The award ceremony took place during the opening event of the 2nd Kovalevsky Readings.
In his greeting, Rector Ilshat Gafurov noted that Oriental studies in Russia origin from Kazan, where the first Department of Eastern Studies in Russia was established in the early 19th century. Professor Chirstian Frähn (1782 - 1851) was the first employee of the department. After him, a notable contribution to Oriental studies was made by Osip Kovalevsky (1801 - 1878), who, apart from his research work, served as university rector in 1855 - 1860. Kovalevsky specialized in Mongolian studies and published a number of fundamental treatises on Mongolian language and culture, as well as Buddhism.
“Kovalevsky dedicated his life to science and Kazan University and brought up a plethora of students who inherited his knowledge and his thinking,” said Dr. Gafurov. He added that KFU aims to become a leader in this area today, “KFU is the leader in Russia in admissions to Asian and African studies.”
In conclusion, the Rector invited Irina Popova, famous Sinologist, Director of the Institute of Oriental Manuscripts (Russian Academy of Sciences), to congratulate her and to give out the medal. As the Rector reminded, this is yet another sign of a longstanding link between Oriental studies in Kazan and Saint-Petersburg.
2020 Kovalevsky Readings take up 1 - 3 December.
Source text: Leisan Zakirova
Photos: Kseniya Bogdanova
Translation: Yury Nurmeev