National Geographic : 1960 Jan
PAINTING BY LT. COL. WILLIAM E . PEDRICK, UWNEDBY I E OLD BARHAKB5 AN ULAIAlIIN, INENIUN near Farmingdale in Monmouth County are New Jersey's most recent newcomers, the Kal muks, direct descendants of western Mongol tribes who fought against the all-conquering armies of Genghis Khan. How pitifully true is the word "Kalmuk," meaning "remnant" in their language. Today the known world population is only 135,000, and some 250 of them live on the 30-acre Kalmuk tract near Farmingdale. "Remnants" Become Good Jerseymen I came to know Freewood Acres' Kalmuks through a pleasant-faced, stocky young man wearing a sweatshirt on which the faded words "American University" were imprinted. His smile revealed splendid white teeth as he in troduced himself: "I'm Alexey Ivanchukov, chairman of the Kalmuk Society in the United States." The sweatshirt? "That's my kid brother's; he's a senior at American University, in Wash 12 ington, D. C.," he explained. "I'm attending Columbia." Alexey proudly showed me through the little Buddhist temple his group built four years ago (page 33). The brilliant colors of ceiling hangings and altar decorations made the in terior glow even in the light of flickering candles. A solemn priest fingered his prayer beads near the altar. He paused to smile hos pitably as Alexey presented me, but he did not speak. "Please sign the guestbook," my guide urged as we left the temple. I did-directly beneath the names of three visitors from Calcutta, India, who had been there the day before. Outside the temple with its centuries-old traditions, I could hear the roaring symbols of the 20th century as automobiles sped to and from the Jersey shore on crowded U. S. Route 9. A late-model car stopped. Alexey leaned through the window to remind three pretty Kalmuk girls of a picnic on Saturday.