UST-KAMENOGORSK – The opening of a new memorial to noted 18th Century commander Kabanbai Batyr took place in this city in East Kazakhstan on May 7. The ceremony was arranged to coincide with Defenders of the Homeland Day.
A dramatic performance was organised to celebrate the opening of the memorial and Executive Secretary of the Ministry of Culture of Kazakhstan Kuatzhan Ualiyev, poet and honoured art worker Nesipbek Aitauli, member of the Journalism Academy and Kurmet Order honouree Ulikbek Esdauletov, singer Seken Turisbekov, Secretary of the Almaty Maslikhat Ermek Kelimseit and Kamal Abdrakhmanov, author of four books dedicated to Kabanbai Batyr’s life, were distinguished guests at the event.
“Kabanbai Batyr is a symbol of the Kazakh nation. Today’s arrangement is a tribute to offer reverence to our ancestors, people who created the history of our country and who fought for the independence of our state. As I can see, a lot of people have come to watch the opening ceremony today; there is an honourable attitude that our people have toward Kazakh heroes,” said Ualiyev at the ceremony.
Aitauli noted that several years ago, in the East Kazakhstan region, a memorial dedicated to one of Kazakhstan’s most renowned poets, Abai, was opened. He also said that the heroism of Kabanbai Batyr should be a dramatic example for Kazakhstan’s young generation.
Special bus routes were organised to ferry members of the public to the ceremony, as the memorial was erected along the exit road of the city. The celebrations continued with traditional Kazakh sport competitions, Kazakh kuresi (wrestling) and baiga (horse racing). A new car was announced as the prize for the winners in these competitions.
The bronze memorial, made by Nurlan Dalbay, is 13 metres tall. About 150 million tenge (US$823,858) was allocated from the national budget for the memorial and about 30 million tenge (US$164,760) from the municipal budget for land improvement.
During the military parade in Astana on the same day, President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev noted the importance of raising the young generation to be patriotic and esteem the memory of Kazakh batyrs, or heroes, who fought to protect their homeland.