Kyr­gyzs­tan: Splen­did Cen­tral Asian Cul­ture

Beijing (English) - - CONTENTS -

The Kyr­gyz Repub­lic is lo­cated in the hin­ter­lands of Cen­tral Asia. It has many moun­tains, lakes and grass­lands. Its Issyk Kul Lake, the world's sec­ond largest alpine lake, lies on the top one of the cen­tral Tian­shan Moun­tains and is called “a mir­ror in midair” by the lo­cal peo­ple. The area that is mod­ern- day Kyr­gyzs­tan was a ma­jor stopover on the an­cient Silk Road and was once con­quered by Genghis Khan (1162– 1227). The Chi­nese peo­ple have had a long his­tory of vis­it­ing Kyr­gyzs­tan. The monk Xuan­zang (AD 602–664) passed by on his way to an­cient In­dia. On Jan­uary 5, 1992, China and Kyr­gyzs­tan es­tab­lished diplo­matic re­la­tions at the am­bas­sado­rial level. Since then, the two coun­tries have car­ried on con­tin­u­ous ex­changes.

In the booth of the third “Colour­ful World” event, a staff mem­ber of the Kyr­gyz Em­bassy in Bei­jing showed the vis­i­tors a hand­i­craft with tra­di­tional eth­nic char­ac­ter­is­tics: “This is a sheep­skin paint­ing, the most fa­mous fea­tured prod­uct of Kyr­gyzs­tan. It has a long his­tory.” Sheep­skin paint­ing is one of the most rep­re­sen­ta­tive works of crafts­man­ship in Kyr­gyzs­tan. It is made through the var­i­ous steps of sheep­skin tan­ning, com­po­si­tion, colour­ing, layer dye­ing, shap­ing and em­boss­ing. It typ­i­cally shows the scenery of the grass­lands or the life of the herds­men. The sam­ple dis­played by the staff mem­ber fea­tured a spe­cial paint­ing of a girl. The dec­o­ra­tive tas­sels straight­ened the thin sheep­skin, mak­ing rosy cheeks vivid and ap­peal­ing.

On the walls of the booth were sev­eral tra­di­tional round wooden paint­ings. Artists ap­ply colours di­rectly to the wooden plates, cre­at­ing char­ac­ter­is­tic Kyr­gyz fig­ures and styles. Vis­i­tors can ex­pe­ri­ence a sense of Kyr­gyzs­tan folk life when ap­pre­ci­at­ing th­ese plates.

Also on dis­play were two nov­els by Kyr­gyzs­tan writer Chinghiz Ait­ma­tov (1928–2008), The White Ship, and The Day Lasts More than a Hun­dred Years. The author and his books are pop­u­lar with peo­ple in Kyr­gyzs­tan. He has also won sev­eral awards in the Soviet Union in­clud­ing the Lenin Prize and his works have been made into films, op­eras and bal­lets..

The White Ship is the story of an or­phan in the for­est. The boy is about to en­ter el­e­men­tary school. He has grown up lis­ten­ing to his grand­fa­ther's tales of the Horned Mother Deer, and likes to climb to the top of the nearby moun­tain to gaze at the white ship in a re­mote lake. He has three dreams, the first of which is to go to school. The story starts with his grand­fa­ther buy­ing him a school­bag to re­alise this dream, but the jour­ney ends trag­i­cally. His sec­ond dream is linked with the Mother Deer, who saved the Kyr­gyz peo­ple but had to leave their home­land. He dreams about the re­turn of Mother Deer and liv­ing hap­pily with her. The third is a dream that has not been spo­ken of. He dreams about the white ship on Issyk- Kul Lake where he be­lieves his fa­ther is. He wishes to be­come a fish so that he can join his fa­ther. Ati­ma­tov's novel The Day Lasts More than a Hun­dred Years is longer and more com­plex with the story tak­ing place in three dif­fer­ent di­men­sions of re­al­ity, myth and fic­tion. Th­ese books help read­ers un­der­stand the coun­try of Kyr­gyzs­tan.

The Colour­ful World event is not only a win­dow to wit­ness the breath­tak­ing scenery in dif­fer­ent coun­tries, but also an op­por­tu­nity to deepen un­der­stand­ing and fa­cil­i­tate ex­change be­tween China and Kyr­gyzs­tan.

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