From 9 to 13 August, 2011, Altyn Dzhanyshbaeva, the leader of the pastoral network, Kyrgyz el Akyl Kazyna, held a number of informational meetings initiated by RDF with a financial support from the Christensen Fund in the At-Bashy district of Naryn Oblast. The meetings invited farmers, pastoralists, custodians of traditional knowledge, employees of the Naryn Rural Advisory Service, the pasture committees, local women’s associations, as well as the residents of local communities.
The representative of the network gave a detailed and accessible account of its activities, history and mission, and the participants shared opinions for the need to actively popularize traditional knowledge, sensitise young people, and preserve the unique customs and traditions of the Kyrgyz people. Information materials including the first network newsletter, booklets and posters about traditional knowledge were also distributed at these meetings.
Finally, and most importantly, during these meetings, more than 50 custodians and practitioners of traditional knowledge joined the network.
“Our trip once again confirmed that Naryn region is rich with traditional knowledge, and it still contins much that is unexplored, yet very interesting and historically important materials about the traditions and customs of our people,” Altyn Eje (Eje is a respectful term for an older woman) says. “But, just like in other parts of our country, it’s not all and not always possible to preserve and transfer this knowledge here. Now that we have met with local representatives, we will be able to work together on these issues, which will certainly yield great results.”