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2017 †N1-2(142-143)
By tradition, the spring festival of Nowruz was widely celebrated in Turkmenistan. The main events of the celebration took place in the outdoor area near "Trkmeni Ak i" (White Yurt of Turkmens), a center for large-scale cultural events in the city of Mary.
The Speaker of the Mejlis, members of the government, heads of ministries and departments, regional administrations, representatives of public associations, foreign and Turkmen mass media, heads of the diplomatic missions of foreign countries and international organizations accredited in Turkmenistan, workers of culture, numerous local residents, delegations from all the regions of the country and foreign guests gathered in this place to celebrate Nowruz.
The organizers of the festival did their best to recreate the bright national color of theatrical performance. There was set up a large impromptu Turkmen village with yurts, trestle beds, yards with pets and smoking cauldrons near "Trkmeni Ak i". It blended well with an oriental bazaar with motley shopping tents, lively touts and artists cheering the crowd.
Some made utensils. Others made musical instruments. Shopkeepers did a brisk trade in papakhas and skullcaps. Bright silk fabrics streamed over the shop counters, painted jugs and dishes glistened with glaze. The pieces of unsurpassed carpet and jewelry art of Turkmens and national embroidery were displayed nearby. Old melodies performed by Bakshi (folk musicians-storytellers) surrounded by emotional listeners provided a wonderful background for the improvised action.
The festival participants enjoyed the incendiary music and dances by the art groups, soloists and folklore ensembles. Each region of the country prepared musical-ethnographic shows with the exhibitions and sketches recreating various rituals and moments of Nowruz festival.
One could see the process of cooking the national dishes according to old recipes and techniques, including the main treat of Nowruz - "semeni", as well as wedding and family rituals. All these theatrical compositions were accompanied by songs, proverbs and sayings.
A feeling of the fascinating excursion to the ancient times was heightened by large mock-ups of the famous historical monuments of Turkmenistan - Ancient Merv, Kunyaurgench, Dehistan, Anau, etc., which were placed in the festively decorated area.
The achievements of modern Turkmenistan were presented at the exhibitions of products of the agro-industrial complex, textile industry and other spheres.
The beauty of spring and gifts of Turkmen nature and people living in harmony with it were presented at the exhibition of modern Turkmen painting. It displayed paintings from the fund of the Museum of Fine Arts of Turkmenistan and art works by the students of the State Academy of Arts and pupils of the Art School.
Lavish treats were served during the folk festivities, cooked in the cauldrons right on the spot. All the delicacies could be tasted, and the guests tasted the national dishes with great pleasure and interest.
Young people gathered at the high swing decorated with flower garlands. Flying high on the swing is a ritual of spiritual purification that allows people to start another year with the awakened power and open heart.
A gala concert of artists of Turkmenistan was held at "Trkmeni Ak i". The audience was presented with a bunch of popular songs that became musical classics, including songs from the favorite national movies. The famous group of national equestrian games "Galkynysh" also performed spectacularly for the audience. Dashing riders demonstrated their consummate mastery on magnificent horses, creating a lot of emotions in the audience that gave them a storm of applause. The original literary-musical, folklore-ethnographic and choreographic performances also conveyed the characteristic features of the national culture.
Festive concerts and large-scale cultural actions were held in all the regions of the country and the city of Ashgabat.
The traditional celebration of the spring festival of Nowruz was also held in Moscow. Delegations of the CIS countries, other foreign countries and regions of the Russian Federation, as well as representatives of national public associations of the Russian capital took part in the celebration. It was for the second year in a row that the festival was held in the largest pavilion of the Exhibition of Achievements of National Economy.
The Nowruz festival offered the guests a fascinating opportunity to get acquainted with the history and culture of the peoples that make up an integral part of the Moscow civil society. By tradition, the festival featured an exhibition of national handicrafts and souvenirs. Visitors were able to participate in a variety of master classes, taste the original oriental meals and enjoy the colorful show of national costumes.
A large-scale concert was the chief event of the festival. The artists performing at the concert included Moscow pop stars, music groups and soloists that presented the cultures of Afghanistan, Pakistan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, Tatarstan, Bashkortostan, Turkmenistan and Tajikistan. The concert spectators applauded the representatives of the singing art of Turkmenistan - People's Artists Atageldy Garyagdiyev and Nury Khudaiguliyev, who performed original vocal numbers.
About 30 thousand Muscovites and guests of the capital visited the festival.
