ASTANA – Kazakhstan has dedicated this year to the Assembly of the People of Kazakhstan and events have begun around the country to note the special designation.
The assembly’s flags were raised around the country on Feb. 6 at 11.00 am, including in Astana where a flag was raised in front of the Palace of Peace and Harmony. Also in Astana, a youth flash mob was performed symbolising the unity of Kazakhstan’s ethnicities as well as its principles of public welfare, peace and creation. Popular Kazakh songs and patriotic slogans were also played.
Public officials and public figures, representatives of clergy, ethnic and cultural associations and Olympic champions participated in the ceremony. Secretary of State Gulshara Abdykalykova, Astana Mayor Adilbek Dzhaksybekov, Vice-Chairman and Head of the Secretariat of the Assembly of the People of Kazakhstan Yeraly Tugzhanov were among them.
Abdykalykova congratulated the people of Kazakhstan and read the message on behalf of President Nursultan Nazarbayev: “All this year will be dedicate to our main values: independence, freedom, unity, peace and reconciliation. Twenty years ago on 1 March, 1995, I signed the decree on the establishment of the Assembly of the People of Kazakhstan … to preserve peace and accord in our society. Over this period of time, this institution has become a truly people’s, civil, supra-political body and now it has a constitutional status.”
According to Abdykalykova, the assembly is an institute for the representation of people and advancement of society. “Therefore, the Year of the Assembly of the People of Kazakhstan is our common holiday, the holiday of every one of the 17 million people of Kazakhstan. Every citizen has to feel a responsibility for peace and accord in Kazakhstan. These are the key things for the development of Kazakhstan,” Abdykalykova said.
She also noted that the year of the Assembly of the People of Kazakhstan was the year of big and specific actions conceived for the achievement of the goals of the Kazakhstan 2050 Strategy. This year will also include celebrations for the 20th anniversary of the Constitution, 550th anniversary of the establishment of the Kazakh Khanate and 70th anniversary of the Victory in the Great Patriotic War.
“This year should be a vivid demonstration of the unity of the people forever united by a common historical destiny. Kazakhstan is one land, one people and one future. That is why the main idea of the year of the Assembly of the People of Kazakhstanis ‘My Nation is an Eternal Nation,’” Abdykalykova said.
An Assembly of the People of Kazakhstan– 20 Acts of Kindness national relay race was also held recently to honour the year. The aim of the project is the running of social and charitable events through this country. That is why the sacred Taikazan was chosen as the race’s symbol of hospitality and unity. The relay race symbol was brought to the capital by an assembly delegation from Turkestan and blessed by the city’s elderly, or aqsaqals (white beard in Kazakh). The symbol will be carried throughout all regions of Kazakhstan, where it will be symbolically filled with acts of kindness and will return to Astana by the opening of the 22nd session of the Assembly later in the year.
Yakhiya Khadzhi Ismailov, the head of the mosque named after Kunta Khadzhi sheikh in Astana and a member of the Assembly of the People of Kazakhstan also addressed the year’s opening ceremonies. “The 20th anniversary of the Assembly isn’t a year of the institution, but a year when we speak about the peace and harmony policy of Kazakhstan, evaluate and put an emphasis on its core values. We celebrate the year of unity policy, which is always spoken about by the President. The Assembly has welded all ethnicities living in the territory of Kazakhstan. It affords opportunities to develop and hand down their traditions, customs, culture and the heritage of our forefathers from generation to generation. International and inter-confessional concord is a priceless heritage, which is given to us by this unique institution.”