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2022  N9-10(210-211)
Turkmenistan celebrated Independence Day with a lot of festivities, socio-political, cultural, sports and other events that were held equally widely in the capital city and other cities and villages of the country.
The main day of celebrations began with a flower laying ceremony at the Independence Monument, a majestic architectural symbol that immortalized a fateful historical event – gaining sovereignty by Turkmenistan. The ceremony was attended by President Serdar Berdimuhamedov, leaders and representatives of the government, parliament, public associations, political parties, elders, heads of diplomatic missions accredited in Ashgabat, foreign guests. The official ceremonies of raising the State Flag were held in the Main Flag Square, as well as the squares of the regions of the country.
The major festivities, including a festive parade, were held in the square in front of the government tribune complex in Ashgabat.
The military parade was opened by a banner group that carried the State Flag of Turkmenistan and the battle colors of all military branches in front of the stands with honored guests. It was followed by the traditional demonstration of the latest military equipment in service with the national army, as well as an air show.
A beautiful equestrian ceremony became a wonderful dedication to the main holiday of the country. An inspired performance by the combined military band of the Armed Forces crowned the solemn military parade.
The military parade was followed by the colorful procession during which the country’s workers passed by the government tribune in picturesque columns, and artistic groups performed before the guests. The official parade with participation of soldiers, thousands of workers, students and schoolchildren clearly illustrated that Turkmenistan approached the celebration of the 31st anniversary of independence with impressive success. In the evening, the sky over the Turkmen capital was lit up with garlands of grandiose fireworks.
According to the tradition established over the years of independence, the main national holiday includes a series of celebrations that last for more than one day. This time, a number of social and infrastructure facilities were inaugurated, and hundreds of families moved to new residential houses by the anniversary of state sovereignty. In September, the results of the annual art contests were summed up, and exhibitions, concerts, conferences, premiere performances, presentations of new publications were held.
On the eve of Independence Day, Ashgabat hosted the finals of artistic contests organized annually within the framework of the Golden Age of Turkmens competition sponsored by the President of Turkmenistan.
One of them was a television contest among young amateur performers titled “Sing, Fatherland!”, which turned 30 this year. It was organized by the Ministry of Culture jointly with the State Committee for Television, Radio Broadcasting and Cinematography and administrations of the regions and the city of Ashgabat. Over the years, this unique project has helped many talented artists become popular artists.
In 2022, over 700 young talented performers took part in the art contest – soloists of various art groups, students of higher and secondary specialized educational institutions, military personnel, employees of cultural institutions and other industries from all over the country.
The contestants had the opportunity to show their talent in performing classics, folk and author’s songs, as well as their own composition. The jury assessed not only the vocal skills but also the originality of performances and artistry. As a result, 12 young vocalists qualified to the finals and gala concert of “Sing, Fatherland!” contest. All participants of the finals received memorable gifts on behalf of the head of state.
On the eve of the holiday, other winners of the state competition Golden Age of Turkmens, who excelled the field of culture and art, also received awards in the Turkmen capital. Many of them took part in the state concert in celebration of the anniversary of the country’s independence.
It should be noted that a picturesque place with the poetic name “Novruz Valley” located not far from the Turkmen capital was chosen as the venue for the celebrations. This place has been on many occasions the center of large-scale national festivities with inherent ethnographic flavor. The guests of the celebrations became spectators of a folklore performance demonstrating original national traditions and rituals. Among them were President of the Republic of Tatarstan of the Russian Federation Rustam Minnikhanov; Governors of St. Petersburg Alexander Beglov and Chelyabinsk region of the Russian Federation Alexei Teksler; heads of a number of large companies who arrived in Ashgabat for the celebrations, as well as foreign delegates attending the XXIII Conference of the Humanitarian Association of Turkmens of the World in the capital city on the eve of Independence Day.
The concert program demonstrated the diversity of styles and genres of Turkmen art, featuring solo performances by famous musicians and pop singers, state choral and choreographic groups, folklore ensembles. Other than famous performers, young vocalists and musicians, who are in the beginning of their career in art, demonstrated their talents. The best pieces of national and foreign song and music classics, modern compositions, original vocal and choreographic compositions were performed on the stage, glorifying independent Turkmenistan.
