One of the most renown Tuvin throat singers died. Kongar-ol Ondar died on 25 July 2013 after undergoing a surgery, after he suffered brain hemorrhage. Kongar-ol was taught throat singing by his uncle when he was a child. Throat singing is an old Tuvin tradition, that has been passed down from one generation to the next for thousands of years. Throat singing is where a singer produces low droning sounds and a series of high pitched notes simultaneously. Kongar-ol went ahead to experience a successful singing career and was even recognized and given a National Artist of Russian award by Boris Yeltsin, the Russian President.
Tuvin is sometimes referred to as Tuvan, Tyvan, Diba, Soyot, Tanu, Tuba, Uryankhai or Tuvinian. It is a Turkic language, that is spoken in the Republic of Tuva, in Russia. Tuvin has borrowed a lot of words from the Russian language, Mongolian and Tibetan. Small groups of Tuvin speakers can be found in China and Mongolia. Tofa is the closest language to Tuvin. Tuvin is also closely related to the Atlai languages and Khakas. Tuvin is largely divided into 4 main dialects. This includes the southern, northern, central and western dialects. Tsengel, Dzungar and Dukha are also Tuvin dialects, which have not been documented and they are not very widely spoken. There are approximately 245,000 people who speak this language in the Russian Federation. Tuvin is a geographically isolated language. Most speakers are multi-lingual and can also speak Russian or Mongolian. Tuvin speakers in China can also speak Chinese. Most Tuvins are Buddhists or traditionalists.
Tuvin was written using a modified version of the Latin alphabet. This script was developed by a Budhhist monk in 1930. A couple of newspapers and books were published using this script. The Mongolian script was first used to write the Tuvin language. This Mongolian script was revised by Nikolaus Poppe to suit the Tuvin language. Tuvin is taught in primary and secondary schools. A Cyrillic alphabet was developed after 1943. it is still in use up to date. It has 36 letters of the alphabet, out of which 6 are vowels and the rest are consonants.