Talent and Tradition: the Ethno-Concert

In the evening, our American band (Fred, Gary, Chris, and Karen, plus me) attended the “Ethno-concert.” Countries were invited to do some kind of musical presentation – singing, dancing, acrobatics – for this evening by the shore of Lake Issyk-kul. It was very fun, watching the incredible variety of talent and tradition.

The show started as the sun went down. We had found seats in the second row of the amphitheater, which seated 500 or more (I am bad at estimating crowds,) and was filled. Cholpon-Ata was at the end of summer – hot during the day, but it cooled right off when the sun set. I was glad that I had brought my vest, and wished I had brought my jacket instead.

The biggest surprise to me was the presentation by Botswana! I hadn’t seen them participating in any of the events, but they showed up on stage, and were warmly welcomed by the audience.

Below are photos from the event, with some comments:

This first performance (I believe it was Kazakhstan) seemed to attempt to tell the entire nomad story in song and dance and some aerial acrobatics. I loved the guys in the camel costumes!

This was the logo of the World Nomad Games:

Fred told me that “The Singing Grandmas” from Kyrgyzstan have performed at all three WNG, and the audience gave them a very warm welcome!

This group was from Turkey, and wanted to make sure you knew it!

Their dance may have been traditional for Turkey, but it was a little confusing for the audience. We all thought it had a strong resemblance to Tai Chi.

Then came Botswana!! They also had dancers, but the guy on the stilts stole the show!

The Mongolians were much more sedate, but still very interesting.

This was another African country, but I didn’t catch the name.

The show ran long, and we left before the end. I was sorry that we didn’t see the whole thing, but I was cold, also, and it was pretty late.

I had to say good bye to Fred, Gary, Chris, and Karen – they were going to leave early the next day – but it was a great time and I was so glad that we’d spent the day together!

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