- Kazakh-British relations
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On 7 April, the Day of Culture of Kazakhstan was hosted by the Embassy of Kazakhstan in the UK at Victoria Embankment Gardens, one of the central parks in London. The event was attended by around one thousand guests, including politicians and diplomats, residents and visitors of London, Kazakh students and diaspora, as well as Kazakh-British young professionals working at top UK companies.
In his welcome remarks, Ambassador Idrissov said that the Day of Culture of Kazakhstan in London was an important step towards the popularisation of Kazakh culture in the world, presenting the rich cultural and spiritual heritage of the people of the Great Steppe to the West. The fact that the songs of the great Kazakh poets and composers were performed in Shakespeare's homeland serves as evidence of the deepening integration of the cultures of the two nations. The promotion of Kazakh historical and cultural heritage in the UK remains one of the key priorities of the Embassy in terms of further implementation of the New Identity programme, Idrissov said.
The guests of the event enjoyed a concert programme organised by the Akmesheet Folk Ensemble and the Kyzylorda Province Philharmonic Orchestra. The musicians performed songs by Kazakhstan's most renowned composers, including Dauletkerey's 'Korkyt' and 'Koriguly', Abai's 'Aittym salem Kalamkas', Shamshi Kaldayakov's 'Ak Mandailym', and Qurmangazy's 'Balbyrauyn'. The musicians also performed on dombyra and qobyz, traditional Kazakh musical instruments, delighting the crowd with the Kazakh folk songs 'Karai kozim', 'Guldariga' and 'Buldirgen', as well as famous hits by the Beatles.
The celebrations also included singers Yerlan Ryskali, known for performing Kazakh traditional and folk music, Ayrika Nariman, a student of the University of Westminster, and 12-year-old Bakhtiyar Tastemirov. The culmination of the concert was a dance flashmob, performed by children of the diplomats of the Embassy of the Republic of Kazakhstan in the UK.
One of the main attractions of the day was the real Kazakh yurt, installed in the Victoria Embankment Gardens by a new British company specialising in leasing traditional nomadic houses. The yurt was fully furnished and decorated, including felted and wooden household items, reproductions of national dishes and weapons. In addition, guests of the holiday were offered a variety of books about Kazakhstan, including publications about the country's tourist potential. Kazakh designers presented to the visitors various handicrafts, jewelry, and household items of the Kazakh people. Guests took great pleasure in tasting traditional Kazakh cuisine, such as baursaks, kuyrdak and shelpek.