nomadic Tuvans for centuries. What is a yurt?

Answer: A fabric covered portable shelter

Traditionally a yurt is built around a wood frame and covered in felt.

Do you fancy building a yurt in your back yard? If so, you need "Build Your Own Yurt" by P.R.King. Here are assembly instructions for those who want to visualise what it might look like. You will obviously need to check out the book for details of materials etc.

"1. Unfold the wall sections and place them upright in an approximate circle.
2. Tie two ends together, overlapping slightly. Tie the other two ends to the door frame.
3. Adjust the position of the walls until they are perfectly circular. Use two poles held end to end to check that the diameter is exactly the same at several points.
4. Tie a strong rope around the top of the walls. This step is very important, to fit the roof without this band around the Yurt will cause serious damage.
5. Ask a friend to hold the crown above their head in the centre of the yurt.
6. Fit the string loop of each roof pole over the top of a wall pole and fit the other ends into the holes in the crown.
7. Tie the tension band tightly around the entire yurt at the point where the wall and roof poles meet.
8. Pull the crown hard down to ensure that it is level and that all of the roof poles are securely seated.
9. Fit the wall cover.
10. Fit the roof cover and tie it down with a rope passing through the grommets.
11. Tuck the plastic skirt under the bottoms of the wall poles.
12. Fit the door."
(Source : "Build Your Own Yurt" by P. R. King - Internet Edition)
4. Stamp collectors will be familiar with the stamps produced through the 1920s and 30s under the name of Tuva. These have distinctive, exotic designs showing aspects of national life. In reality many of these had little to do with Tuva, being produced in Moscow for the worldwide collectors' market. Indeed, one classic 1936 stamp, showing a camel racing a train, misrepresented Tuvan life in which crucial respect?

Answer: There are no railways in Tuva.

Following the Russian revolution, the People's Republic of Tannu Tuva was created and this changed its name to the Tuvinian People's Republic in 1926. The validity of this state, which was always under Russian control, was only ever recognised by the Soviet Union and Mongolia and, in 1944, it reverted back into the USSR. Stamps were issued between 1926 and 1936 and there is plentiful debate amongst philatelists over whether or not these should be seen as genuine issues.

What is not in question, though, is the rate of issue and more stamps were produced in the name of Tuva in these years than by Britain and the USA together. (Source : "Moscow Times" July 22nd 2000)
5. PDAZ promises you a unique experience as she calls at your yurt to take you to the Ubsu-Nur hollow. She's not wrong. This is a Biosphere Reserve and World Heritage Site situated on Tuva's southern border. Here you discover an almost unbelievable diversity. Which of these geographical features do you NOT see represented in the area?

Answer: Equatorial rain forest

I am still trying to comprehend an area that can encompass glaciers and desert and where, in the same day, you can see both reindeer and camels in their natural habitat.

This is where Siberia meets Central Asia. Ubsu-Nur lies in the depression of a mountain basin and straddles the border with Mongolia. It measures 150km from North to South and 600km from East to West. Its altitude ranges from 3000 metres above sea level to 1000m at the saltwater Ubsu-Nur lake which is the remnant of a sea that covered the area several millennia in the past. The basin also contains many archaeological sites including up to 20,000 burial mounds.
6. PDAZ points out to you a remarkable variety of animal and plant life. Some of these are endangered and many aren't found anywhere else. She gives you a rundown on the local wildlife but you know she's pulling your leg with one of the following animals which hails from the other side of the globe. Which of these is NOT a natural Tuvan resident?

Answer: Llamas

Yaks are one of the animals raised and herded in Tuva and these also include horses, reindeer, camels, goats, cows, sheep, chickens and pigs. The snow leopard is now an extremely endangered animal and it is estimated that the worldwide population is only about 5,000. Other protected species found in Tuva include the Argali sheep and Pallas's cat. The species of gerbil found wild in Tuva is the Mongolian gerbil which happens to be the species most commonly kept as a pet in the Western World. Other animals that can be seen in Tuva include deer, bears, wolves, wild boar, antelopes, ibexes, beavers, eagles, vultures and flying foxes.

Llamas are of course of South American extraction. But ... a 1998 study by Ilya Zakharov, of Moscow's Vavilov Institute of General Genetics, claimed that the DNA of ethnic Tuvans matched that of native Americans, particularly the Navajo and Apache. This gave extra credence to the "land bridge" theory that these peoples migrated from Siberia some time between 10,000 and 40,000 years ago. So, who knows? It would need to have travelled further but maybe the llama could be a Tuvan export too.
7. Up until now, the lifestyle of the Tuvan people has had minimal environmental impact on the land but PDAZ wants to show you a different side. She takes you to Tuva's second city, Ak-Dovurak. Here you find one of the World's largest open cast mines. Tuva's economy is still very heavily based upon agriculture but the mining industry is developing rapidly. Which of these is NOT mined in Tuva?

