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Day of Abai: Where the great Kazakh poet is known and read in the world
10 August 2022 12:45

Day of Abai: Where the great Kazakh poet is known and read in the world

NUR-SULTAN. KAZINFORM On August 10, Kazakhstan celebrates the birthday of the great Kazakh poet, philosopher, composer, educator, public figure, and founder of the Kazakh literature Abai Kunanbayev, Kazinform reports.


Each person discovers Abai on his or her own. Abai’s poems and Words of Wisdom (Qara Soz) remain relevant at all times. Through his Words of Wisdom, the great Abai, in fact, enters into a dialogue with his future readers and researchers of his creative heritage, thus building a cultural connection between the generations.

Abai created over 170 verses, several poems and the Words of Wisdom. He also authored over 30 songs. His musical works are widely known both in Kazakhstan and abroad. In his works, Abai glorifies working-class people and calls for development, accord and friendship and urges his readers to strive for kindness and creativity.

Abai’s works have been translated into 116 languages of the world. The first translations of Abai’s poems were published in the early XX century. Later, his poetry and Words of Wisdom saw countless translation and republication. The majority of books devoted to Abai’s works was published in 1995, in the year of celebration of the poet’s 150th anniversary under the UNESCO aegis. In the same year, Iran welcomed the book «Works and Thoughts of Abai», and another book «Selected Poems by Abai» was released in Pakistan. The publication of the book «Works and Thoughts of Abai» in Farsi became a remarkable event in the cultural life of Iran and Kazakhstan, since Abai’s works had not been published in Iran before.

In 2020, in the year of celebration of the 175th anniversary of Abai, his works were translated into 10 languages – English, Arabic, Chinese, Spanish, Italian, German, Russian, Turkish, French and Japanese.

A number of verses, poems and all 45 Words of Wisdom were retranslated into the Russian language. The majority of the verses and three poems were translated by famous Russian poet and translator Mikhail Sinelnikov.

The books in each language were issued in an edition of 3,000 copies. 30,000 collections were delivered to educational organizations, literature and research centers as well as to libraries of 100 countries.

As part of celebration of the poet’s 175th anniversary, the Center of Abai opened its doors in Singapore, Bulgaria, Hungary, the UAE, Pakistan, Ethiopia and Czech Republic.

Readers in countries all over the world point out parallelism and harmony between the thoughts of Abai and such great figures as Johann Goethe and Mahatma Gandhi. In addition to his own works, Abai made translations of foreign authors into the Kazakh language.

Abai’s heritage turned into a linking chain between the Kazakh people and the culture of other nations. His heritage which propagates universal human values has become an integral part of the world literature.


Over 30 monuments to Abai Kunanbayev have been unveiled worldwide. 14 of them are in Kazakhstan, the rest are in different countries.

In Moscow, the monument to Abai was installed on the Chistoprudny Boulevard, next to the Embassy of Kazakhstan in Russia. The monument was unveiled in 2006, in the Year of Abai in Russia. The monument was designed by Valery Romanenko and Timur Suleimenov (author of sketches of the Tenge, the national currency of Kazakhstan).

Another monument to Abai was unveiled in Tashkent in 2013, opposite the Kazakh Embassy there. The sculptor is Nurlan Dalbai, and the architect is Rassul Satybaldiyev.

In 2014, monuments to Abai were unveiled in Beijing and Budapest.

In different years, the monuments and memorial plates honoring the Kazakh philosopher and poet were unveiled in Tehran, Baku, Cairo, Rennes, Berlin, Paris, Seoul, Istanbul, Tbilisi, Bishkek and New Delhi.


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