Russian colleagues of Turkmen artists added a bright color to the palette of the holiday. This year, popular dance group “Ural” from the city of Chelyabinsk visited Ashgabat on the eve of Independence Day. They gave a concert on the stage of the National Drama Theater named after Magtymguly. The artists won the hearts of spectators with incendiary choreographic compositions based on the original Ural folklore and musical performance by the ensemble of folk instruments.
On the eve of the holiday, Turkmen citizens who made a worthy contribution to the development of various sectors of the national economy and the spiritual life of the country were also honored. They were presented with high state awards and honorary titles. A two-day exhibition at the Expocentre of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Turkmenistan provided an insight into the development and achievements of the spheres of the national economy.
The exhibition of economic achievements of Turkmenistan marking the 31st anniversary of the country’s independence demonstrated the high quality of various domestic products and a wide range of services. The exhibitors of the intersectoral forum included subdivisions of the public sector of the national economy, financial and banking sector, education and culture, sports and tourism, as well as over four dozen enterprises of the Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs of Turkmenistan.
Thematic exhibitions were held in the capital and regional museums in celebration of the main holiday of the country. The Museum of Fine Arts hosted an exhibition of works by young artists, including students and graduates of the State Academy of Arts and the Turkmen State Art College. An exposition on the topic of independent development of Turkmenistan was presented at the State Museum of the State Cultural Center.
Another exhibition was set up at the Exhibition Center of Ashgabat, displaying the works by the new members of the Union of Artists. The exhibition featured works from various areas of fine art, such as painting, graphics, tapestries and felt mats, jewelry, sculpture, design and decor, doll making, mixed genres.
Fashion Week 2022 was the major event that aroused great interest among the representatives of the fair half of the Turkmen society. It was organized by the administration of the capital city and the secretariat of the National Commission of Turkmenistan for UNESCO as part of the project “Ashgabat is a city of design”.
The fashion show was held under the motto “Made in Turkmenistan” with the view of supporting Turkmen brands, identifying new talented stylists and designers and popularizing their products. During the fashion week, the show of autumn clothing collections by leading Turkmen fashion designers was held at various venues.
The performances by Turkmen pop artists added to the festive atmosphere of the fashion show. Many of the garments were made by hand using a unique sewing technique. The guests were especially interested in modern trends and original solutions in traditional national women’s clothing. On the outcomes of Fashion Week 2022, prizes were presented to the Best Designer, the Best Model and the Best Model House. Sportswear as well as creative and conceptual ideas of fashion designers received high marks from fashion experts.
By tradition, the celebrations in honor of the 31st anniversary of Turkmenistan’s independence ended with horse races, which is an indicative event for national festivities. They took place at the International Akhal-Teke Equestrian Complex, attended by President Serdar Berdimuhamedov.
The prize fund for seven races amounted to 900,000 manat, contested by 70 contenders, 10 in each race. The festive races turned out to be spectacular and exciting. The main prize – 300,000 manat – was contested in the final seventh race at a distance of 2200 meters. A horse named Bezirgen from the Akhal-Teke Equestrian Complex of the President of Turkmenistan finished first. In the remaining six races, contenders competed for the prize totaling 100,000 manat for each race that were established by various branches of the national economic complex of the country.
Thematic exhibitions were set up as part of the celebrations in the open area of the International Akhal-Teke Equestrian Complex, displaying the works by Turkmen painters, artisans, sculptors, jewelers and carpet makers. Visitors were especially interested in horse jewelry that in ancient times performed a protective function and served as a talisman. Blending harmoniously with the noble appearance of the Akhal-Teke horses, these elegant precious items – real works of jewelry art – further emphasize the regal stature and magnificence of “heavenly” horses.
Perhaps nowhere in the world is a horse revered so sincerely as in Turkmenistan, associated with its highest ideals, ideas and aspirations. That is why the spectacular event with legendary “heavenly” horses – the pride and heritage of the Turkmen people – emphasized the constructive nature of all festivities in honor of the anniversary of the country’s independence.


©Turkmenistan Analytic magazine, 2005