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2023  N9-10(222-224)
ARTICLE OF THE ISSUE
COLORFUL BOUQUETS FOR THE HOLIDAY
The parade and events that took place on September 27 were the culmination of celebrations in honor of Independence Day of Turkmenistan. It started with laying flowers at the Independence Monument. The ceremony was attended by President Serdar Berdimuhamedov, leaders and representatives of the government, Khalk Maslahaty and parliament, public associations, political parties, elders, heads of diplomatic missions accredited in Ashgabat and foreign guests.
The celebrations continued in the square in front of the State Tribune complex, where a festive parade took place with the traditional demonstration of the defensive power of the sovereign state. The naval parade was broadcast on large screens installed in the square; the festive procession of the flotilla took place simultaneously in the waters of the port on the Caspian Sea, followed by the traditional show of the latest military equipment in service with the national army, as well as an air show.
The inspired performance by the combined military orchestra of the Armed Forces and law enforcement agencies of Turkmenistan with a musical gift was the final chord of the official military parade. An impressive equestrian ceremony – a spectacular procession of Turkmen horsemen with state flags – was a wonderful dedication to the main holiday of the country.
The parade continued with performances by art groups and the demonstration of achievements of the country’s economic complex over the years of independence. Theater artists, who appeared in the images of Alp Arslan, Magtymguly and other outstanding ancestors of the Turkmens, on behalf of all citizens of the country congratulated President Serdar Berdimuhamedov on being awarded the title of Hero of Turkmenistan and appealed to the descendants to strengthen the power and multiply the glory of the sovereign Motherland.
An Akhal-Teke horse was presented to President Serdar Berdimuhamedov on behalf of his comrades on the occasion of the 32nd anniversary of independence of Turkmenistan and as a sign of sincere gratitude for the care of well-being and happiness of the Turkmen people and further prosperity of the Motherland. The beautiful horse named Arkaly, a descendant of famous parents Melegush and Elvan, appeared in magnificent jewelry and demonstrated all his skills.
In the evening, the sky over the Turkmen capital was lit up with bright bouquets of the grandiose fireworks.
The celebrations in honor of the 32nd anniversary of Turkmenistan’s independence ended traditionally and symbolically with a horse racing event that is inherent in national celebrations. They took place on September 28 at the International Akhal-Teke Equestrian Complex with participation of President Serdar Berdimuhamedov.
An exhibition was held in the territory of the complex, including the museum values, works by Turkmen artists, artisans, sculptors, jewelers and carpet makers from Ashgabat and the city of Arkadag, as well as five regions of the country. The exhibition was dedicated to the legendary Akhal-Teke horses, which are a source of inexhaustible creative inspiration for the Turkmen people.
The spectators, including numerous foreign guests got unforgettable impressions and joyful emotions of the horse race dedicated to the 32nd anniversary of Turkmenistan’s independence. This festive event is indicative of modern Turkmenistan, where Akhal-Teke horses are living symbols of the era of sovereignty, and their swift gait personifies its transformative energy.
It is important to note that the large-scale celebration of independence that swept across the expanses of the country was not limited to the two “red” days of the calendar but. It accelerated rapidly from the first days of autumn. Numerous festive events were timed to this significant date, including mass cultural, sports and art events.
This year, the necklace of cultural events that were held in the capital and all regions of the country got another bright feature – the new city of Arkadag, where various thematic exhibitions and conferences, performances and concerts were also took place in celebration of Turkmenistan’s Independence Day.
In addition, the ceremonies of opening of numerous residential complexes and other socio-cultural facilities, as well as ceremonies of laying foundation to new ones were timed to the celebration of independence of Turkmenistan. A series of festive events was kicked off by gala concerts of the finalists of the annual show of talents as part of the “Golden Age of Turkmen” contest of the President of Turkmenistan. They started in the last ten days of August at the capital’s song and music center “Ashgabat”, where the results of the television contest among amateur young performers “Sing, my dear land!” were summed up. Its final tour included soloists of various art groups, students, young military personnel and employees of public organizations.
The participants of the gala concert performed classics, folk songs and original compositions. Some contestants chose songs created by Turkmen composers on the verses of classical poets, as well as famous destans. The finalists’ performance program also included popular compositions from the past years. Young vocalists sang new songs that were entrusted to them by the song authors. The jury announced the names of six winners who were awarded special diplomas.
Celebration of the participants of the gala concert of the final round of the children’s music and song contest “Gems of Independence” was held at the White Yurt of Turkme” building, located near the Turkmen capital in a picturesque place with the poetic name of Novruz Valley. This art contest of young talents became one of the most striking events in a series of celebrations dedicated to the main holiday of the country and aroused great interest among spectators of different ages.
