Tourists are interested in ancient Kazakh crafts. Sheiko Hiroma claims that this is a great opportunity to experience the culture of the people. A Japanese tourist speaks Kazakh fluently and she has been interested in folk crafts for 10 years.

SHIYEKO HIROMA, JAPANESE ETHNOGRAPHER:

 - For example, the pattern of the mutton’s horn. This ornament has its own special meaning. I was told that in your country, carpets with the image of the mutton’s horn are used to decorate houses in order to attract happiness.

Shiyeko Hiroma is from Hanavata located near Tokyo. This isn’t her first time in Kazakhstan. Two years ago she visited Shymkent, where she studied ancient traditions. She met with a craftswoman from Almaty, Gulnara Seizhan on the Internet. With her help, Shiyeko learned to make syrmak, a patterned felt carpet. She supports the Kazakh master’s aspirations to create schools of syrmak-making all over Kazakhstan.

GULNAR SEIZHAN, CRAFTSWOMAN:

- Why do we need these schools? We should remember the national traditions and culture. We need to know our history and to pass it on to younger generation. I think that schools should offer classes on carpet weaving and other crafts. Thus, our traditions will be preserved because the youth will continue the traditions.

Siyeko Hiroma dreams of mastering carpet weaving just as well as her mentor. In the future, she plans to write a PhD paper in Kazakh ethnography in one of the leading universities of Japan.

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