Day three of the cultural forum ongoing in Balkan velayat included a series of events celebrating remarkably diverse Turkmen culture.
In the morning, a conference took place in a conference room at the Magtymguly Pyragy Museum in the town of Magtymguly. It was attended by museum professionals, painters, art experts, history scholars, ethnographers, teachers and students of higher education institutions specializing in art and culture, and journalists.
The conference attendees exchanged views on the development of museums, having highlighted in this context the instrumental role of fine, decorative and applied arts with a rich array of genres and styles.
The participants in the Culture Week also visited the etrap’s historic-cultural landmarks and local beauty spots.
The Magtymguly Museum in the village of Gerkez, the birthplace of the poet of genius and thinker, is an irresistible draw for all those coming here. The lovingly preserved and displayed collection contains scores of Pyragy’s books, published in different languages in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Especially awe-inspiring are old manuscripts handwritten by calligraphers in the days when books were not printed yet...
The museum proudly boasts exhibits closely linked to the poet’s life. Various household items of the time: artfully crafted wooden plates and bowls, kitchen utensils, khums (large pottery vessels used to store oil and water), lamps and tools help to recapture the spirit of Magtymguly’s times, offering visitors to get a real taste of history. On display are also Turkmen carpets, national clothes, and beautiful jewelry made by Turkmen zergers (jewelers).
One of the Sumbar Valley’s landmarks is a legendary place of pilgrimage people visit in the hope that their dearest wishes will come true. Famed well beyond the Balkan region boundaries, Shibli-Baba, also known as Shyvlan, is a ritual complex at the bottom of the Syunt Hasar Mountain, located 10 kilometers northeast of the settlement of Magtymguly.
The scenic part of the Western Kopetdag justly deserves to be called truly wonderful. Not only is the area considered to have magical powers, it also boasts breathtakingly beautiful scenery with the mountain slopes densely covered with juniper trees, a bubbling spring-fed stream, a natural water source for mighty centuries-old plane trees, and a domed mausoleum perched on rocky ground.
The guests were also taken on an excursion to Parkhay, a destination noted for its spring of thermal water containing hydrogen sulfide with healing properties as well as to the so-called Lunar Mountains, surrounding the Sumbar Valley. In fact, they are low hills bare of vegetation, one to eight meters high. They were named so because of their strange shape and the unusually-hued rock. The Lunar Mountains change their color during the day: from light gray to white, from cream to pink.
In the afternoon, theater lovers were invited to watch a production staged by the Balkan Velayat State Drama Theater.
The production tells the story of Magtymgyly Pyragy, who lived in one of the most difficult periods in the Turkmen nation’s history. As the curtain opens, soul-stirring lines from the great Turkmen poet and thinker’s poetry fill the air.
Taking the audience back in time, the play recaptures the essence of a Turkmen village of the period, depicting scenes of daily life, traditions, customs and relations between generations. Magtymguly’s father, the prominent poet and philosopher Dovletmammet Azadi, appears on stage. The spectators feel the deep and tender love of his mother. It was she, who nurtured genuine compassion and empathy in her son and taught him to admire beauty and appreciate kindness.
The production offers a multifaceted portrayal of the poet: as an ardent patriot, who is ready to give his life for his native land’s freedom; as a scientist who sought to unlock the secrets of the universe; as a goodwill ambassador, who called for unity and solidarity; and as a silversmith. The production also features works by modern Turkmen poets about modern-day Turkmenistan.
The Culture Week’s day three culminated in a concert by singers and performing groups from Ashgabat and Akhal velayat in the picturesque Duedash Gorge close to the village of Gerkez.
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