Kyrgyz applied arts resilient amid machine onslaught at Salalah Tourism Festival

SALALAH, July 16 – THE pavilion dedicated to Kyrgyzstan at the Salalah Tourism Festival (STF) has Kyrgyz textile items, woodworks and many other forms of handicrafts.
The most attractive among them are the traditional textile items, which did not lose its value despite several years of transformation and the art has been transmitted from one generation to another.
Every Kyrgyz craft has some influence of the country’s ancient nomadic lifestyle. The influence of nomadic life can easily be found on the dwellings, clothes and crockery of the Kyrgyz people.
Though the Kyrgyz have got over to settled life, the applied arts did not lose its value.
Aia Osmonkulova, head of the Kyrgyz delegation, has brought souvenirs, carpets, traditional dresses and caps, which all are 100 per cent handmade and all the materials used for them are natural.
Despite onslaught of machine, Aia is happy with her art and craft, which she has been doing since her childhood. Belying general perception of traditional art facing stiff competition from machine products, Aia said there were people who love hand made products and there had been no threat to art and craft.
“I can’t see any threat. Handmade goods are in trend. There are people who ask for handicrafts. The market is big as well as challenging,” she said.
Aia, 23, is carrying a family tradition and lives passionately for handicraft. She calls for saving the great tradition for the coming generations as such skills give identity to a nation. “It incorporates culture, values and richness of a country.”
Inspired by her parents, Aia is committed to give back to them the care and love they need in their old age, but not very sure about her children whether they would choose handicraft their career.
“So far as I am concerned, I am quite happy with my work. I have been grown playing amid handicrafts. Our team was formed by my parents 20 years ago. Our group has visited more than 30 countries to take part in international exhibitions. Now we get invitation at least from three countries to take part in exhibitions,” she said and added that this year her team visited Germany, Russia and now Oman.
A graduate from Moscow State Law University in Moscow, Aia has a word of advice for the young generation. “Love what you do… I put my soul into my job. It makes me happy and satisfied,” says Aia.
Among the famous Kyrgyz handicraft products, according to Aia, are carpets and felt articles, pile less and pile weaving, Kurak, reed screens, embroidery, jewellery, leather weaving and wood carving.

Kaushalendra Singh