KazanDo you know where Kazan is?
In 2009, Hillary Clinton, as the Secretary of State of the United States, went to Russia to talk with Russian leaders. After finishing her official business in Moscow, she made an unscheduled trip to a Volga city of Kazan before coming back to the United States. The question is why? Why was Kazan so special to her?
- While in Moscow, she probably heard that Kazan is a city where Moslems
and Christians live in harmony. She went there to see how this is possible.
It takes 1.3 hours to fly to Kazan from Moscow.
While she was in Kazan, she shook hands with the religous leaders from both sides. Click here for a Russian video of how Hillary was shaking hands with those religious leaders.
The question is whether it is possible to understand the basic issue of living together in harmony by shaking hands with those high-ranking Christian bishops and Mostlem ayatolas. The answer is clearly No. This is indeed the handicap for politicians. Then, can I do a better job than Hillary? Not necessarily, but I met many ordinary people and I knew the history of the city before going there.
- In 1960, I heard about Kazan from Sergei Eisenstein's film
entitled "Ivan the Terrible." When I went there in
1999 (ten years before Hillary went)
at the invitation of Professor
of Kazan State University, I met many Russians with Christian
background and also many with Moslem background. They were telling
me Kazan is the only city in the world where Moslems and Christians
live together harmoniously.
- After I gave a talk, one person from the audience came to me whether I am
a Taoist. I said No, because I have no recollections of reading any books on
Taoism. I then asked him why he was asking this question. His answer was I
was singing harmony throughout my talk. I then asked him where in my talk I
mentioned the word "harmony." He said I never mentioned the word, but my talk
was entirely based on the harmony. It is thus possible Kazan's life style
could have produced their own concept of harmony. This is could be an important
homework problem for philosophers. We all know how
Kantianism was produced in Koenigsberg (now Kaliningrad).
While I was talking, one Russian lady in the audience constructed my portrait. I look funny.
- In 2010, I made my third trip to Kazan to attend the Petrov Centennial Conference.
Look at my physics quartet page. you will
see Einstein, Dirac, Wigner, and Feynman. For many years, I have been composing
quartets with these four great physicists as instruments, as Hayden and Beethoven
composed their quartets based on four string instruments. I have a temptation
to name my papers EDWF Quartet No. 1, No. 2, ---.
The harmony is the key variable in those papers. Let me stop talking
about my own physics, but you may still be interested in why I am
so excited about the harmony in physics.
- Physics Quartet. This is my
webpage dedicated to the harmony in modern physics.
- My latest powerpoint presented at the Petrov Conference (November 2010).
- Physics Quartet. This is my webpage dedicated to the harmony in modern physics.
Hillary Clinton in Russia (2009).
for Hillary photos
Kazan State University
Nicoli Lobachevsky (1792-1856) was played the key role
in setting up the university as a research institution.
Lobachevsky initiated a new geometry. He questioned
why the sum of the internal angles of a triangle has to be
180 degrees, and this question evntually led to the concecpt of
- Vladimir Lenin attended this
University, but he got kicked out. He was expelled from the university
because he was a trouble maker interested in revoluions. Yet there is
a statue of Lenin in front
of the University's main building.
- Leo Tolstoy
is also an important person. He also spent one year at Kazan State University.
He was a bad student and was told to leave. He was only interested in
girls and dancing.
- Alexei Zinovievich Petrov
(1910-1972) formulated the Lobachevsky geometry for general relativity.
For his extensive contributions to Soviet physics and mathematics.
He was awarded in 1972 the Lenin Prize (highest honor Russians could get
during the Cold-War period).
- Asya Aminova was Petrov's
student. She maintains a conference series entitled "Petrov School." She
invited me to one of her conferences held at Kazan's Volga beach in 2001.
She invited me again to the Petrov Centennial Conference in 2010.
- Main Building Kazan State
- Another View of the Campus.
- This Small Building looks like the university president's residence. I was not able to confirm this.
- Old Class Room where both Lenin and Tolstoy studied.
- Physics Building.
How many universities in the world have physics buildings as big as this?
Entrance to the Physics Building.
- My photo with students in front of Lenin's statue.
- Statue of Lobachevsky. How do I look here?
- The Government Building of Tatarstan is not far away from the campus of Kazan State University. Kazan is the capital city of Tatarstan, and the concert all is in the same area.
|Czar Alexander I|
In order to expand Russian cultural influence to the east beyond the Volga River, Czar Alexander I decided to strengthen a university in Kazan in 1815, known today as Kazan State University. As you know, Napoleon had some problems with Alexander I.
