Port Moresby, the capital of Papua New Guinea, hosted the 52nd International Linguistic Conference, in which the Miklouho-Maclay Foundation took part, represented by its Director, Nickolay Miklouho-Maclay. In his speech, Nickolay Miklouho-Maclay spoke about the state program on the preservation of indigenous languages of small-numbered peoples that live on the territory of the Russian Federation. Noteworthy is that among the speakers attending the conference was Asel Tui, the descendant of the legendary Papuan named Tui, who met the outstanding Russian scientist and explorer Nickolay Miklouho-Maclay 50 years ago, in the northeastern part of the island. It was particularly symbolic that the conference brought together both descendants – from Russia and Papua New Guinea – reuniting them 150 years after the great historic events. Asel Tui told the audience that the still extant language his native Bongu village has several loan words, borrowed from the Russian language: such are ‘topor’ (‘axe’), ‘kukuruza’ (‘corn’), ‘arbuz’ (‘watermelon’). “This is a great reason to start learning Russian,” – Asel Tui pointed out.
The participation of the Mikloluho-Maclay Foundation in this conference is by no means coincidental. The Foundation has designed an extensive program of events aiming to acquaint visitors with the Russian culture and traditions, as well as to launch distance Russian language learning course for all interested, free of charge. The new program will be put in place already this year. Moreover, the Foundation has also scheduled exhibitions to be held in Port Moresby and Madang, introducing Russia to thousands of Papua New Guineans.
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