Fifth World Nomad Games: Caravan of Unity Kicks Off in Zhambyl Region

ASTANA — The Caravan of Unity, a kind of torch relay, has started in the Zhambyl Region two months ahead of the fifth World Nomad Games, scheduled for Sept. 8 to 13 in the Kazakh capital.

Photo credit: Click to see the map in full size. The map is designed by The Astana Times.

Traditionally, all modern major sports events such as the Olympics, Asian, and World University Games include the torch relay, which is different in form but unified in content. At the first three World Nomad Games, water was the main sacred symbol and the key element, according to the World Nomad Games press service.

As part of the Caravan of Unity, an ethno-village with national flavor, consisting of six yurts, was built on the banks of the Yrgayty River. Each yurt was decorated in accordance with its theme and had its own characteristics. The ethno-village presents Kazakh traditions, an exhibition of historical artifacts, an exhibition of books by famous personalities of the region, national games, an exhibition of nomadic accessories, and yurts uniting famous singers and akyns (poets) in the region.

The organizers held competitions in national games such as Qazaq kuresi, audaryspak (horseback wrestling), traditional archery, Togyzkumalak (nine pellets), asyk atu (a board game with bones of a knee sheep joint), and tug of war. Guests were able to enjoy the taste of national dishes at the festival of national cuisine and a concert program with Kazakh folk songs and dances.

“Today’s event is of great importance for popularizing the cultural heritage of our people, including national values ​​and national games, for introducing the rich history and culture of the people of Kazakhstan, for strengthening the unity and harmony of the people. This unique cultural place demonstrates the life and lifestyle of our ancestors. Kordai is a sacred place where unity and stability reign. I am confident that we will be able to hold the World Nomad Games at a high level in the capital, showing an example of unity,” said sports veteran Myktybek Altybay.

Ahead of the World Nomad Games, all regional centers of Kazakhstan and cities of national importance will host a colorful theatrical action, during which water will be taken from one of the local sacred springs for the World Nomad Games Opening Ceremony. After passing through the central streets of the region and being honored in the central square, the caravan will leave for the capital of Kazakhstan.

The fifth World Nomad Games will feature over 2,000 participants competing in 21 sports for 97 medals.

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