ADDRESS BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF UZBEKISTAN SHAVKAT MIRZIYOYEV AT THE OPENING CEREMONY OF THE BAKHSHI INTERNATIONAL ART FESTIVAL

2019-04-06

Distinguished participants of the Festival!

Dear friends!

Ladies and gentlemen!

First of all, I am happy to see you, my dears, in our beloved Uzbekistan, on the beautiful land of Surkhan.

From the bottom of my heart I congratulate all of you on the solemn opening of the Bakhshi International Art Festival.

Over 160 representatives from 74 countries of the world are participating in this festival of art which is hosted in our country for the first time ever.

We are pleased that they include renowned people of art, folklore, as well as representatives of media.

Allow me to express profound gratitude to:

UNESCO’s high ranking representative Andrey Shevelov;

The Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization - ISESCO Cultural director Rhiyadi Salih;

The World Crafts Council’s Asia Pacific Region president Ghada Rida Hijjawi;

Advisor to the President of Kyrgyz Republic Sultanbay Rayev;

Minister of Culture and Sport of the Republic of Kazakhstan Aristanbek Muhamet-ogly;

Minister of Culture of the Republic of Tajikistan Shamsiddin Orumbekzoda;

Deputy Minister of Culture of Turkmenistan Kurbanmurat Miradaliev;

Governor of Balkh Province of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan Muhammad Iskhaq Rakhguzar and our other foreign friends.

We consider you, our dear guests, as close friends of our people and culture. Today, on behalf of our people and country, we express sincere respect and esteem to all of you.

Welcome to Uzbekistan!

Dear friends!

It is an open secret that invaluable jewels of culture created by humanity are, above all, reflected in the folklore art of each and every nation.

The art of bakhshi, which reflects the national uniqueness of various nations, their language and lifestyle, customs and traditions, is dear to all of us as an integral part of this universal culture.

These immortal pieces of universal cultural heritage communicate to us that the origins, historical roots and noble ideals of humanity are alike since the future aspirations of representatives of various nations and ethnicities also stand common.

Along with this, it is not a secret that at this time of globalization, in the complex period of ever growing malicious influence of “mass culture” and show business which became a tool of commerce, the attention and interest to folklore which is a source of any national culture is unfortunately decreasing.

Meanwhile, the art of folklore, if you wish, is humanity’s childhood song.

And the fact that such a unique and great art turns into a mere sample of cultural heritage, forgotten in many places, needs protection and preservation is a bitter truth of our time.

My dear ones, I am confident that this truth worries you the most since you are the real advocates of this beautiful and unique art.

Therefore, preserving and developing this incomparable classical art and rare pieces of folklore which are our unique cultural wealth, passing them safely to future generations is a noble duty of scholars and artists, statesmen and people of art, and entire scope of figures of culture with an advanced mindset.

In this context, we should extend thorough support to folklore and the unique talent of those who are named as bakhshi, jirov, akyn, manaschi, shoir and oshiq in various lands and combine the skills of poets, musicians and singers.

I would like to emphasize that the Bakhshi International art festival which is starting today is aimed at such profound and important goal indeed.

In this regard, in the first place we should accomplish a serious joint work to deeply study and consolidate the scientific and theoretical bases of the bakhshi art turning it into a “visiting card” of national culture.

It will be expedient to restore and develop creative schools in bakhshi art and traditions of “master and apprentice”,

provide for incentives to the creative and scientific activity of bakhshi-poets, folklore scientists, teachers and experts,

establish creative clubs for teaching the bakhshi art at the cultural and art institutions,

create broad opportunities for bakshi-poets, ensure their constant participation at weddings, various holidays and cultural events,

strengthen international cooperation, establish mutual exchange of experience in this area,

effectively use modern information and communication technologies, television and internet opportunities, multiply the audio and video versions of the works of folklore to widely promote the bakhshi art.

If today we don’t join our efforts to preserve this art, then, unfortunately, it will be late tomorrow. The future generations and history won’t forgive us.

Allow me to briefly dwell on the work being accomplished in this sphere in Uzbekistan in recent years.

With an aim to preserve and develop folklore, one thousand years anniversary of «Alpomish» epos was widely celebrated in our country.

This magnificent square where we have gathered today accommodates a sublime monument installed in honor of this great artistic heritage. Samarkand accommodated a monumental complex dedicated to the memory of our renowned bakhshis.

The «People’s bakhshi of Uzbekistan» title of honor was specially instituted in our country.

Hundreds of our youth are keenly studying the national folklore art at a newly established bakhshi school in Termez and at the children’s schools of music and arts nationwide.