The International Day of Nowruz was celebrated at the building of the Ethnological Museum of Berlin. The event was organized by the diplomatic missions of Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Iran, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkey and Uzbekistan accredited in the German capital.
Director of the Ethnological Museum Viola Konig delivered a welcoming speech. She emphasized that the spring festival is celebrated annually in the German capital together with the embassies of the countries celebrating Nowruz, and the German side intends to continue this tradition.
The guests of honor of the celebration included representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other departments of the Federal Republic of Germany, diplomats accredited in Berlin, scientists and cultural figures, representatives of public associations, mass media, as well as representatives of national diasporas residing in Germany. The total number of visitors exceeded two thousand people.
The countries participating in the festive events set up their national exhibitions. The Turkmen exhibition presented carpets, national costumes, handicrafts, books, magazines and booklets describing the rich culture, history, nature, sports and tourism potential of Turkmenistan.
A separate part of the Turkmen exhibition featured information about the 5th Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games. Visitors had an opportunity to get acquainted with the activities of the host country on preparation and conduct of the large-scale international sports forum in Ashgabat. The guests of the festival were pleasantly impressed with the tasting of dishes of Turkmen national cuisine.
Artists from different countries performed at the festival. Turkmen musicians played folk melodies and classical works by Nury Khalammammedov. The performances of folk groups were accompanied by a slide show on the screen illustrating the celebration of Nowruz in different countries.
More than one thousand guests attended the celebration of the International Day of Nowruz at the United Nations Office at Geneva (UNOG), which was evidence of the increased interest of the European public in the ancient and original traditions of Nowruz. The celebration was organized by the permanent missions of Azerbaijan, Albania, Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Turkey and Uzbekistan.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, the UN Under-Secretary-General, the Director-General of the United Nations Office at Geneva, Michael Moller, stressed the importance of Nowruz as the world's intangible heritage and significance of the UN decision to recognize its international status.
The program of the celebration included an exhibition of arts and crafts of the countries-organizers, tasting of dishes cooked in accordance with authentic national recipes, performances by folklore musical groups.
A separate part of the Turkmen exposition presented the 5th Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games. Visitors had an opportunity to get acquainted with the activities of the host country on preparation and conduct of the large-scale international sports forum in Ashgabat. In addition, reference materials and souvenirs with the symbols of the upcoming games were handed out to visitors.
Celebrations marking the International Day of Nowruz were held in the capital of India. The diplomatic missions of Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Afghanistan, Iran and Turkey organized a colorful exhibition with national pavilions. The Ministry of External Affairs of India provided organizational support.
The Turkmen pavilion exposed visitors to the original cultural traditions and the topic of the upcoming Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games. The guests enjoyed generous treats at the Turkmen dastarkhan. Everyone had an opportunity to try and appreciate the dishes of the authentic national cuisine. A festive concert was organized with the support of national diasporas of the countries traditionally celebrating Nowruz.
The International Day of Nowruz was celebrated in the Column Hall of the Kiev city administration. The embassies of the Republic of Azerbaijan, the Republic of Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, the Republic of Iraq, the Republic of Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, the Republic of Turkey and the Republic of Uzbekistan jointly created a unique atmosphere for the celebration of Nowruz as a symbol of good, friendship, prosperity and humanism.
Members of the Verkhovna Rada, heads of the ministries and departments, the diplomatic missions accredited in Kiev, academic staff of local higher education establishments, representatives of national diasporas and students, representatives of the cultural community, local and foreign mass media attended the large-scale and colorful celebration.
The guests of the celebration had an opportunity to get acquainted with the cultural and gastronomic traditions of different countries. The national stands exhibited products of arts and crafts, colorful illustrative materials.
The exposition of Turkmenistan traditionally attracted many visitors. It presented the beautiful pieces of traditional folk art, such as authentic wooden utensils, carpets and rugs, women's and men's clothing, women's jewelry and embroideries. The guests were also generously treated to the Turkmen pilaf and aromatic flat bread.
The upcoming Asian Games were the main topic of the Turkmen exhibition. Colorful banners with official symbols of the V Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games, numerous magazines and brochures provided full information about how Turkmenistan is preparing for the large-scale sport event.
The celebration of the International Day of Nowruz in Kiev contributed to the mutual spiritual enrichment of the friendly nations, as well as promotion of the achievements and cultural heritage of Turkmenistan in the new historical era.


©Turkmenistan Analytic magazine, 2005