Moslems and Christians
Kul-Sharif Mosque in Kazan's Kremlin. This structure was constructed
in 2005. The original mosque was built at this location in 1552, but Ivan the
Terrible destroyed it after conquering Kazan. Then the second edition was constructed
at the same place. The present building is the third edition. Scholars say that
some element of Saint Basil's Basilica in
Moscow were copied from the original version of this mosque.
- The Mosque and Kremlin seen from some distance.
- A Model of the Earlier version replaced by the present structure.
- A Moslem Family who came to this Mosque to pray.
Annunciation Cathedral (1561-62). After destroying the Kul-Sharif
Mosque, Ivan the Terrible built this Russian Orthodox cathedral.
- Spasski Tower. While Kazan was under
Russian domination, this tower was constructed at the entrance of the Kremlin. The
cross at the top was replaced by a star by the communist regime.
- Christian Churches are everywhere
in Kazan, but there are more Moslems than Christians.
Before continuing my story, I have to explain my cultural background. I was born and raised in Korea in a strict Confucian tradition, but I also have a strong Christian background.
To me, Jesus and Confucius say the same thing. For this reason, wherever I go in the world, ladies feel safe to be with me. I seem to enjoy this special freedom. The question is whether this freedom is applicable to Moslem ladies.
- at a Coffee Shop. We walked around too much. We needed a rest.
- In non-Moslem style,
we had a photo together. Her name is Zulphia, and I like to
Based on my experience with Moslems in Kazan, Confucius, Jesus, and Mohammed say the same thing. This is the basis for their harmony.
Kazan as a Music City
- Russian Ballerinas.
Russians produce great ballets, and those ballerinas look like dolls or
angeles on the stage. How would they look when they are passengers on
an airplane. I met these ladies on a Lufthansa flight from Frankfurt to
Kazan (June 2001). This photo was taken when we were waiting on line for
passport inspection at Kazan's international airport. They are holding
their Russian passports.
- Irina Bachkova is a professor
at Moscow Conservatory located near Moscow's Bolshoi theater. She was
born in Kazan (Russia) and was in Kazan during the summer of 2001 to
be with her mother.
At Kazan State University, while attending the 2001 Volga meeting of
theoretical physics, I heard her playing Beethoven's violin sonata
No. 5 "Spring." I heard this Sonata when I was a high-school boy, and
decided to live like the Spring Sonata. She was therefore playing
my life. I was so happy that I gave her a postcard carrying a photo
of Beethoven's four string
instruments from my portable photo album.
By giving this card, I was able to convince her that I was a Beethoven
lover. She also told me she becomes very happy whenever she plays
Beethoven's sonatas. Beethoven wrote ten violin sonatas, and his fifth
and ninth sonatas, known as Spring and Kreutzer respectively, are
very popular among the music lovers throughout the world.
- Concert Hall in Kazan. Kazan is
a Volga city between Moscow and Ural Mountains. It takes one hour to fly from Moscow
to Kazan. Both Vladimir Lenin and Leo Tolstoy spent their times at Kazan State University.
Lenin could was expelled from the University because he was only interested in a Marxist
revolution. Tolstoy was interested only in girls and dancing. He was also expelled.
- Another View of the Concert Hall.
- In November of 2010, I was inside
the Concert Hall, and took this photo before the performance of the Kazan Symphony Orchestra.
- World War II Veteran. In addition to
music, I enjoy meeting interesting people. This elderly man fought at the battle
of Kursk during the war, where the bitterest tank battle took place. I asked him
whether he was in a T-34 tank. He said No. He was shooting his
hand-held) machine gun while running around between the tanks. He is so proud
of the medals he earned that he is carrying
the medal certificates, and showed them to me. You will be interested
to hear that I know how to operate this machine gun.
- The Battle Scene like this he had gone through.
- The Opera House is also in the same area. I was inside this opera house in 1999 for Profiling's Romeo and Juliet.
- Minstry of Culture is among the
music and government buildings in the same area.
- Violin Solo at the opening session of the Bashkov Conference (1999).
- String Quartet at the opening ceremony of the Petrov Centennial Conference (2010).
- Singing Priests at the banquet
held during the Petrov Conference.
Beautiful Places in Kazan
- Bauman Street is
a pedestrian street with many interesting shops.
You can meet many interesting people.
- McDonald's is a popular spot for young people.
- Teenager Girls looking for fun.
- Samsung Telephone Store. When I left Korea in 1954, Samsung was an obscure candy company.
- Boston Store sells expensive shoes.
- This Souvenir Store sells Moslem items. Here is my photo with the shop keepers.
- Beautiful Street Cars
connecting the residential areas with business centers.
- New Apartment Buildings. This photo was taken in 1999. There must be more construction activities these day.
- Two Young Boys at the play ground of a residential complex.
- Traditional Market Place
dating back to the 12th Century.
