Cross-regional and Blogosphere
Karajan breaks his in-laws out of prison and rides away upon Baychobar. But, as he parts ways with Barchin, she makes a terrible oath.
Kokemen Kaska [the vezir of Baysir Bay] was the head of the executioners. He realized that Khan was changing his mind. Speedily coming to the jailhouse, Kokemen Kaska released Baysari Bay and Altun Sach to Karajan.
Baysari Bay recognized the Baychobar, walked around it, hugged it. He Jumped and mounted Baychobar; Karajan mounted behind him, followed by Altun Sach. The horse’s chest got longer and he galloped away.
Thanks to his encounter with Barchin, Karajan has discovered the horrible truth of his own connection to the political upheavals and devastation plaguing the land. He vows to seek justice.
Karajan mounted his horse, saying to Barchin,
“My mind became upset on this field.
Kungrats are in a revolt over their honor,
and when the owner arrives from the land of Baysun
Taysha Khan will be in trouble.
Mounting horses from every direction,
countless Kalmaks died in Isfahan.
When I look, I see that your house is on fire Taysha.
Valiant Alpamysh arrived from the land of Baysun.
When the roses of the garden wilt before the ninety days of winter,
when my time is up, the appointed hour cannot be deferred,
all my limbs [shall be] devastated.
When he was our guest for the six days,
Padishah, hear that I am crying,
draining my life away,
consuming my sustenance at every stage of my travelling,
eating my nine camels,
even when the Kalmak could not eat one baby camel.”
Thus, Karajan was displaying his degree of friendship towards Alpamysh.
“Hear me, Taysha Khan!
If you had nine camels eaten at every stage of travel,
you cannot keep it up until the end of time.
Won’t you admit that!
You are an impostor!
When I listen to the God in the morning,
I become angry and [vow to] take your head!
You will die doing what you have always done!
Of all your bad deeds, you do the worst to me!
You have imprisoned my father and mother!”
After befriending Alpamysh, Karajan decides to go find the latter’s beloved himself. He treks until he sheds “bloody tears”, but finally succeeds. But can he convince Barchin to return with him?
One of the most interesting things about Karajan’s wrestling match with Alpamysh is how it becomes a tale of islam: he is literally forced to submit to God. And yet, once Alpamysh decides to be merciful, friendship immediately ensues. The notion here is that submission and mercy in the One True Faith bring harmony and unity.
Moreover, now converted to the cause, Karajan is also strongly inclined to take matters into his own hands and help Alpamysh resolve the plight of Barchin…
It has been almost two years since we last saw our hero, Alpamysh. He has ridden to the Kalmak camp to rescue his beloved Barchin. There, he confronts the impetuous and violent Karajan for the first time. Some of the spiritual power behind the Hero’s quest has already been intimated, but much is still to come, particularly now as the two warriors face off for an epoch-making wrestling match, one with more than a few similarities to Jacob’s struggle with the angel!
Alpamysh is a Turkic dastan, i.e., ornate oral history, and a prime representative of the Turkic oral literature of Central Asia. This literature has been and remains the principal repository of ethnic identity, history, customs, and the value systems of its owners and composers. Set mostly in verse, the Alpamysh dastan is known and recited from the eastern Altai to the western Ural mountain ranges and as far south as Band-e Turkestan. It commemorates the Turkic people’s struggles for freedom, on one level materially, but at a deeper level spiritually.
This translation was produced over a span of seven years, with research conducted on three continents, ten countries and almost two dozen cities. I worked on it originally to explore the effect of Soviet policies upon local cultural traditions and literature, as well as to dig deeper into Central Asia’s mythic, shamanistic past and cast more light on the fertile interaction between the region’s ancient Tengriist beliefs and the later Islamic import. The copyright’s mine and I’ve happily turned the manuscript over to NewEurasia to re-publish it, with edits by Schwartz. Enjoy!
The Alpamysh is a Turkic dastan, i.e., ornate oral history, and a prime representative of the Turkic oral literature of Central Asia. This literature has been and remains the principal repository of ethnic identity, history, customs, and the value systems of its owners and composers. Set mostly in verse, the Alpamysh is known and recited from the eastern Altai to the western Ural mountain ranges and as far south as Band-e Turkestan. It commemorates the Turkic people’s struggles for freedom, on one level materially, but at a deeper level spiritually.
It’s a pretty big undertaking; posts shall run over the course of the remainder of 2012. We hope you enjoy them!
Editor’s note: A unique music show combining visual art and glaciology has been traveling through Central Asia to highlight the plights of global warming. NewEurasia’s Nik McCaren went to check it out as it. “The experience was quite moving,” he writes, “as though the glaciers have been lamenting to humanity and until now we have been deaf to hear them.”
The “Omnibus” Ensemble from Uzbekistan and Lillevan, a video artist from Germany, have gone on a grand tour of sorts in the region with their program, “Music of the Glacier”, in order to draw attention to global warming. The Goethe Institute in Almaty and Tashkent sponsored the program, a unique combination of art and science.
Editor’s note: British student Danny Gordon has been cycling across the world to raise money for UNICEF and Sports Relief, and not long ago, he passed through Central Asia. We wanted his impressions on the physical culture of the region, and he shared a very intriguing insight…
I was flicking through the channels on a breezy summer afternoon. The cycling was on, and Britain had real hopes for gold resting on the shoulders of sprinter Mark Cavendish. Excited, I scanned the leaders for British jerseys. But with 5km to go, there were none to be seen, and moments later Kazakhstan’s Alexander Vinokourov broke from the front and forced his way over the line, battered and grimacing, but ultimately victorious. As the jubilant Kazakh celebrated, I remember being surprised. Not because it was a scalp, which it was, but because in some inexplicable way, I felt that cycling and Kazakhstan was an odd match. In my experience, serious cyclists had been at a premium all the way from Georgia to Tajikistan.
I began to think, “If not cycling, what sport was it that would suit these nations?” I had not meant to ignore the multitude of nuances that differentiate each of the unique Central Asian peoples, but there was certainly some noticeable common ground when it came to core values, and I wondered if it translated to sport.
Press Release from Silk Road Media
On the 24th and 25th of November 2012, in Bishkek, the British companies, Silk Road Media and Hertfordshire Press publishing house, will hold the Open Central Asia Book Forum — the first international forum and festival to concentrate attention on the development of literature and the book publishing industry in Central Asia. The unique feature of this forum is that it will unite not only representatives of book publishing companies and book authors, but those for whom books are being published – readers, libraries, different educational institutions and so on.
The survey is anonymous and open to everyone! https://whistleblowingsurvey.org
The sound and fury around whistleblowing has been deafening of late, between the trial proceedings of U.S. Private Bradley Manning and leaks allegedly coming from the White House about the Stuxnet computer worm and drone targeted killings.
Supporters of whistleblowing place it firmly as one of the most important pillars of resilient government integrity systems. They argue that if you want governments to be free of corruption or even just simple wrongdoing, you need strong protection for whistleblowers. Critics say it’s just another mechanism for bureaucrats and policy makers to complain about decisions they don’t like.
Our new international study is the first to gauge the general public’s view on whistleblowing in an online, multi-language format. The 15-minute survey is open to everyone in all countries regardless of whether they have blown the whistle nor not.
The first (English) edition of the World Online Whistleblowing Survey (WOWS) launched in Brisbane, Australia recently, and with NewEurasia’s help, is now available in Russian, Kyrgyz and (I’m quite proud to say) Turkmen!