Nauryz – The Celebration of the Kazakh New Year in Hungary

The Embassy of the Republic of Kazakhstan in Hungary, the Hungarian Foundation for Eurasian Unity, jointly with the ”Bars” Kazakh–Hungarian foundations organized – together with a Kokpar equestrian race – a celebration of Nauryz, the Kazakh New Year in Hungary. H.E. Ambassador János Hóvári, the Head of the Representation Office of the Organization of Turkic States in Budapest participated in the event.

More than 300 people took part in the festivities: among them the representatives of the diplomatic corps in Budapest, businessmen, officials of the Representation Office of the Organization of Turkic States, as well as members of the diaspora and the Association of Kazakh Students. The event was opened by H.E. Zhanibek Abdrashov, the Ambassador of the Republic of Kazakhstan, István Bencze, the President of the Hungarian Foundation for Eurasian Unity and the Vice President of the “Kokpar” World Association (Hungary), as well as András Gál, the President of the ”Bars” Kazakh–Hungarian foundation.

In his opening remarks, the Ambassador of Kazakhstan congratulated the audience on the day of the spring equinox. He pointed out that this holiday is a tight bond among the generations which symbolizes the traditions and culture of the Kazakh people. “This day strengthens friendship and peace, deepening the cultural and educational cooperation between Hungary and Kazakhstan. Nauryz Meiramy has in reality become a holiday for all the people which serves as a brilliant example of a country – Kazakhstan – where everybody makes a contribution to development and well-being,” emphasized Ambassador Abdrashov.

On his part, István Bencze, the President of the Hungarian Foundation for Eurasian Unity, underlined that Kokpar is becoming more and more popular in Hungary which awakens the interest in historical nomadic culture. In his speech, András Gál noted that Nauryz is the symbol of the spiritual unity of the Kazakh people, and that it also plays an important role in strengthening the friendship and cooperation between Hungary and Kazakhstan. To commemorate the holiday, an ornate yurt was set up on the Hungarian Steppe. The guests were able to taste some dishes for the holiday: Nauryz-kozhe (a spring soup), pilaf and Kuyrdak (Kazakh stew). They were also able to visit the nomadic bazaar displaying the works of Hungarian artisans. At the end of the race, Ambassador Abdrashov handed over prizes to the competitors.

During the holiday of Nauryz, the great music of the Steppe was not missing either. The guests were also able to enjoy the melodies of the dombra, to listen to Kazakh songs and watch Kazakh dances. What is even more, they were allowed to shoot with traditional Hungarians arrows. The Kuns of Kiskunlacháza (Hungary) also took part in the event, performing Hungarian dances.

In connection with the event it is worth remembering that in 2009 Nauryz was awarded the status of an international holiday and that the UN recognized it as part of the spiritual cultural heritage of mankind.

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