COMING CLOSE TO DISTANT CULTURE
Politicians or businessmen will need lots of negotiations, exchange of visits and agreements to find a common language and mutually beneficial entry points. However, the universal language of culture and art does not require translators and additional explanations. Sometimes, one heartfelt song is enough to understand the soul of the entire nation as well as the depth and significance of its cultural heritage.
It is no accident that international diplomacy often uses the terms "cultural invasions" and "special missions" in its practice. Such practice is especially important for the young Turkmen state that is expanding the scope of international activities in its desire to become understandable and open to the peoples of the world with different traditions and long-established worldview.
At the end of last year, a large group of Turkmen cultural workers and artists visited the Land of the Rising Sun. It was quite understandable that all the members of the Turkmen delegation experienced certain excitement before going to Japan in expectation of becoming acquainted with the fundamentally different cultural and mental traditions. In such situation, one would surely have some doubts: would the Japanese audience understand the language of the Turkmen traditional culture?
Fears dispelled already at the first meeting as part of Days of Culture of Turkmenistan in Japan. It took place at "Palace" hotel in the capital of the country. The opening ceremony of Days of Culture brought together the high-ranking audience, including senior officials of the government of the host country, members of the national parliament, rectors and academic staff from Tokyo universities, leaders of a number of private companies, as well as representatives of the Japanese public.
Before the start of the ceremony, the guests visited a special exhibition that presented samples of the Turkmen traditional clothes, carpet and printed products and paintings. However, a concert of artists of Turkmenistan was the main event of the evening. Folklore compositions were performed on the stage, evoking a lively response among spectators. The classical and variety music compositions were the perfect complement to the Turkmen music palette. The sparkling Turkmen dance compositions maintained a special festive mood throughout the evening.
The first meeting with the Japanese audience made it clear: the cultural contact was established, and the language of the Turkmen musical traditions was understandable to the viewers from a distant country.
Screening of the Turkmen feature film "Shukur Bakhshi", dubbed in Japanese, was an integral part of the cultural program. The film screening at the Tokyo University deeply impressed the Japanese audience, as it revealed the unknown sides of the rich musical culture of the Turkmen people. The screening finished with the standing ovation.
The joint festive outdoor action at the Sports Park of the Japanese city of Tendo was the most colorful event of the festival of Turkmen culture on the Japanese soil. A large-scale folklore action brought together many spectators. An impromptu restaurant was set up in the park, where the methods of cooking of the Japanese and Turkmen national meals were demonstrated to the public. Visitors had a chance to taste and appreciate the specifics of the gastronomic preferences of the two peoples.
Music and songs were performed on the open stage, with dancers inviting spectators to an improvised circle dance who generously shared their smiles and good spirits with the festival participants. None remained indifferent in the alleys of the park. Everyone was excited to see the extraordinary artists, their colorful folk costumes. Everyone wanted to stay connected with the great festival of the unique Turkmen culture.
When the time came to bid farewell to the hospitable Japanese land, none of the participants of the cultural action thought of Japan as of something very alien and incomprehensible. There occurred a great miracle of connecting the cultures and traditions of the two peoples, when something far and unexplored becomes near and understandable.