- Beautiful Ladies enhance the
beauty of their city. Professor Victor Bashkov was the principal organizer
for the 1999 conference. He assigned his daughter to be my city guide.
Her name is Masha. When I was there in 2010, she was in England, but
her mother came to the conference banquet. She is also a
beautiful lady who enhances
the beauty of Kazan.
- Another Beautiful Set of Mother and Daughter. While I was there in 2010, I walked into their Town Hall, where there was a party with many formally dressed teenager girls. There I spotted this set of mother and daughter, and a proposed a photo. They readily said Yes. After the shot, the teenager girl pushed away her mother and wanted to have a photo with me alone.
- I spotted these two girls in the lobby of Kazan's Concert Hall. They agreed to be photographed. Then then asked me to have a photo together.
- Taxi Driver who took me and
my wife to the Kazan airport.
- Two Beautiful Gentlemen from Maryland. I met Dieter Brill when I went to Princeton in 1958. He was already there. We spent many years together at the University of Maryland, and we are still there. However, we are seldom together with neckties. This photo was taken at the banquet during the Petrov Centennial Conference (2010).
- Hotel Giuseppe is an
Italian-style hotel owned and operated by an Italian business man.
I stayed for five days in November of 2010.
- Hotel Reception Desk with Greek-style human pillars.
- While waiting for my turn to check-in, sitting next to me was a Russian lady who came to Kazan to a job interview. She is an economist who can speak fluent English. Kazan is becoming an international city.
- Giussepe is the owner of the hotel. We had this photo at the hotel restaurant with the hotel workers. He came from Milan in 2000 and transformed a communist-era apartment building into a stylish hotel.
- Italian-Style Hallway.
- One of the many Italian Pictures on the wall.
- Raifa Monastery is about 12 kilometers from Kazan's Kremlin. This monastery was constructed in 1615 after Kazan was annexed to Russia, but was closed during the communist era.
Volga Festival 2001From June 22 to July 3, 2001, there was a physics conference entitled "Volga XIII: Recent Problems in Physics" held at a camp called "Volga" about 30 km south from Kazan (Russia). This camp is of course located along the Volga River. The life style there is somewhat different from what I am accustomed to in the United States.
- Wooded Area. Throughout the
conference, we stayed at wooden bungalows. It was somewhat inconvenient,
but we were happy to be so close to the nature.
- One Serious Problem was the lack of good places to eat. I solved this problem by establishing a special relation with the person in charge of the camp cafeteria.
- Camp Security Officers. The They are professionals. They showed me how they could throw a dagger and hit the target.
- Industry along the River. The
Volga has been the main commercial route connection the Russian mainland
and Caspian Sea. There are thus many industrial plants along this river.
The Volga River has been and will be Russia's economic lifeline.
In 1999, Russia's economy was not in good shape. Many Russians were
concerned about the lack of traffic along the River.
- Minerals produced in this area are being shipped to other places.
- Bridge across the River. There must be bridges, and they should be high enough to allow ships to navigate.
- River Cruise. With
two students on a cruise ship along the Volga River. The Russian flag is
in the background. I like students. This is my job.
- Neptune. Rivers
and seas are very important to humans, and we have a tendency to believe
that there are underwater gods who dictate our fate. For this reason, we
often perform rituals to please those underwater gods, often by donating
attractive girls. Volga River is very important to Russians. In a small
city near Kazan, this ritual was produced by Russian students attending
a physics conference there, and I was fortunate enough to be a participant.
- Tolstoy. At a sunset
time, a 15-year-old girl was reading a book on a parked paddle boat. I boarded
her boat and asked her what she was reading. She said "War and Peace" by
Tolstoy. I asked her whether she read "Anna Karenina," and she said it is
her next book to read. We discussed the main characters appearing in the
War and Peace, and she seems to know the main point Tolstoy wants to address.
She is a tall lady.
- Two Russian Sisters. During this Volga conference, they always stayed close to me. I asked them why they like a man as old as their grandfather. They said I am like their old brother. They knew what I like to hear. They seem to be interested in how I made out in the United States after coming from Korea when I was as young as they are now.
- Neptune. Rivers and seas are very important to humans, and we have a tendency to believe that there are underwater gods who dictate our fate. For this reason, we often perform rituals to please those underwater gods, often by donating attractive girls. Volga River is very important to Russians. In a small city near Kazan, this ritual was produced by Russian students attending a physics conference there, and I was fortunate enough to be a participant.
- Proud of her Son. Russian lady
proud of her son after he made a speech (Kazan, Russia 2001), thanking
me for bringing Snickers candies to the party from the United States.
This photo makes me think. I think I had several occasions to make my
own mother happy.
- I have more photos to post. Please come again.