Bas-relief in Bulgaria and plaque in Azerbaijan: how different countries mark 175th birth anniversary of Abai?

Bas-relief in Bulgaria and plaque in Azerbaijan: how different countries mark 175th birth anniversary of Abai?

The birth anniversary of the great Kazakh poet and philosopher Abai Kunanbaiuly is celebrated all over the world. The bas-relief of Abai was erected in the alley of famous figures in the town of Sveti Vlas in Bulgaria. The inscription said: “Man is a child of his time. If he is bad, his contemporaries are also to blame.” This excerpt from Abai’s ‘Words of Edifications’ does not lose its relevance to this day.

Kazakh Ambassador to Bulgaria Temirtai Izbastin, speaking to the audience, said that the 175th anniversary of Abai is celebrated not only in Kazakhstan, but also in many countries around the world. The opening of the bas-relief in Bulgaria will give a new impetus to the further development of intercultural cooperation. The place was not chosen by chance – the alley has monuments to such famous personalities as Vasil Levski, Hristo Botev, Hans Christian Andersen and many others. Local historian and ethnographer Stojan Raichevsky said that Abai Kunanbaiuly is a universal figure whose scale exceeds Central Asia. According to the press office of Kazakh Foreign Ministry, the ‘Bulgarian Memory – Dinevi Brothers Foundation’ helped Kazakh Embassy to implement its initiative of placing the bas-relief in the alley of Sveti Vlas.

A commemorative campaign to reinstall the memorial plaque was held in Baku celebrating the 175th birth anniversary of the great poet and philosopher. Previously, one of the streets in the capital of Azerbaijan was named after Abai. In his greeting, Kazakh Ambassador to Azerbaijan Serzhan Abdykarimov stressed that the creative legacy of Abai is the spiritual wealth of the Kazakh people. The well-known Azerbaijani Abai expert and Professor of the Turkic Studies Department at Baku State University Firuza Agayeva spoke about the life and creative path of the classic of Kazakh literature. She highlighted that his identity and his works are highly revered in Azerbaijan.

“Abai translated Alexander Pushkin and Ivan Krylov. I have had a love for Abai’s poems and works since I was 12. I’ve been handing out books about him to people living on the street named after Abai Kunanbaiuly so that they could read and know about this outstanding person,” Agayeva said.

The celebrations of the birth anniversary of the founder of Kazakh written literature continue in Hungary. Representatives of the Kazakh diaspora and local students laid flowers at the poet’s monument in Budapest. They recited poems, read ‘Words of Edification’ and performed songs by Abai. Meanwhile, Beijing residents also paid tribute to Abai – they laid flowers at the monument to the great Kazakh poet.

President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev had earlier announced that the 175th anniversary of Abai Kunanbaiuly would be celebrated at the national and international levels.