ASTANA – The seventh World Epics Festival dedicated to the 95th anniversary of Kyrgyz writer Chingiz Aitmatov and the 125th anniversary of Kazakh writer Mukhtar Auezov has kicked off in the Kyrgyz city Osh, reported Kyrgyz national news agency Kabar on May 18.
With local and international participants performing folklore ethno-programs and scientific symposiums, the ran through May 20. The festival aims to celebrate the cultural diversity of different countries and ways to preserve it.
The festival includes an ethnic village dubbed Kyrgyz Kochu and an exhibition fair of artisans. Traditional events and rituals, including tunduk kotoru (building a yurt), and tushoo kesuu (fetters cutting on feet, celebrating the child’s first steps) were also held.
At the end of the event, creative teams and artists of Kyrgyz Republic, Kazakhstan, the Russian republics of Tuva, Sakha-Yakutia, Khakassia, and Altai gave performances.
Performances of folklore groups from Khakassia and Tuva, national games, and Sarkech kochmon competition of ethno-costumes will take place as part of the festival.
The Kyrgyz government established the World Epics Festival in 2006 as an innovative way to preserve the world’s epic heritage. The idea was supported by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the International Organization of Turkic Culture (TURKSOY).
The organizers hope to illustrate the cultural diversity of different countries, to foster tolerance and unity among the young generation, develop respect and love towards the past, make cultural life accessible to all social groups, and strengthen the distinctiveness and originality of each nation.