ASTANA – EXPO 2017 guests will have a unique opportunity to explore the ancient culture of nomadic civilisation, as Ethno Auyl (which stands for Ethno Village), an unusual cultural complex, has opened in the capital’s suburbs. Organisers intend for the space to acquaint visitors with the rich history, art, traditions, rituals and national cuisine of the Kazakh people and experience how nomads went about their day.
“This is the place where any visitor of the expo can come and get an idea about what our culture is really about. We certainly have tried to prepare the project from all sides. It included such issues, for instance, as communication, water and light. It was another difficulty that we solved successfully,” said Kazakh Deputy Minister of Culture and Sports Aktoty Raimkulova.
Every day, guests can enjoy a rich programme of events – a plethora of festivals of Kazakh music and theatrical art, master classes by artisans and equestrian sports. Traditional games, such as audaryspak, kokpar, baiga and kyzkuu, will be demonstrated. Tourists can not only watch the presentations, but also be involved in contests.
“The Ministry of Culture and Sports plans to hold around 20 international sports competitions, including national sports and competitions,” said ministry’s Sport Committee chairperson Yelsiyar Kanagatov.
The 2,000-square metre Ethno Village has several sectors where visitors can explore traditional hunting with birds and hounds or immerse themselves in Kazakh applied art during workshops where they can take part in creating their very own masterpieces.
“I use various techniques in my work. I am using a wet felting technique for this painting and there is a mixed technique as well that I use. It is called nano-felt when the wool rolls along with silk. There is a dry felting technique which I also tend to try from time to time. When the painting dries, I finish it by dry felting,” said decorative art master Anel Alibai.
Once the expo ends, Ethno Village will continue its work as a seasonal national and cultural centre. The brightest national events will take place annually and organisers are convinced the spot will turn into the city’s favourite among locals and guests.