In the seminar, Rural Development Fund (RDF) presented the results of the project on “Promoting the Preservation and Transfer of Pastoral Traditional Knowledge in the Kyrgyz Republic”. During two years, the project served to preserve traditional pastoral knowledge and support the ecological, economic, cultural and social viability of mountain communities.
At two pilot vocational schools, a new course on traditional knowledge was developed and introduced with a focus on the following five subjects: on the nomadic cuisine, on everyday life and culture, on traditional patterns and colouring in the manufacture of garments, on physical development (nomadic games), and on traditional knowledge of the use of pasture resources and pasture grass.
This project also supported the development and establishment of the pastoral network, Kyrgyz el Akyl Kazyna, which today already unites more than 3,000 memebers throughout the country. The members of the network hold various festivals to popularize nomadic customs, and carry out such initiatives as the Grandmothers’ Club and the School of Daughters-in-Laws which train women on carpet weaving, embroidery, decoration of yurts, etc.
“We had to literally collect bits and pieces of knowledge on ancient traditions and meanings of customs in the villages. Even in a modern society, we still observe them in everyday life but often without understanding their deep meanings and purposes. Old people leave this world, taking with them the most valuable knowledge. We must manage to gather and preserve the intellectual and cultural wealth of our ancestors as much as possible and pass them on to our children and grandchildren, ”says Altyn Dzhanyshbaeva, chairman of the pastoral network, Kyrgyz el Akyl Kazyna.