International Conference of Elders of Worlds Ancient Cultures and Traditions

Aigine CRC staff members together with the Manas epic chanters, Kubanychbek Almabekov and Samat Kochorbaev participated in the 5th International Conference of Elders of Worlds Ancient Cultures and Traditions at the Ganapathi Sachchidananda Ashrama in Mysuru, India on 31 January – 5 February 2015, organised by International Centre for Cultural Studies (ICCS).
The conference’s main focus was on Universal Wellbeing: Sustaining Nature, Culture and Communities. Elders of nearly 40 countries and 73 different cultures from across the globe took part in the event. The conference became the second event Aigine CRC participated in, as in March 2012 a Kyrgyz delegation took part in the 4th Gathering of Elders in Haridwar, India.
The main aim of the Gathering was to discuss and deliberate on issues of Globalization, Technology and Leadership and its impact on the ancient cultures and traditions of the world today. On the first day of the event, Elders of the various traditions lead the gathering in prayers of their culture. Manaschy, Kubanychbek Almabekov, blessed the participants with Kyrgyz bata, while manaschy, Samat Kochorbaev chanted verses from the epic Manas related to the theme of the conference.
During the event, Dr. Gulnara Aitpaeva made a presentation on Sacred Sites of Kyrgyzstan: Places of Wellbeing, Unity and Diversity involving epic chanting, komuz playing and singing. The presentation was focused on social functions of sacred sites and their role in preserving peace and fostering unity among various pilgrims and pilgrimage practices. The presentation was based on Aigine CRC’s 10 years of research experience and its findings throughout all the 7 provinces of Kyrgyzstan.
The second presentation was on Model of Leadership Portrayed in Manas epic of Kyrgyz people. The presentation turned into a panel discussion where participants of the session were able to freely address their questions to epic chanters. During the session, three traits of Manas’s leadership role was identified – his magnanimous character and generosity; strategic long-term vision and ability to unite his 40 warriors with different tribal background; his personal capacity to overcome challenges and follow all the rules developed for the whole community.
On the third day of the event, the Kyrgyz delegation presented and demonstrated a ritual ceremony – tushoo kesuu, which involved two small Indian kids. The most interesting part was that during the 4th conference in 2012, we have presented ceremony – balany beshikke saluu, and this year’s ceremony became logical continuation of the former. Thus, we were able to demonstrate sustainability of the process. The ceremony received many positive feedbacks and involved proactive participation of different delegations. Thus, the Kyrgyz delegations succeeded in presenting and sharing its ancient traditions and wisdom with the worldwide community.
Our presentations and the ritual lead to dynamic discussions and raised many interesting questions and gave way to new cooperation possibilities and joint studies on world epic heritage and sacred sites pilgrimages.