About the poem of Shakarim Kudaiberdyuly ‘Yenlik - Kebek’
The poem of Shakarim Kudaiberdyuly ‘Yenlik - Kebek’ is a great Qazaq poem, full of social commentary. The problems raised in the poem are traditional for the Qazaq people of that period: the tribal feuds, the love of the main characters and death.
In the Qazaq tribe ‘Tobykty’ a boy was born, his given name was the name, Kebek. The author of the poem describes him as a favorite child of the tribe. When he was fifteen years old, he was different from all the other people by his physical strength, a thirst for life and youthful enthusiasm. He was ‘a brunette, of medium height, broad-shouldered, good-natured, friendly in manner’.
Once upon a time to have his fortune read Kebek decided to go to the so-called fortune-teller (in the Qazaq language ‘abyz’) Nysan. He lived in the mountains of Shyngystau.
Kebek, having quietly approached the miserable abyz Nysan’s yurt, standing alone in the rocks of Shyngystau, stopped as if enchanted: sad, soul-touching sounds came from the yurt.
In describing the sounds of music, coming from a kobyz (a Qazaq traditional instrument), its influence on a human-being, such epithets as ‘magic music’, ‘enchanting sounds’, ‘caressing sounds overwhelmed the soul with some kind of unexplored feeling that a person wanted to listen to this magical music more and more, without stopping, because they told a lot to the heart and the soul’ were used.
Abyz Nysan said that Kebek was doomed to speedy death. He would die in the prime of life, humbled and humiliated by his tribe and enemies because of a beautiful girl.
Shortly thereafter to pass the time Kebek with a golden eagle went hunting for foxes. For a long time he wandered through the hills and valleys, it went dark and it was too late to get home. There wasn't a living soul to be found for miles around. Suddenly he saw in one of the Shyngystau gorges, near the mountain Khan a curling smoke. He came closer and found out a small ‘aul’ (in the Qazaq language means ‘a village’). He spent there the night, but the most important thing for him was that he had fallen in love with a daughter of the host of the house where he spent that night. Her name was Yenlik. They developed feelings for each other.
But Yenlik was plighted by her parents to a rich and elderly man from ‘Kerey’ tribe. More than half of the bride price was paid for her. She had to decide to kill love in her heart or in violation of a centuries-long tradition to stay with her lover, condemning herself to revenge and bitter hardships.
Offending against custom young lovers one dark night ran away together. Later on she gave birth to a son. But their happiness did not last long. The tribe ‘Matay’ elders, to which belonged Yenlik, regarded a runaway of the girl as an affront to the dignity of the tribe. They began to avenge an insult to the Kebek’s tribe ‘Tobykty’.
In this way after Yenlik’s runaway two fighting between themselves the tribes ‘Matay’ and ‘Tobykty’ appeared on the scene. Threats and counterthreats, cattle theft took place between them. Some of conflicts even ended in murder. Finally, the Parties appealed for a mediation of the ‘biys’ (‘judges’ in a traditional Qazaq society of that time). The cruel biy Kengirbai was for the punishment of Kebek and Yenlik, because they dared to violate the ruling in the Qazaq Steppe Law.
And the prediction of Abyz Nysan came true, Kebek and Yenlik were sentenced to death. Before the execution Yenlik asked for a final speech, devoted to both of tribes. She did not ask for mercy, did not pray to leave them alive, with dignity she asked to give the opportunity to say goodbye to her love, her husband Kebek, to bury them together in one grave and to spare their innocent four-month-old son.
Her final speech, expressing the human right to life and love, flew in the face of tradition and the bearers of cruel and inhuman customs. Kebek and Yenlik with their hands and legs tied were tied to the horse's tail, and after a few minutes, their severely mutilated bodies were thrown into a hole prepared earlier. No one picked up their little son.
Shakarim Kudaiberdyuly in the poem ‘Yenlik – Kebek’ angrily stigmatizes the traditions and customs that cultivate cruelty in people, endow them with destructive power.
It should be noted that the plot of the poem is based on real events that occurred according to Shakarim Kudaiberdiuly in the Qazaq steppes in 1780.
Once, the ancestor of the great Qazaq writer Abai and, accordingly, Shakarim Kudaiberdiuly (they were relatives) named Kengirbai, being a prominent representative of the society and a rich man of his time, examining a lawsuit about a runaway bride, sentenced two young people in love who did not want to part with each other to death for the sake of the customs that prevailed in society.
Qazaq people, in memory of Yenlik and Kebek at the burial site of the heroes of the poem, built a monument as a symbol of love. There are a lot of songs and legends about Yenlik and Kebek in Qazaq literature and folklore.
‘The Three Truths’ of Shakarim Kudaiberdiuly
Think about where the mind and knowledge are,
In what form are they in the body?
To know, to believe, to prefer or to like is a matter of a mind.
When is it harmful, and when is it helpful?
