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27.10.2021 09:27 News >> Renowned Kazakh Bard Commemorated In Turkish Capital

Renowned Kazakh Bard Commemorated In Turkish Capital

Many epics of Turkic world passed down to new generation courtesy of ‘Homer of the Steppes,’ says Kazakh ambassador.

Renowned Kazakh poet Zhambyl Zhabayuly was remembered Tuesday on his 175th birthday in the Turkish capital Ankara.
The conference on Zhambyl Zhabayuly, which was held as part of the Ankara Book Fair, was attended by Kazakh Ambassador to Turkey Abzal Saparbekuly, Ankara Haci Bayram University Rector Yusuf Tekin, linguist Ferhat Tamir and language and literature professor Orhan Soylemez.
This year, the 16th Ankara Book Fair's guest country is Kazakhstan, and a book stall was also opened by Kazakhstan's embassy.
In a speech, Tekin said: "After the emergence of nation states all over the world, it has become very important to transfer the national consciousness, values that hold the society together to future generations. People who play that role in societies, take steps and contribute to this cause have always been remembered with gratitude."
"In this sense, our esteemed poet, for whom we gathered here, is a very important figure for Kazakhstan," he added.
Saparbekuly said that Zhabayuly, also known as the "Homer of the Steppes," can be considered the last representative of Kazakh oral literature.
Expressing his happiness to be part of a conference on Zhabayuly, Saparbekuly said: "If it were not for Zhambyl Zhabayuly, many of our epics in Kazakh and Turkish literature would not have survived until today."
He said that Zhabayuly, who started playing the dombra -- a long-necked Kazakh lute -- and composed his first poems at the age of 10, passed down the legendary epics of the Gokturks, a nomadic confederation of Turkic peoples in medieval Inner Asia, to generations by memorizing them.
Saparbekuly said the Kazakhs' renowned bard lived his life as a devout Muslim and always addressed his people's problems in his poems. He recalled Zhabayuly's own words: "My name is not Zhabayuly, my name is folk."
Tamir also said that Zhabayuly was born in 1846 to a nomadic Kazakh family on the banks of the Chu River on the slopes of Mount Zhambyl.
He said that Zhabayuly, who had a childhood intertwined with poetry and oral literature, learned to play the kopuz (which is also called komuz, a fretless Turkic lute played in Central Asia), and the dombra from his uncle.
Learning the oral literature of the neighboring Kyrgyz people, he traveled and had call-and-response duets with the leading poets of that era, he added.
Soylemez said Zhabayuly was named Homer of the 19th century because he reflected all the disasters that his people experienced during his 100-year life in his poems.
Zhabayuly died in 1945 and was buried in Almaty. Following his death, the town of Taraz was renamed Zhambyl. -



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