Bogdan Shevchenko: Abay’s Poems Have Not Lost Relevance Today
This year, Kazakhstan is celebrating a remarkable date - the 175th anniversary of the great poet and educator Abay Kunanbayev. As part of the celebration of the anniversary date, about one hundred events will be held throughout Kazakhstan.
Last year, an activist of the youth movement "Zhangyru Zholy" Bogdan Shevchenko repeatedly participated in events dedicated to Abay’s works. In interview to our website Bogdan has shared, how he manages to balance study with public activity, and also about plans on participation in events within the limits of anniversary of the Kazakh poet.
-Could you tell about yourself.
-I was born in Atyrau, the oil capital of our country. I finished Faina Dosymova secondary school No. 12 named after Faina Dosymova not so long ago, and now I am a student of Atyrau Music College "Dina Nurpeissova Academy of Folk Music". My major is "Academic Vocal", i.e. in the near future I will be an opera singer.
-How did you start your activity in the Assembly of People of Kazakhstan?
-I came to the Assembly of People of Kazakhstan over a year ago from an ethno-cultural association. There I was actively engaged in public activity, often performed at various events. After a while, I left the ethnocultural centre.
-You are a member of the youth movement "Zhangyru Zholy". Could you tell us about your activities, what events do you hold?
-I was invited to the Atyrau headquarters of the youth movement "Zhangyru Zholy" last June. Here begins a "new page" in my social life. I have acquainted with a lot of new people, we are friends now. We do a lot of work, try to actively participate in the life of our city, and took part in events of absolutely different kinds. At the moment I am the Deputy Chairman of the Atyrau Movement Staff.
-Is it difficult to balance study with social activities?
-It is sometimes difficult to balance studies and activities in the headquarters of the youth movement, because people of my profession are studying all day. But you know that if a person wants something, he will be able to do it. I like community work, I enjoy participating in various events, so I try to always find time.
-This year we are celebrating the 175th anniversary of the great poet Abay. You performed his poem "Kózіmnіń Qarasy" in front of the First President of Kazakhstan - Elbasy Nursultan Nazarbayev. Could you share your impression.
-I would start with the fact that Abay for me is a great thinker, a wise man who guides people. Even after almost two centuries, his works have not lost their relevance today.
In 2019, I visited the capital twice at the invitation of the Ministry of Culture and Sports of Kazakhstan. The first concert was dedicated to Constitution Day of the Republic of Kazakhstan, it was my first concert on the big stage. There we sang Abai's poems and song "Kózіmnіń Qarasy". I think it is very important to mention our team, that performed on the stage. We came from all over Kazakhstan, absolutely from different regions, we all became friends and still keep in touch, this is how the Assembly of People of Kazakhstan connects people.
My second trip took place in December 2019 and the event was dedicated to Independence Day of the Republic of Kazakhstan. And our whole team from different regions met again. It was a huge event, we had a chance to perform on the same stage with Alibek Dnishev, Roza Rymbaeva, Dimash Kudaibergen. Our issue was dedicated to the poetry of great Abay. Republican forum 'International Language of the Great Steppe' was also held during my trip where I was lucky to participate.
-Would you describe your greatest achievement?
-I consider the receipt of the state award - the Letter of Gratitude from the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan - Kassym-Jomart Tokayev for active social activity as my greatest achievement at the moment. At the same time the great achievementfor me is studying music, the way I came to it.
-How can you imagine a perfect day?
- My perfect day starts with breakfast with my family. And I can't do without new knowledge, I try to read, to learn something new every day. Now I try to pay special attention to languages. And of course, I can't have a perfect day without music.
-Would you like to share your plans for this year?
-The plans for this year are big: a lot of events will be held. Some of them are related to the anniversary dates that we will be celebrating. There are 175th anniversary of the birth of Abay and 25th anniversary of the Assembly of People of Kazakhstan.
-What do you like to do in your free time?
-I love to read books, meet friends and learn something new in my free time, at least when I have it.
-What are your three favorite books?
-My favorite books are Alexander Pushkin's "The Captain's Daughter", Joan Rowling's "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone" and "The Book of Words" by Abay. I like "Captain's daughter" for the historical data, and some events in this book also took place in territory of modern Kazakhstan.
All of us grew up on the story of a wizard boy, I love fiction very much and therefore, the book about Harry Potter became my favorite one very quickly.
The words of the Kazakh poet Abay's made me think about many things. Abay is a truly great thinker, and his "Words of Edification" can still be used today to guide modern youth in the right direction.
-Who and what inspires you?
-Music and different composers inspire me. I love to listen to Frederic Chopin, Akhmed Zhubanov, Pyotr Tchaikovsky, Abay Kunanbaev, Sergei Rachmaninoff and others.
-Do you have a motto?
-My motto is "Achieve your goal, no matter what!"