Shakarim Kudaiberdiuly is a talented Qazaq poet, humanist and philosopher. He survived two revolutions, a civil war and the formation of Soviet Qazaqstan. The poet and philosopher was subjected to persecution, was deceitfully murdered, forgotten after death, and his works were destroyed. One of his greatest works is a unique philosophical work called ‘Ush anyk’ (‘The Three Truths’), in which he developed an original concept of human existence.
Shakarim Kudaiberdiuly believed that honest work, a sensitive conscience and a sincere heart of a human-being are the pillars of his harmonious and prosperous life: ‘Honest work, a sensitive conscience, a sincere heart should be the basis for a good life of a person. These three qualities should rule over everything. Without them, one cannot find peace and harmony in life’. Shakarim Kudaiberdiuly studied and in his philosophical lyrics and treatises handed on the torch the philosophical thoughts of Western philosophers as Plato, Democritus, Camille, Herbert Spencer, and many others.
He reflected on the social issues of his time, dreamed of a fair system of life - without the violence of those in power. He tried to find answers to such questions as:
What is the faith, what is a soul?
Will I disappear completely after my death?
Who created this diverse Universe?
According to Shakarim Kudaiberdiuly, the soul is such an entity that never disappears, is not amenable to damage, every time tries to improve. Expressing his thoughts about ‘The Three Truths’, namely about the materialistic, theological worldviews and a personal dignity, Shakarim Kudaiberdiuly inextricably binds the human soul with a conscience. That notion had been central to the works of Shakarim Kudaiberdiuly.
The philosopher always improved his spiritual world and could explain a lot: what does the philosophical concept of life and death, personality and the world mean? In his philosophical lyrics there is a belief in absolute truth: ‘Follow the truth, not the pseudo-religion and pseudo-knowledge’, ‘Think about where the mind and knowledge are, In what form are they in the body? To know, to believe, to prefer or to like is a matter of a mind. When is it harmful, and when is it helpful?’.
It is noteworthy that Shakarim Kudaiberdiuly tried to prove the unity of a soul and a body. And he succeeds in this: ‘Although the soul and the body are alien to each other, appeared separately, when they coexist, they always influence each other. Now, many psychologists explain the diseases of the body as a causal link with the soul, with the emotional sphere of the personality, with the display of such emotions as insult, contempt, hatred, jealousy, pride, etc. Shakarim Kudaiberdiuly’s proposition that ‘when the soul is excited, the body can be plunged into difficult situations’, is absolutely fair. He strongly believed, that ‘in some moments of life, when a great joy, a fear or the grief came to a person’s life, they can even kill him or her’. In his opinion, such emotions as insult, hatred, love are an impact of the soul, which could be displayed on a face of the person.
The deep moral problems raised in the works of Shakarim Kudaiberdiuly make it possible to judge the relevance of his research at the present time. He saw the spiritual elevation of a man in following ‘The Three Truths’. And now we see how wise his statements are.
The depth of study of the raised issues, courage in the views and interpretation of the facts, the systematic approach to studying the problem, the broad outlook of the researcher are admirable.
A Tragedy in the Satimzhan Sanbaev's short novel ‘The White Aruana’
An Aruana is the best breed of female single-humped camel. It is a symbol of maternal love in Qazaq literature. In 1968, the famous Qazaq writer Satimzhan Sanbayev, inspired by his memories of childhood, wrote a story dedicated to this animal. ‘The White Aruana’ by Satimzhan Sanbaev tells about the fate of a man in years and his sincere affection to a White Female Camel, which is sick at heart for its homeland.
The story begins with the fact that a small, snow-white camel was given as a present to a retired elderly man named Myrzagali by his relatives. The camel grew up and became a beautiful white camel - Aruana. This creature personified for the old man everything that was bright and pure that had gone from his own life.
He was not an easy-going person. He kept mostly to himself. When he returned from the war, he learned that his wife had cheated on him with his neighbor Sholak, with whom they had competed the whole life. This news gnawed him.
In addition, he felt a deep inner discomfort from self- awareness that he did not live life the way he wanted at the very beginning: ‘... his head was full of heavy thoughts that his life was not going the way it should be. He remembered that there were moments when he tried to kill himself ...He tried, but he could not. And no one, except his wife, an old woman who lived with him this long and boring life, did not know about his pain ...’ Or: ‘He stood at the gate, ... feeling ... a terrible emptiness around’.
Myrzagali could not find something valuable for himself, and therefore he was not understood by anyone. The hero feels lonely and tired, his sense of frustration about his life increased day by day. Myrzagali tried to make an in-depth analysis of his life and find its essence. At last he realized that Aruana became the most precious thing for him. He saw in Aruana not a source of wealth and prestige, like his neighbors, including Sholak, who dreamed of the profit that a camel could bring him, but a kindred spirit.
Aruana, who yearned for its Homeland - the country of the White Mountains, located in Mangystau region, tried again and again to escape from ‘prison’, but Myrzagali overtook it and brought back.
When Myrzagali fell ill and went to the hospital, Aruana was cut the veins of its eyes so that it would become blind to make available interbreed mating with two-humped camel and no longer look at the White Mountains. Satimzhan Sanbayev wrote after its partial blinding: ‘... The camel was walking ... indifferently, as if it was in another world. Its eyes were filled with bloody tears’.
