The British supported the challenge dedicated to the 175th anniversary of Abai Kunanbaiuly on the eve of his birthday on August 10. Politicians, scholars, and creative intellectuals read the works of the great Kazakh poet in English and posted videos on social media. British MP (Conservative – Beckenham) Bob Stewart read an excerpt from the poem ‘Do not think of profit, think of honor’. Lord Provost of Aberdeen Barney Crockett is another participant of the poetry flash mob. He shared Abai’s thought about the predetermination of human destiny. Representatives of the British political establishment said that the poetry of the Kazakh poet is in demand at all times, as are the works of their compatriot William Shakespeare.
The challenge dedicated to the 175th anniversary of Abai Kunanbaiuly was launched by President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev. The poetic marathon on reciting the works of the great Kazakh poet was supported in Azerbaijan, Tatarstan, Kyrgyzstan, Japan, Uzbekistan. The ambassadors of France and the United States, as well as statesmen and public figures also participated in the challenge.
Meantime, the British poet, writer, and translator John Farndon is currently working to introduce the ‘Abai’ opera to the English audience.
“I am currently translating Akhmet Zhubanov’s ‘Abai’ opera. We hope to bring this opera to the United Kingdom for the first-time next year with the support of the Kazakh Embassy. I am well acquainted with the work of Abai and it was a pleasure for me to participate in this challenge,” Farndon said.
The Embassy of Kazakhstan in the United Kingdom has planned several events to celebrate the 175th anniversary of Abai. In particular, a new collection of the poet’s works will be presented at the end of the year. The books in English will then be published. In addition, an online concert by Kazakh and British performers will be organized.
“Each poem by Abai popularizes the love of humanity. We therefore believe that we should share them with other peoples of the world. We hope that we can make a small contribution to the promotion of Abai’s legacy,” Secretary of the Kazakh Embassy in the UK Kamshat Kumisbai said.