Uyghur women in Kazakhstan are continuing the “gulchai” tradition

In order to preserve their identity, Uyghurs in Kazakhstan are trying to preserve and continue their ancient customs. One of them is the “Gulchai” of women. Recently, such an event was held by the women’s council of Malivai village in Almuta prefecture.

Such activities carried out by Uyghur women’s activists in Kazakhstan are supported by Uyghur social organizations, communities, and local governments. The ceremony, which took place in Malivai village of Labor Kazak County, was attended by guests from outside the county, and nearly 400 people participated.

One of the organizers of the “Gulchai” ceremony held in Malivai, Mrs. Rechelm Nurshayeva, the deputy chairman of the village women’s council, said: “In the past, the Uyghurs used to play with men to play, and women used to study in Gulchai.” Our flowery, intelligent mothers used to recite verses with great educational significance and give flowers to each other to express their respect. He made good jokes and cheered us up. Today, we spent this day in the county with the aim of revitalizing the traditions, customs, culture and art of our people, as well as our linguistic resources, which are fading today.

Kakazazandiksi uighir öz kidisını khátılık ınının bir çalışınının bir çeşık ınınınınının ınınınının sılışındağı. August 2022, Almuta.

Rachel Nurshayeva said that the ceremony was attended by women’s representatives from the republic’s Uyghur cultural centers and many nationalities. He also stated that the activities of Malivai Women’s Council were praised by Aben Nurmanov, leader of the Kazakh creative union “Peaceful World”, Bakhit Akhadiyev, head of Malivai village government, Suleyman Makhsutov, chairman of Uyghur Culture Center of Labor-Kazakh County, and awarded with awards.

Labor Kazak County is the largest county where Uighurs live in the province. The county has its own cultural center, chiefs, ladies and youth councils, which work hand in hand with local governments.

Ms. Nurjamal Hasanova, deputy chairman of the county Uyghur cultural center, said that the Uyghurs living in Kazakhstan have been conducting various activities to preserve and develop and promote their mother tongue, culture, education, national traditions, and customs.

He said: “The truth is that in recent times, especially the role of women in our society is increasing. In addition to their direct work, they have also been fulfilling their duties in social affairs accordingly. One of our national heritages that we are keeping is “Gulchai”. This is one of the oldest national traditions of our people. It has great significance, and in addition to educating young people, it encourages them to be friendly, united, and harmonious. This is not a waste of time, of course. That’s why we’re giving it a lot of attention today.”

Ms. Zulfiya, a researcher at Turan University and candidate of historical sciences, said that Uyghur women’s tea has a long history of its own, and it is important to study it. had begun to lose its rules slowly. Our centuries-old national spiritual heritage is being forgotten. Only in the 1950s and 1960s, with the large-scale migration of Uyghurs from our historical homeland, Eastern Turkistan, to the Soviet Union, our forgotten traditions and national holidays were revived. Although the government does not openly support and encourage the holding of “Mashraf”, “Melis”, “Nowruz”, “Gulchai” and other national events, the public is not strictly restricted. In particular, the Uyghurs who lived in the Yarkand region did not cut off their cultural ties with their historical homeland. Despite the restrictive policy of the Soviet regime, the Uyghurs of the Yarkand region celebrated the holidays by handing out mashrap, snow tea, chicken tea, and flowers. Today, these traditions are developing in all areas where Uyghurs live in independent Kazakhstan.

Recently, Kazakh and foreign scholars are paying great attention to the study of Uyghur national customs. They argue that there are many similarities in the past history, culture, language, and customs of the Uygurs and Central Asian Uygurs in particular.

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