‘Bloody tears’ are the key elements of the story, bringing together the main characters. Aruana, irresistible to the ordinary course of life, great and tragic in its sadness, alone bowed its head under the weight of circumstances.
It bowed its head, but it did not resign to as predestination! The high purpose of the camel - love and loyalty to the Motherland was misunderstood by everyone, except Myrzagali.
The hero’s affection to Aruana, his hopes of finding something new, important and true, are also misunderstood by the people around him: ‘He knew that he had become attached to Aruana strongly and could not part with it. And as always, when he recalled the past and thought about his life, he felt himself weak and helpless’. Both protagonists are tragic in their solitude.
After it gave a birth to a baby-camel, Aruana became completely blind. Once in the summer, when the little camel grew up, a dry hot wind, bringing a long drought came to the Great Qazaq Steppe from ‘the country of the White Mountains’.
Aruana called its baby-camel and ran into headwinds. A great instinct led it forward, through hills, salt marshes, ravines. And behind it, Mirzagali and Sholak raced on horses. However, blind Aruana, not seeing a ravine ahead, fell into it, so its life was cut short.
The short novel is filled with the living sounds of the Steppe, human grief and happiness, longing and eternal striving for something higher than everyday life. Human pain is akin to the pain of living beings, that is why Myrzagali is so sensitive about his camel, taking its pain as his own: ‘... and the old man cried, buried his face into his horse’s mane and clasped his horse with his thin arms. He cried for a long time before relief came’. This simple philosophy of unity and goodness, the unity of human life with the wild nature, which the author calmly reveals to his reader, is understandable to the heroes of the short novel.
Nothing could stop Aruana in its desire to return home. Even motherhood. It was its essence. The only thing is important for Aruana, it is a call of the Motherland. And all its behavior, deeds, thoughts are governed by the moral instinct.
‘The White Aruana’ is not just a story about a camel, but it demonstrates how precious may be the Motherland for a creature or a person.
It is worth noting the time when the short novel was written. It refers to the period when there was a harsh suppression of all products of the free will in the USSR. Qazaq schools one by one were closed in Qazaqstan. Because of the ideological reasons the feature film ‘In That Place, Where the White Mountains are’, another title is ‘The White Aruana’, based on the script of Satimzhan Sanbaev, written on the basis of this short novel, was banned. The film was released after a long 15 years.
Three Words about the Meaning of Life
November 11, 2018, on the stage of the State Academic Russian Drama Theater named after M. Gorky in Astana, the next show of the play by the Spanish playwright Alejandro Casona ‘The Third Word’ or its other name ‘The wild man’, adopted in CIS countries was held with great success.
Despite the fact that the premiere of the performance took place on June 28, 2013 and continues to be staged for the past 5 years, the public interest to the performance does not fade. The play ‘The Third Word’ was written in 1953, later it was translated into eight foreign languages. It is not obsolete at all, it offers the audience to reflect on the eternal themes of Life, Death and Love.
The main stage director Bekpulat Parmanov, who made a number of theatre plays - both fairy tales and plays for adults, presented his own interpretation of the Spanish classics.
A touching and passionate, romantic comedy tells the story of a young and wild man, whose name is Pablo. For twenty years he spent in the mountains with his father, who protected him ‘from books and women, so that his son would keep clean’.
After the death of the father, the hero remains alone, but the caring aunts Matilda and Angelina invite the city teacher Margarita Luhan, who did not expect to meet such a mature age student. The student was 24 years old. The teacher was invited to teach him to read and write ... The year spent on the estate of the Saldanya family greatly changes both the teacher herself and her student ...
In the play, from the very beginning to the final remarks, the circumstances and the characters acting in these circumstances collide in the conflict. What is important and valuable in Life? What to choose? To be uneducated, but sincere or civilized, but greedy and cruel?
In fact, learning good manners is much easier than humanity.
During time, spent together She would get to know what was Death and God, he would discover for himself the meaning of Love - the Third Word. Love made a wild Pablo learn reading and writing and deepen his knowledge further, besides that he mastered rules of etiquette and modern manners, remaining pure and sincere. Love turned a teacher spoiled by civilization into a loving woman, ready for sacrifice.
This is a romantic story about sublime love, about its transforming and cleansing power.
The leading roles were played by the tandem of young and promising actors of the theater Maskim Yashchenko and Anastasia Vorontsova.
The role of Pablo is one of the first big roles of Maxim Yashchenko, and the role of teacher Margarita Luhan is one of the first big roles of Anastasia Vorontsova. Both actors graduated from the Qazaq National University of Arts, located in Astana (Qazaqstan).
According to the leading actor of the theater, Maxim Yashchenko, the theater troupe each time plays this performance with great enthusiasm and pleasure on the stage, because already at the rehearsal stage they were all conquered by the play of the Spanish playwright. The troupe with this performance went on tours around Qazaqstan. They staged the performance in Petropavlovsk, Uralsk, Almaty and others places.
According to the actors, the audience really likes this play, because it brings them kind and light feelings and memories.