Celebrating Kazakh Heritage: Shalkar Termesi-2024 Honors Folk Art and Legacy

Terme is an exceptional form of Kazakh folk art, encompassing a unique genre of poetry and vocal music. A performer must possess not only musical aptitude and distinctive vocal abilities but also proficiency in playing the dombra. The terms “teru” and “ter” in the Kazakh language translate to “to gather” or “to collect,” thus, terme can be perceived as a gathering of verses and songs.

As an admonition in musical and poetic form, terme captivates and attracts listeners with its profound meaning and extensive melodic range. It addresses enduring issues such as life and death, youth and old age, and good and evil. Terme is particularly interesting because it always touches upon significant social issues.

Terme is a precious heritage of the Kazakh people and plays a crucial role in instilling patriotism and respect for the culture and art of their native land in the younger generation, as well as in strengthening the unity and harmony of the people. Kazakhstan’s President, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, has emphasized the importance of zhyr-terme in his speeches, stating, “In the sounds emanating from the dombra, our deep history is preserved.”

With the support of the Shymkent city administration, the III Republican Contest “Shalkar Termesi-2024” was held on June 14-15, dedicated to the 80th anniversary of the outstanding public figure, poet, and writer Shalkar Abishuly. The contest was conducted at a high organizational and creative level, featuring talented participants, beautiful voices, and enthusiasts passionate about Kazakh culture.

A total of 21 zhyr masters from 15 regions of Kazakhstan participated in the contest, competing in two stages. The esteemed jury comprised renowned zhyrshy Elmura Zhanabergenova, singer and composer Kanat Aitbayev, and akyn-aitysker Bekarys Shoibek.

During the event, Deputy Akim (Mayor) of Shymkent, Sarsen Kuranbek, expressed his warm wishes to the participants, noting, “Our people have always highly valued national art, finding comfort and wisdom in it. I wish success to our zhyrshy and termeshy who propagate the imperishable art of the Kazakh people. I am confident that this contest will become a lasting project. We believe that the contest, founded by Shalkar Abishuly, will continue and contribute to the development of the art of terme and zhyr. We will support this initiative.”

The winner of the contest was Marat Sugurbaev.

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