In Tuvan folklore, the orphan is a key figure who shows the central impor­tance of love and family relationships. Deprived of parents, orphans are con­sidered the unluckiest of humans, even if they own lots of animals and have plenty of money.

THE ORPHAN’S LAMENT
I’m alone, I’m an orphan If I’d died as a baby.
If as a baby I’d died It wouldn’t have been such a misfor­tune
I’m alone, I’m an orphan
If I’d died as a newborn in the cradle
If as a newborn in the cradle I’d died
No one would have needed my thick­ened blood (placenta)
[i.e., it would have been better to have been aborted
than to have had such an unfortunate life]
We feel pity for a tiny bird
That tumbles from a broken nest
We feel pity for a baby
Who has lost his mother
The fate of the universe Can’t be held back
Even if my dying mother stood up and came to me
She wouldn’t add to my happiness

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