Sunday, February 17, 2008

Historical nostalgia?

So, I'm supposed to be writing this article about how certain Kazakh pop music videos use lots of imagery from traditional nomadic Kazakh life -- yurts, horses, warriors, musical instruments, traditional food/drink, etc. I'm working on this theory that popular music can play an important role in helping to formulate modern notions of Kazakh national identity. Some of these songs are overtly patriotic, some less so. But their reference to the nomadic past of the Kazakhs seems to create very strong, positive reactions from many Kazakh viewers (you can see it in their comments on the YouTube clips). It seems like a strong current of historical nostalgia is running through these videos, perhaps in an effort to remind Kazakhs of a time when their cultural traditions were stronger and their nomadic way of life still intact. I think it also serves to reinforce the idea that Kazakhs a very long history of living in the territory that is now Kazakhstan (a "fact" that is sometimes embellished in Kazakh versions of their history), thus reinforcing Kazakh claims to "ownership" of the country.

I don't have translations on hand right now, but hopefully soon! For now just take in the audio and visuals and see what you think:

"Otan Ana" (Motherland) by Batyrkhan Shukenov

"Konir" (Dark Brown) by Urker

"Adai" (traditional kyui named for a Kazakh warrior tribe) by Asylbek Engsepov

1 comment:

beto dotô said...

yay for technology! good for you. I love the videos.