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The Spirit of Tengri: revival of ancient stelas

03 june 2014, 13:04
The Spirit of Tengri
The Spirit of Tengri

The Spirit of Tengri festival starts in less than a week time. The organizers are busy and the musicians are rehearsing. This time the Spirit of Tengri festival aims to pamper not only our music buds, but also the tactile and visual senses.

“We are putting this kind of rock steles at the festival. The steles are copies of ancient Turkic steles with Orkhon script that is also often referred to as the Old Turkic script. The original steles are in Mongolia,” designer Elina Altynbekova said.

The stelas date back to the 7th and 8th centuries AD that mark the Turkic period in history of Central Asia. The stelas tell stories of military leaders, people living in that particular period and location, their victories and defeats. “Basically, the stela gives the history of a nation in a particular period of time. To help our guests understand what the stelas says, because not everyone can read them, we will have information on the side in Kazakh, Russian and English,” Altynbekova added.

Famous Kazakh artist and restorer Krym Altynbekov recreated the stelas for the festival. “We all are excited to see how our history and music are going to be represented at the festival. It is not only our history, but it belongs to the whole Turkic world. (…) We hope to make the atmosphere more lively and authentic not only through music but also through expositions that every guest can touch and feel,” the artist said.

The festival grounds will be designed to represent the everlasting Tengri, the sky deity of Turkic people. The designers aim to embody the idea of movement and life through the decorations. “The everlasting sunrise here promises a new day despite hardships one may face. The sun will always rise. We want to make it memorable for everyone and let guests experience the dynamics of the festival on deep emotional level,” Dana Altynbekova, also a restorer, said showing the layout of the festival grounds in her computer.

The organizers of the Spirit of Tengri festival added that there would be a designated area for people who want to dance and those who prefer to sit down and relax while listening to ethnic music.

There is certainly a great variety of artists coming to Almaty this year. Musicians and singers from Japan, Buryatia, Yakutia, Austria, Ecuador and other countries will perform at the festival alongside Kazakhstani ethnic artists. All in all, the festival will bring 12 bands in one-day concert.

The Spirit of Tengri contemporary music festival will take place on June 7th at the Republic Palace square (crossing of Abai and Dostyk streets); the beginning is at 5 p.m., entrance is free.

By Gyuzel Kamalova

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