Promoting cultural heritage
An ethnic village was opened at a meadow formerly used as Abylai Khan’s headquarters in Burabay National Park. It became a popular attraction for Kazakh and foreign tourists. The first ethnic festival ‘Atadan kalgan asyl mura’ which presented the ancient nomadic times was performed to the visitors. Based on the custom, visitors were invited into yurts. The young visitors participated in the national sports events while the older generation participated in ancient rituals, such as “Betashar,” “Tausau kesu,” “Bosaga Maylau,” and “Bas kuda.”
The organizers said the events play an important role in preserving the original Kazakh culture as well as its promotion to young generations and the development of ethnic tourism.
TATYANA KOSHMAN, TEACHER, GUMILYOV EURASIAN NATIONAL UNIVERSITY:
- Preservation and promotion of the traditional culture is very important. We can see many children here, the holiday unites ethnic groups and Kazakhstan in general. It is very important to conduct such ethnocultural holidays as part of the Modernization of Kazakhstan’s Identity program. The holiday brings people together and demonstrates the richness of Kazakhstan’s culture.
MANFRED METZGER-BUSCHOR, GERMAN EXPERT:
- It’s my first time in Kazakhstan so I don’t know a lot about the country, but I find it very interesting to see here the various cultures you have still alive.
Another ethnic village was recreated in Pavlodar region as well. The residents and guests of the Sharbakty village were given a chance to travel back to history. They enjoyed various types of folk-applied crafts besides the traditional dances and games.
In the old days, every Kazakh girl learned the skills of making ‘tekemet,’ ‘alasha’ and ‘syrmak’ from childhood. Skilled craftswomen who mastered the art of felting also presented their works in the ethnic village. The organizers’ main goal is to gain attraction on the revival of crafts.
AIMEREKE SMAILOVA, CHAIRPERSON, PAVLODAR REGIONAL PUBLIC ASSOCIATION:
- The ethnocultural forum is a perfect opportunity to share skills in applied arts. There are some rare and almost forgotten techniques of the applied arts, such as making and decorating an “alasha.” We can demonstrate and teach this rare technique. We also demonstrate the correct way of spinning yarn from wool. In older days, craftswomen made clothes that lasted for years.
Kazakhstan takes pride in its rich and authentic culture. Experts say that the development of ethnic tourism will allow promoting the unique customs and traditions of the Kazakh people.