Sabantuy, a holiday for everyone

Jun 14, 2014

Dancing, signing, contests... it was fun! Credit: Chynara Temirova / UNDP.

Jalal-Abad, Kyrgyzstan – One June 14th more than 250 people in the city of Jalal-Abad took part in celebration of the favorite holiday of the Tatar people - Sabantuy. They participated in various competitions, watched a concert and other events organized within the celebration. The holiday has become another platform for intercultural dialogue and a way to promote tolerance.

According to the head of the Tatar-Bashkir center "Idel" Alimzhanova E.C., the current decline of moral standards and values in the society are not conducive to the promotion of tolerance, respect for diversity and peaceful coexistence. In this regard, he notes the importance of culture to allow people to express their individuality, aspirations and emotions through art, music, poetry, sports and other traditional soothing psychological techniques.

"Joint creative and sports activities among ethnic groups may also strengthen ties, especially among young people who are willing to acquire modern skills necessary for their development in the harsh conditions of the globalized changing world" – says Alimjanov.

The celebration was organized by the Tatar-Bashkir center "Idel" with the support of the UNDP Area-Based Development Programme, People’s Assembly of Kyrgyzstan and the Consulate General of Russia in Osh. The main purpose of the event was the revival and improvement of the cultural experience of the people of Kyrgyzstan, contributing to the promotion of peace, tolerance and social solidarity for their further strengthening and practice.

Holiday Sabantuy originated many centuries ago as a pagan holiday – the day when the people asked gods for good weather and harvest. Today Sabantuy changed its status and now it can hardly be called a religious holiday, rather, it became a people’s holiday. Every year this festival gathers people of different nationalities. And no one feels a stranger at the celebration. Every year the Tatar national holiday becomes richer in colors and more interesting.

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