Book about Chokan Valikhanov Presented in Moscow

ASTANA – “ChokanValikhanov,” a book by ZharylkapBeysenbaiuly about the Kazakh scholar, ethnographer and historian, was presented Dec. 14 at the Russian Geographical Society (RGS) headquarters in Moscow, reported FK News.


The volume, supplemented by new historical and archival documents, contains important findings concerning unknown facts from Valikhanov’s life and era, according to the agency.

Society Deputy Executive Director Ilya Gurov noted the organisation is actively cooperating with its Kazakh colleagues and jointly implementing a number of projects.

“The unique life path of Valikhanov is an example of civic exploits, fascinating adventures and military intelligence skills,” he said, as reported by the agency. “He carried a high title of RGS member with dignity and he would have managed to do a lot; it is a pity that fate allotted him too few years of life.”

The book was published in Russian with support from the Kazakh Ministry of Culture and Sports and the Kazakh Embassy in Russia. The publication is timed with the 180th birthday of the Kazakh scholar and the 170th anniversary of the society, according to FK News.

Embassy Minister Counsellor Viktor Temirbayev expressed his appreciation to translators, who enabled the book written in the Kazakh language to be available for Russian readers.

“It is gratifying that today’s event was held within the walls of the Russian Geographical Society, of which Valikhanov was a member,” he said. “Our great compatriot made a notable contribution to world culture, history, geography and many facets of his talent require comprehension.”

Temirbayev emphasised that Valikhanov unites Russia and Kazakhstan and in that sense is a symbol of friendship between the nations, the agency reported.

“In the year of the 550th anniversary of the Kazakh Khanate, Valikhanov’s character is revealed in a new way,” said Raushan Kanapyanova, a professor at Moscow State Art and Cultural University and the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration. “His research and reflections on Asia’s nations are very relevant for understanding today’s changing world system.”

She expressed the hope that support for Valikhanov’s legacy, which left his historical and cultural mark on Kazakhs, will be systematic and consistent.

Doctor of Historical Sciences and leading researcher at the Russian Academy of Sciences Institute of Oriental Studies Alexander Kadyrbayev considers Valikhanov one of the best representatives of 19th century Russian science.

Using the advantages of the famous book written about Valikhanov by Irina Strelkova, a new, more imposing work which became Beysenbaiuly’s volume was needed to comprehend such a personality. Kadyrbaev expressed confidence that this historical and biographic narrative will find its reader, reported FK news.

Beysenbaiuly has been studying the life and works of the great Kazakh ethnographer for many years, travelling the route of his “Diary of a Trip to Issyk Kul” essay written in 1856 and visiting places where he lived and worked. Beysenbaiuly is also the author of books such as “In the Footsteps of Chokan” (1977), “The Fate of Chokan” (1987) and “Chokan” (2009), according to the agency.

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