SHYMKENT – The best akyns, or traditional folk poets in Kazakhstan participated in the national aitys, or folk poetry and music festival this week to celebrate the 350th anniversary of the Tole-bi region and the 300th anniversary of the birth of Abylai Khan.
Performers presented songs on a wide range of topical issues including politics, economics, social development, morality and the relationships between fathers and sons.
Generous prizes for the contestants included cash awards and two cars.
The festival was held as part of the annual Nauryz spring New Year celebrations. The Shanin Kazakh Drama Theatre was packed with an audience eager to hear the leading folk artists in the country including Aynur Tursynbaeva, Erkebulan Kainazarov, Asem Erezhekyzy from Astana, Mukhtar Niyazov, Nurmat Mansurov from Kyzylorda,, Zhansaya Mussina from East Kazakhstan, Askhat Kylyshbek from Zhambyl, Aspanbek Shugataev from Pavloidar and Ayan Seytov from Aktobe.
South Kazakhstan’s folk poets presented their regional tradition of playing music on the dombra while improvising their verses. They included Bekarys Shoybekov, Marjane Eszhanova, Zharkynbek Naushabekov, Akmaral Leubaeva Anar Zhapparkulova and Karim Oralova.
Kalizhan Bildashov, Birzhan Baytuov, Nurlan Esenkulov, Askhat Sadykbekov, Turar Tileuliev, Gulziya Kalymbetov and Kazhymukan Abzalov appeared from the younger, rising generation of folk poets.
The large audience and the quality of contributions from the participants demonstrated that one of the proudest cultural heritages of the ancient clans continues to flourish in modern Kazakhstan.