Kalmyk Mongolian Odyssey
Kalmyks, the first ethnic Mongolians to be admitted to the United States in the winter of 1951, originally migrated from their Western Mongolian homelands to the steppes of Southern (European) Russia around the same time Pilgrims settled in the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Like most Mongolian tribes, Kalmyks were once a part of the fabled Mongol Empire established in the 13th century by the incomparable, Chinghis Khan.
The first communal project undertaken by Kalmyk refugees admitted to America was to establish the first Tibetan Buddhist congregation and worship center in the Western Hemisphere in November of 1952. That act of communal piety, arguably, forever altered in the cultural, religious and sociological tapestry of our benevolent host country.