The Spirit of Tengri - Contemporary Ethnic Music Festival in Kazakhstan

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Almaty, the biggest city of Kazakhstan hosts this year's International Folk and World Music Festival on June 6 and 7 where Hungary has been invited for the first time.

Hungary will be represented by folk singer Tilla Török the only participant from Central Europe.

The festival showcasing the folk tradition of the "Eastern peoples". Kazakh organizers invited Tilla Török after viewing hundreds of video performances of various artists.

The festival will be held in the spirit of Tengri, which is a belief system based on shamanism. This ancient nature religion and belief system dominated the life of our ancestors before adopting Christianity. In honor of the great spirit of Tengri organizers invited folk artists from nations with steppe tradition to participate in the festival in order to strengthen brotherly relations between them through music. Kazakhs consider Hungarians kindred people.

Countries participating in the festival include Kazakhstan, Russia, Buryatia, Tuva, China, Sakha Republic, Ecuador, the United Arab Emirates, Kyrgyzstan and Mongolia.

Tilla Török: The only way Hungarians can survive this age through culture

My childhood dominated by music, especially folk music; it is not surprising that I have become folk singer. As a minority (Tilla was born in Voivodina, Serbia into an ethnic Hungarian family) I learned early on the importance of culture to survive as a minority said Tilla before leaving for Kazakhstan.

To show my entire music portfolio I and my brothers and sisters put together a folk music CD representing the main stages of my musical development and my experiences as a minority in Voivodina.

My program incorporates the wonderful treasures and unique tunes of the Carpathian Basin that I perform with my brothers and sisters. For this special occasion, I will also sing a Kazakh folk song, which bears eerie resemblance to one of our most known folk songs, which is none other than "Tavaszi szél vizet áraszt" said Tilla.


The Hungarian delegation arrives in Kazakhstan

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The Spirit of Tengri promotes spirituality and heritage

The Spirit of Tengri 2015 brings talented musicians from 11 countries representing their unique cultures and musical histories, Tengrinews reports.

General Director of Alash Media Group Batyr Kazybayev said that the ethnic music festival is one of the most significant cultural projects in Almaty.

“The project is about music and spiritual dimension. We put all of emphasis in the “spiritual dimension” to make the international ethnic music festival The Spirit of Tengri recognizable all around the world. Over the past three years, the festival has become one of the biggest music events in its genre. There is no music event that can boast a similar quality of sound, light and variety of musicians in Central Asia. It is the only large scale festival in tue region that represents Kazakhstan internationally,” Kazybayev said.

The festival is organized by the national radio station Tengri FM in collaboration with Kaspi Bank.

“We, creative people are ready to come up with ideas but if we are not supported by businesses then most of these ideas will never see the light of day. But we are lucky to have a great and fruitful cooperation with Kaspi Bank. I want to note that creative ideas and financial institution that understands the importance of spirituality and culture in the life of the country produce a great effect. We call it The Spirit of Tengri. And we are grateful to Kaspi Bank for this truly spiritual partnership,” Kazybayev said.

Last year, over 8 thousand people visited the concert.

The upcoming festival is dedicated to the participants' nations. Director of the Tengri FM Madina Umorbekova said that many people new very little about some of the countries represented at the festival. “There are few that know about a country named Mountain Shoriya. There is a wonderful singer Chyltys who came from Mountain Shoriya. She has performed here before. I think every artists comes here with a mission to present their culture, history and roots music,” Umorbekova said.

The General Director of the project Sergey Maiboroda added that The Spirit of Tengri 2015 will be different from the previous years not only thanks to its content and variety of participants, but also in terms of the technical equipment. He promised a truly unique atmosphere at the festival created by the best musical and light equipment.

The Spirit of Tengri takes place on June 6 and 7. The free open-air festival of ethnic music starts at 7 pm at the square in front of the Republic Palace (crossing of Abay and Dostyk streets). Musicians from 11 countries are participating in the festival. In addition, a choir of the Kurmangazy Kazakh National Conservatory will perform at the festival.

By Gyuzel Kamalova



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