The ‘Asyk Atu’ Kazakh national game has joined UNESCO's list of the Intangible Cultural Heritage

The ‘Asyk Atu’ Kazakh national game has joined UNESCO's list of the Intangible Cultural Heritage. This decision was made at the 12th session of the UNESCO's intergovernmental committee, which was held in South Korea’s Cheju Island. According to UNESCO, the asyk is a national symbol of childhood in Kazakhstan which unites all people regardless of age, ethnic or religious affiliation.

TIM CURTIS, HEAD, INTANGIBLE HERITAGE SECTION, UNESCO:

 - I would like to congratulate you and Kazakhstan for the inscription of asyk traditional games.

Representatives of the Kazakh Ministry of Culture and Sports taught foreigners how to play the asyk at the meeting. Kazakhstan approved the rules of this game six years ago. The country hosted international and national tournaments. According to the official data, nearly 6000 people can play the asyk in Kazakhstan.

ZHOMART SABYRZHANOV, DIRECTOR, ‘ASYK ATU’ REPUBLICAN FEDERATION:

 - When children look at one point for a long time the eye muscles don’t move and develop. The eyes get moistened. Doctors have proved that this leads to diseases such as myopia. One of the methods of treatment is to go out and play the asyk in fresh air. Thus, the eye muscles develop.

The list of the Intangible Cultural Heritage Section has eight nominations with Kazakhstan’s participation, including ‘The Art of Performing the Kui on Dombyra’, ‘The Kazakh Fight’, the joint nominations with Kyrgyzstan‘The Skills in Constructing the Yurt" and "Aitys", as well as the multinational proposals like ‘Nauryz’, ‘Falconry’  and  ‘The Thin Turkic bread’.

ZHANAR SHAIMENOVA, SECOND SECRETARY, KAZAKH NATIONAL COMMISSION FOR UNESCO:

- Next year, Kazakhstan claims to be a member of the intergovernmental committee for the safeguarding of the UNESCO’s intangible cultural heritage. Kazakhstan will be one of those countries to consider the nominations of the participating countries.

Kazakhstan’s application to join the UNESCO’s intergovernmental committee will be considered at the next meeting, which is scheduled for June 2018.