One hundred-volume «Monuments of Uzbek folklore» set of books is being published now in our country. In particular, its volume No.59 consists of folk eposes. Besides, the «Karakalpak folklore» multi-volume set of books was published.

All of the aforementioned proves that this type of art plays an extremely important role in our spiritual life.

Along with this, continuous work is underway to record and scientifically study the pieces performed by bakhshi-poets. The books and albums, films and television shows related to this sphere are being created.

Our people are also pleased with successful participation of our bakhshis in international contests and in Uzbekistan’s cultural days abroad.

Certainly, such accomplishments were not achieved out of nowhere.

We can be proud of the fact that the Uzbek bakhshi school gave the world such bright performers as Ergash Juman-bulbul ogly, Islom shoir, Fazil Yuldosh ogly, Polkan shoir, Bola bakhshi, Esemurat jirov, Sherna bakhshi, Mardonaqul Avliyoqul ogly and Qodir Bakhshi Rakhimov.

Today, these creative traditions are being further enriched by dozens of their followers such as Shomurod Togaev, Shoberdi Boltaev, Abdunazar Poyonov, Qakhkhor and Abdimurod Rakhimovs, Qalandar bakhshi, Gulnara Allembergenova, Ghayratdin Otemuratov, Shodmon Khojamberdiev and Ilkhom Norov.

On this joyous occasion we pay homage to the memory of figures of science such as renowned poet Khamid Olimjon, Khodi Zarif, Muzayana Alaviya, Mansur Afzalov, Buyuk Karimiy and Zubayda Khusainova who have greatly contributed to scientifically studying the art of bakhshi.

We remember with gratitude the good names of Tura Mirzaev, Jalghas Khushniyozov, Safarboy Rozimboev, Shomirza Turdimov, Mamatqul Juraev, Toshtemir Turdiev, Jabbor Eshonqulov and other dedicated scholars who are now commendably continuing their work.

Along with this, we are sincerely grateful to foreign scholars, who are learning in-depth the Uzbek national arts of folklore and disseminating it actively throughout the world, such as Oh Eunk Yung from South Korea, Karl Reichil of Germany, Fikret Turkman and Selami Fidakor of Turkey.

Dear participants of the festival!

Certainly, it is not by chance that we are holding this prestigious forum in this ancient and ever-young land of Surkhan.

When we speak about Surkhandarya, above all, we perceive the sacred land – the home to great saints and scholars, as well as brave, noble and dignified people.

The ancient caves of Zara-Vutsoy and Teshiktosh, petroglyphs on the Bobotog and Baysun, the states of Bactria and Kushan, as well as rare monuments such as Dalvarzin-tepa, Kampyr-tepa and Kholchayon testify about ancient civilization and culture of this land.

Should a person once see the beautiful nature of the area, and in particular, places of wonder such as Oltynsoy, Sangardak, Khonjizza, Sayrob and Darband, and listen to the dastans and selections performed by bakhshis upon local hills, he would fall in love indeed with this land forever.

Surkhandarya was initially famous for being a home to bakhshis. Alonside the Republic of Karakalpakstan, Kashkadarya, Samarkand, Jizzakh and Khorezm regions, Surkhandarya, and in particular, the Sherobod school of dastan is now well-known and famous in our whole area.

All of us are pleased that thanks to selfless labor of our people, Surkhandarya is turning into one of the most prosperous regions of Uzbekistan, into a venue of science and education, culture and tourism, and now also turning into a center of the art of bakhshi.

The people of Surkhan, who sincerely love the arts and music and highly value the people of creativity, are welcoming this forum with joy and happiness as a big holiday.

We are very pleased to see tens of renowned bakhshi performers, folklore groups and acclaimed people of the sphere who are joining us today from near and far countries of the world.

Dear friends, let us cordially greet and wish creative achievements to all of them along with expressing our respect and salutations!

Dear compatriots!

Distinguished guests!

I believe that this festival, which is being inaugurated with your participation, will take its solid place among the ranks of the most prestigious forums of art in the world.

The bakhshi performers are not only the echo of the people’s past, but also the vibrant voice of today.

Dear guests, we wish so that by seeing the life of our beautiful country, you will be able to put new songs and dastans about your feelings and impressions, about our magnanimous and hospitable nation, about its culture and unique values.

I also wish many successes to the international scientific and practical conference to be held in the framework of the festival.

Taking this opportunity, I express a sincere gratitude to distinguished ambassadors of foreign states and the representatives of international organizations who are joining us today.

Dear fellow countrymen!

Allow me to express my cordial gratitude to all people, hospitable and noble residents of Surkhandarya who did their best to organize at high level today’s festival of art and splendor.

I wish all of you a sound health, family happiness and new accomplishments!

Thank you for your attention!

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