Answer: Truffles

The Republic is rich in deposits of various kinds including coal, gold, asbestos, mercury, cobalt, uranium, lead and zinc.

Ak-Dovurak was established in 1964 to house workers at the nearby asbestos mine. It may be Tuva's second city but its population in 2002 was only 12,965. Ironically, its name means "white dust" and its appearance sadly lives up to its name.
8. You are invited to watch two grown men engaging in a bout of khuresh. PDAZ explains that this is a centuries old form of Tuva's national sport, which is what?

Answer: Wrestling

Tuva's most successful wrestler of the 2000s has been Lorisa Oorzhak. She was twice a Junior World Champion in the under 48kg class and twice European Champion (2005 and 2007).

Sadly, after her 2007 triumph, she was so seriously injured in a car crash that she lost a kidney. Such was her national profile that the Republic's Chairman, Sholban Kara-ool, called a press conference in which he blamed the national wrestling coach (who was driving the car). He demanded that state officials brought the guilty to justice. Fortunately, Oorzhak recovered from her injuries and, in 2009, won a gold medal at the Russian wrestling championships.

Khuresh is related to many similar forms of wrestling across Asia and its origins lie in military training. Tournaments are traditionally held outdoors with plenty of accompanying ceremony.
9. PDAZ confesses to you that she is a devotee of the Tuvan art of throat singing and insists that you come to hear it being performed. As you drink it in, you recall that this formed the backdrop to a 1999 Oscar nominated film. Which 'blue' movie was this?

Answer: Genghis Blues

"Genghis Blues" tells the story of a blind and widowed blues musician called Paul Pena who teaches himself throat singing and travels to Tuva to participate in an International Symposium held in Kyzyl. He takes first place in his category.

Tuvan throat singing, or overtone singing, is said to have both developed in and been inspired by the natural landscape of Tuva with its wide open spaces. Here sound can carry considerable distance. It is also heavily influenced by the animistic beliefs of the Tuvan people. Sounds are produced by manipulating the vocal folds of the throat as air is passing. This creates one "note" together with a higher overtone. There are different styles of singing producing various combinations of drone, hum, whistle etc.

Now that you've built your yurt and got yourself a bit of privacy, you might want to try some throat singing for beginners. Beware, though, because you're probably not in the open plains and don't want one of the neighbours coming to practise some khuresh on you! For anyone wishing to give it a try, here's a guide to the basic technique known as khoomei.

"Begin by producing a long, steady note with an open, relaxed mouth and throat. By altering lip and tongue positions to say vowels, "oooo... ohhh... ayyy... ahhh.... eeee...", you will hear different overtones in ascending pitch. Cupping a hand to your ear may help you to identify these initially. Maintain one tone as you tighten your throat and stomach muscles slightly. If you choke, try a lower fundamental. If you begin coughing, go into this tightening over a period of time to avoid damage to your voice. Hard coughing is punishing to vocal cords.

You should now be making "electronic" sounding vowels. If any of these are extended with subtle changes to the tongue, lips, or jaw (changing one element at a time as in any controlled experiment), separate overtones will gain definition. The sounds you create are feedback leading to finer mouth control. It may be difficult to sort out the overtones created by each position. Discover them as you work out a scale above one steady fundamental. Eventually simple melodies will emerge within a limited range."

(Source : "Khoomei - How Tos and Whys" by Michael Emory from the website http://www.fotuva.org)

Anyone feeling a little more adventurous may wish to check out the Tuvan throat singing punk band Yat-Kha featuring Albert Kuvezin. Their 2005 album "Re-Covers" features covers of classic songs such as "Ramblin' Man", "Black Magic Woman", "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida", "When the Levee Breaks" and "Love Will Tear Us Apart".
10. You're back home and decide to relive some memories by typing Tuva into a search engine, but the ubiquitous PDAZ warns you that your search is just as likely to throw up the Microsoft product "Project Tuva" as the Russian republic. What reason does she give for "Project Tuva" being so named?

Answer: The late Richard Feynman was the inspiration behind the project and he had a lifelong desire to visit Tuva.

Feynman was a renowned American scientist who won the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1965. Amongst his other work, he participated in the Manhattan Project and helped investigate the Challenger Space Shuttle disaster. A young Bill Gates watched Feynman delivering the Messenger lectures in 1964. "Project Tuva" is a video player developed by Microsoft to host these lectures and make them (and hopefully similar scientific material) freely available to a wider audience.

Feynman collected stamps as a child and from these stamps grew his fascination for Tuva. Together with a friend, Ralph Leighton, he laid down various plans to visit but this was at the height of the Cold War and his dream was unrealised when he died in 1988. Leighton narrated their exploits in the book, "Tuva or Bust". He finally got to Tuva in 1991 and took a memorial plaque with him.

Bill Gates was born in Seattle which PDAZ will tell you is level with Mongolia but not quite as far north as Tuva!
Source: Author glendathecat

This quiz was reviewed by FunTrivia editor ozzz2002 before going online.
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