First International Bakhshi Art Festival, Uzbekistan

Bakhshi festival

The First International Bakhshi Art Festival will be held for one week in Termez, Uzbekistan, starting from 5 April 2019. The festival, proposed by President Shavkat Mirjiyev of Uzbekistan, will be held every two years.

Bakhshi are accomplished storytellers, instrumentalists, and singers of Doston, a Central Asian ethnic epic. The event is aimed toward safeguarding traditional music and storytelling and promoting international exchanges.

Journalists, musicians, experts, and performers from eighty countries attended the 5 April opening ceremony, along with President Mirjiyov. The participants showed great interest in the potential of the arts and their development. The main conference, held on 6 April, will explore the role of the bakhshi arts in world civilizations. Dr. Seong-Yong Park of ICHCAP will give a keynote speech in which he announced plans and strategies to revitalize ICH along the Silk Road.

In addition to the conference and roundtable meeting to discuss the development of the bakhshi arts, the festival will also include performances and other events for the general public. Bakhshi of the Uzbek Karakalpakstan region will perform throughout the event. On 9 April, a special film will be screened to pay a tribute to Shoberdi Boltaev, a national artist and famed Uzbek bakhshi. To close out the event on 10 April, an award ceremony will be held for the Bakhshi International Art Festival winners. The goal of the festival is to provide further opportunities to explore bakhshi culture and traditions throughout Central Asia.