At the final concert, the children shone with their performing skills. They performed song and dance compositions, folklore and modern pop melodies on a colorfully decorated stage, telling the audience a kind of children’s story about the happiness of living and learning, creating and dreaming in sovereign Turkmenistan.
The finalists of the youngest contest “Play, Bakhshi!” competed at the capital’s Palace of Mukams of the State Cultural Center. Despite its short history, the art contest confidently conveys its main message – popularization of the heritage of national musical culture, its traditions, in particular, the original Bakhshi school. It also promotes the realization of talents of youth and strengthens the traditions of mentoring.
Famous folk musicians and bakhshi were invited to the final concert of the contest, 12 dutar musicians and 12 bakhshi from Ashgabat and the regions of the country who joined the spectators and actively supported their young colleagues from the audience. The finalists comprised five girls who, along with boys, demonstrated their excellent singing talents and dutar playing skills.
Each final performance consisted of several elements – instrumental music, performance of fragments of destans, as well as singing art. The contestants performed folk songs and music with special lyricism and emotion. The spectators enjoyed the magnificent show in which the musical characteristics of the country’s regions merged into one.
Turkmen painters complemented the festive palette of September with the colorful original works at the thematic exhibitions in museums and cultural centers of the country. The exhibition at the State Museum of Fine Arts occupied four exhibition halls, displaying the museum exhibits, as well as paintings and works of decorative and applied art by teachers and students of the State Academy of Arts of Turkmenistan (SAAT) and members of the Union of Artists of Turkmenistan. The exhibition visitors had the opportunity to view the actual work process by novice painters and jewelers.
Students and teachers of the SAAT occupied the exhibition space in the exhibition center of the Union of Artists, where they presented 120 paintings in different topics, genres and styles. It also hosted a vernissage of latest works by painters and masters of decorative and applied arts from all regions of Turkmenistan in celebration of the 32nd anniversary of the country’s independence. Many of them replicate the historical places of the country and the outskirts of Ashgabat. A number of paintings presented the image of Magtymguly Fraghi, as well as pieces of the national intangible cultural heritage.
In the course of the celebration, there was also noted the significance of an event that truly came as a gift for Independence Day and became another evidence of recognition of the universal significance of the unique natural and cultural heritage of Turkmenistan, namely the inscription on the UNESCO List of World Heritage of the Great Silk Road: the Zarafshan-Karakum Corridor and Cold Winter Deserts of Turan that were nominated with the active participation of Turkmenistan. As part of another nomination, desert ecosystems of the Bereketli Karakum and Kaplankyr state reserves, the Repetek biosphere reserve and the Yeraji limited reserve were also inscribed on the UNESCO List of World Heritage. It was emphasized at the ceremony that this fact is especially significant in the context of large-scale celebrations of the 30th anniversary of Turkmenistan’s membership in the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization and the 20th anniversary of Turkmenistan’s accession to the UNESCO Convention “On the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage”.
An exhibition on the topic of independent development of Turkmenistan was presented at the State Museum of the State Cultural Center. The exhibits included photographs, books, periodicals and works of art.
Cultural events were part of the annual exhibition of Turkmenistan’s economic achievements, displaying the successes and pace of development of the national economy. As part of the two-day exhibition at the exhibition center of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, there were presented new collections of the Ashgabat fashion house and leading Turkmen couturiers that were noted for the combination of traditional national motifs and modern trends in the fashion industry.
A concert of art masters on the eve of the holiday at the Palace of Mukams was a musical dedication to the anniversary of state sovereignty. The spectators included workers from various industries, who were awarded state prizes on the eve of Independence Day, and winners of the contest of the President of Turkmenistan “Golden Age of Turkmens”.
Famous musicians and pop artists, folk ensembles and dance groups shone on the stage. Young vocalists and musicians, starting their journey in art, and children’s art groups demonstrated their talents along with venerable artists.
Ethnographic performances, recreating the original centuries-old customs and traditions of the Turkmen people, organically fit into the festive program. The audience applauded the wonderful pieces of national and foreign song and musical classics, modern and original vocal and choreographic compositions.
On this festive day, retro hits – wonderful melodies and songs loved by generations of Turkmen people – were also performed on the stage by masters of the Turkmen pop scene. Over the years, they have not lost their enchanting warm-heartedness and freshness.

Leili ASHIROVA


©Turkmenistan Analytic magazine, 2005