Kazakhstan very keen to improve cultural ties with India: Minister

Astana, July 4 (ANI): Interacting with a group of international media persons on Thursday here, Kazakhstan's Vice-Minister of Culture and Information Askar Buribayev said cultural ties with India were progressing along expected lines and growing to the satisfaction of the governments of both countries.

In a roundtable interview-cum-interaction conducted with journalists from India, Iraq and Jordan, Mr. Buribayev said: "Kazakhstan has had and continues to have very good communication with India. We recently hosted the 'Days of India' in Kazakhstan, and I am also very happy to inform you that we have been sending our Kazakh dancers and singers to India for various cultural events. So, we are very satisfied with the progress of bilateral cultural relations between our two countries."

Minister Buribayev further went on to reveal that in Almaty City, which is 950 kilometers south from national capital Astana, there is a Society for Kazakh-India Friendship that actively promotes ties in various spheres of mutual interest to the two countries.

When specifically asked about the huge popularity of Indian movies i.e. Bollywood and television drama serials such as "Balika Vadhu" in Kazakhstan, Mr. Buribayev said: "Indian films; Bollywood; is very popular with the people of Kazakhstan. People are literally crazy and glued to their television sets when it comes to watching an Indian television serial or a movie. The range of emotions expressed in Indian movies and television programmes is so wide and so enjoyable, not only in Kazakhstan, but in other parts of the Eurasian region as well."

"To my mind, Bollywood is massive, so many hundreds of movies every year. It is the biggest in terms of movies delivered to the audience every year, then probably Hollywood and others," he added.

Dwelling specifically on the forthcoming 15th "Astana Day" celebrations that are to be held on July 6, Minister Buribayev said the whole purpose of having the event was not to show off to the rest of the rest of the world that Kazakhstan has a new capital that is the talk of the town, but to give the people of Kazakhstan a reason to joyfully celebrate the birth of their capital city through a series of cultural events spread over at least two to three days.

He said Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev has since the founding of Kazakhstan in 1990-91, set institutional goals, one definitely each year, if not more.

"This year, we are building a new opera theatre. We hope to make it the best opera theatre in Eurasia. The culture of Kazakhstan is traditional and historical. We are very keen on promoting classical art through institutions such as opera and ballet. Cinematography is another area we are concentrating on. We are planning to build a new national museum. From a cultural point of view, this is important. If we can devote our time and energy to the promotion of culture and health, it means we are improving and developing in the right direction," said Minister Buribayev.

He also spoke about the Kazakh Government's stress of ensuring that its students are educationally better equipped, as the objective was for them to be competently and competitively placed to deal with national challenges of the future.

"We currently have 9000 Kazakh scholarship students studying abroad, which is a significant number," he said.

The media interaction with the minister also dwelled on his visit to Jordan, especially the ancient city of Petra, the contribution to Kazakh culture, education and philosophy by Al-Farabi a.k.a Abu Nasr Muhammad ibn Muhammad Farabi, so much so that the Kazakh National University is named after him. By Ashok Dixit (ANI)


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