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Kazakhstan’s capital ready to celebrate 24th anniversary

The capital of Kazakhstan has prepared festive events to celebrate the 24th anniversary of Nur-Sultan on July 6, reported the akimat’s press service.

The city has been the capital of Kazakhstan since 1997 and the official international presentation took place in 1998.

Nur-Sultan, known as Astana before March 2019, is home to over 1.1 million people, according to the latest data. Since becoming the capital of the country, Nur-Sultan has become a political, economic, and cultural center of independent Kazakhstan, as well as a major center of diplomacy, peacemaking, and international development.
The city’s gross regional product grew 303-fold reaching 8.4 trillion tenge (US$17.9 billion) in 2021.

Capital Day is one of the most festive events attracting citizens from different parts of the country to the city. Over the past two years, the pandemic grounded all festivities, but this year the events are finally in-person.

The celebration kicked off on June 28, when ethno ensemble Korkyt performed the Omir Dastan concert dedicated to Kazakh composer Ermurat Usenov at the Erkegali Rakhmadiyev State Academic Philharmonic, Gulnazym Umirzak artist’s exhibition in Zhastar theater and Altynbek Yermukhan designer’s fashion show.

On July 1, a concert dedicated to prominent Kazakh pop singer Batyrkhan Shukenov, who passed away in 2015, took place in the capital’s amphitheater. Two days later, city residents celebrated National Dombra Day at Independence Square.

On July 4, local artists and creative ensembles invited citizens to the Astanamnyn Tan Samaly (Breeze of my capital) festive concert at the amphitheater.

More than 200 students of the Altyn dombyra art center joined Dombyra party action in capital city and performed some national kuis on July 1. Photo credit: Ali Galym

Starting from July 1, Landscapes of the Capital art exhibition, which includes several expositions on different dates, has been on display at Atameken ethno-memorial complex. It will last through July 6.

The urban culture festival named Mereke Street (festive street) will be held in Central Park from July 4 to July 6, while Azil Alemi (the world of humor) comedy evening is to take place in the concert hall of the Erkegali Rakhmadiyev State Academic Philharmonic on July 5. On the same day, Astana Opera House will present Shopeniana and Scheherazade ballet performances.

Nur Sultan Cup streetball tournament will be held at the Colosseum sports area on July 5-6 and Astana Ballet Theater is set to premiere its Orpheus and Eurydice ballet on July 5-9.

On Capital Day, Elorda Tolqyny sports competition will take place in the Triathlon Park, while other athletes will compete for the Capital Cup in baiga (horse race for middle distances) at the Kazanat racetrack.

In the evening, Dalam Menin (my field) concert dedicated to the Dos-Mukasan musical band will be organized in the Kazakhconcert hall named after Roza Baglanova, while the Halykpen Birge (together with people) open-air concert will gather city residents and guests at the parking of Astana Arena stadium.

On July 8, Love You, My Capital concert will take place in the amphitheater and the 12-hour open-air concert titled You Fest will be held near Barys Arena.

National Dombra Day

President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev congratulated Kazakhstan’s citizens on National Dombra Day on July 3, reported the presidential press service. Dombra Day has been celebrated on the first Sunday of July since 2018.

Some children living in the Pavlodar Region attended exhibitions of crafts dedicated to the National Dombra Day. Photo credit: Kazinform agency

The dombra is a traditional musical two-stringed instrument. Dombra kuis (traditional composition played on dombra) have been included in the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation’s (UNESCO) Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) of Humanity since 2014.

“It is a special holiday for our country. While celebrating it, we strengthen our identity and awaken the identity of the people. It helps to entrench traditions of the Great Steppe and deepen the understanding of native culture among the younger generation,” said Mr Tokayev.

According to him, the dombra is the true mascot of the Kazakh nation. Its sound is close and familiar to everyone because Kazakhs and dombra music are inseparable from each other.

To celebrate the occasion, the youth wing of Kazakhstan’s Amanat ruling political party initiated a nationwide action called Dombyra party on July 1. More than 2,500 dombra players from around the country performed popular kuis, including Erke Sylym, Adai, Balbyrauyn and Ake Tolgauy.

In the Pavlodar Region, more than 2,000 students of local schools jointly performed Balbyrauyn kui on July 1. According to the local akimat (city administration), it organized several master classes on how to make dobra, meetings with kuishi (performers of kuis), zhyrshy (performer of folk poems), aityskers (performer of aitys – improvised poem) and artists and exhibitions of crafts for children for educational purposes.

On the same day, parents of newborns in Aktau’s perinatal center were given dombras as part of the Dombra dastan campaign, while approximately 1,000 dombra players gathered at the helipad promenade in Kokshetau city to participate in Dombyra Fest.

The academic orchestra of national instruments named after Tattimbet and instrumental ensembles performed a concert in Karaganda city and later joined university students, local musicians and all interested dombra players aged from 8 to 60 to perform Adai and Balbyrauyn kuis during the flashmob.

A fragment from the video of Beijing National Instrumental Orchestra’s performance dedicated to the holiday. Photo credit: MFA’s Telegram channel

The Kazakh Embassy in China and Beijing National Instrumental Orchestra congratulated Kazakhstan on the holiday with a performance in a video published on the Telegram channel of the Kazakh Ministry of Foreign Affairs on July 3.

Two more concerts took place in Nur-Sultan and Atyrau on the same day, attracting city guests with dances, songs and charming dombra sounds.

Overall, festivities were held in almost all regions of the country, including the Aktobe Region, where the Ukili Dombra (Dombra decorated with owl feathers) exhibition recently opened to showcase different types of dombra, which belong to the regional historical museum.

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