Spiritual affinity of the peoples of Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan: to the 175th anniversary of Abay Kunanbayev

Spiritual affinity of the peoples of Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan: to the 175th anniversary of Abay Kunanbayev

Since ancient times, the peoples of Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan, being close to each other in many ways, lived nearby on the shores of the Caspian Sea. And as it follows from the historical reference, there are many identical Kazakh and Turkmen family lines: Tazlar, Shikhlar, Tana Kerey, Sary, etc.

As the legend says, “Turkmens and Kazakhs were related to each other. The foremother of the Adai Kosai family is a Turkmen woman named Ogyl-Menli. When the old Kosai lost his family while crossing the Chu River, his Turkmen friend came to him first and gave him his youngest daughter in marriage. As a result, this tribe is also called Turkmen-Adai.”

In the 20s of the last century, after dividing the borders, many Turkmens remained on the territory of the Mangystau Region, and nomadic Kazakhs were living on the territories of Turkmenistan. In his turn, the Turkmen and Kazakh scientist Kurban Amanniyazov investigated this topic into the matter and dedicated his book “the Turkmens of Mangyshlak” to it.

The close ties between the two peoples are based not only on the similarity of customs, religion and historical destinies, but above all, on spiritual kinship. That is why the creativity of many literary figures of Kazakhstan is so close and understandable to the people of Turkmenistan.

In the anniversary year of the outstanding Kazakh poet and sophist Abay Kunanbayev, whose 175th anniversary is widely celebrated in the homeland of the lyric writer,  Turkmenistan also remembers the name of a poet who left an impressive literary legacy to his descendants. It is noteworthy that this year a book of poems by the poet will be issued in the Turkmen language.

A flock of cranes stretched southernly,

The camel caravans passed under them,

Auls are in deep stillness and melancholy.

The game’s laugh and fun stay distantly.

The son of endless steppes, the pride of the Kazakh people, Abay Kunanbayev was born in 1845. His grandmother greatly influenced on little Abai’s craving for art. It was she who opened the “door” to the rich world of oral creativity for her grandson and became his first mentor and educator. Since childhood, Abay had realized that many of the knowledge and wisdom of life are hidden in folk destans and tales. Listening to akyns, storytellers, following to the best examples of folk poetry, the young Abay began to compose his first poems, imitating the older masters of the word.

A frequent guest in Abay’s home was the famous poet Dulat. He recognized the young man’s poetic gift even in his first poems and gave him his literary blessing. Kunanbayev was one of the originators of the development of Kazakh literature, and therefore he is often called “Kazakh Pushkin”.

A great poet and educator, he became a symbol of spirituality and culture not only for the Kazakh people, his work has been translated into many languages of the world. Monuments to the poet are installed in Kazakhstan, Russia, China, Great Britain, Hungary and Egypt. As the lyrist liked to cite, “Poetry is the master of language, and genius carves miracle out of stone.”

Verse is the leader among words, their most valuable livery,

A talented poet composes a verse piercing of tracery,

Where all words are smooth, pompous, rotund,

Easy for a tongue, satisfying the ear and regard.

President of the Republic of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, who sums up the results of his first year in high office, shared his thoughts on the creative heritage of the poet in the article “Abay and Kazakhstan in the 21st century”:

“Abay in his words of edification, popularizing the common heritage of mankind, shows the desire for spiritual heights. The core of his words of edification is humanity, culture, and virtue. The search for works similar to the words of edification of Hakim Abay leads to the work of the French thinker Montaigne. However, Montaigne in his works pays more attention to his inner world and personality, the main mission in the words of edification of Abay – apprehension, mystifying others, turning goals into principles. The words of edification of the great thinker are a unique and extremely valuable cultural monument.”