Usbekistan: Sarygul Bahadirova

Peace through the acknowledgement of national and ethnic culture - this is my position.

— Sarygul Bahadirova

Sarygul Bahadyrova (born 1944) has devoted her life to the regeneration of the culture of Karakalpak people. Her main focus is the research and promotion on a global scale of the folk legacy of the Karakalpak people, who are currently confronted by an ecological disaster due to the drying up of the Aral Sea. Sarygul's mission is to preserve and pass on the people's spiritual legacy to new generations in order to encourage peace, international understanding, humanism, and kindness, key values of the centuries-old Karakalpak culture.

Sarygul Bahadyrova is one of the founders of the study on the Karakalpak culture and on one of the region's most ancient art forms, the performance of "zhrau" (local folk music). She says, “A world without violence is the culture of a new century and is absolutely essential for the construction of a new democratic society." One of the main tasks of Sarygul's research and practical work is the enrichment of world culture. In pursuit of these goals, she organized three international conferences with the participation of cultural scholars from Germany, Japan, Turkey, Cyprus, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, and Uzbekistan. These conferences were an opportunity for Sarygul to discuss Karakalpak culture with her foreign colleagues. She also published a related book. Each of these conferences turned out to be a genuine people’s celebration of culture. During one conference devoted to the Karakalpak folk epos "Kyryk Kyz," Sarygul organized festivals on a Nukus racecourse, featuring demonstrations of Karakalpak folk traditions including horseback riding, traditional combat, pumpkin shooting, and many others. This forum undoubtedly helped to boost the spirits of the Karakalpak people, currently somewhat beaten down by the strictness of the totalitarian regime and the ecological crisis of the Aral Sea. In the Soviet era, the local folk epos was entirely repressed. The regeneration of the folk epos of the many disparate cultures of the former USSR, including the Kazakh, Bashkir, Tartar, and Nogay peoples, is of great importance. Organizing a world scientific forum devoted to the "Edige" epos, was Sarygul's contribution to the formation of a new important world culture. "It is important for me," she says, "that people achieve a mutual understanding and perception of each other's cultures."

National Committee of Women Scientific Women Writers’ Union of Uzbekistan