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Festival: Popular Spirituality and Building Socio-Ecological Resilience
(title in Kyrgyz: Rukh Köröngösü)
Date and time: Wed., June 4-6, 2008
Location: Nyldy Ata Sacred Gorge, Talas oblast, Kyrgyzstan
Language: Kyrgyz and Russian

Participants:
Cultural Practitioners & Researchers on Religion and Culture in Kyrgyzstan.

The goal was to bring together cultural practitioners from different parts of Kyrgyzstan to share spiritual practices and reflect upon the topic: “Popular Spirituality and Building Socio-Ecological Resilience.”

Overview
The Festival Putting Popular Spirituality in the Center was held by Aigine RC on June 4-6, 2008 at Nyldy-Ata sacred gorge in Talas province. This was the first large-scale event Aigine organized. The main purpose of this festival was to bring together cultural practitioners from different part of the country to share spiritual practices and reflect upon the topic: Kyrgyz Spirituality and Building Resilience. The program addressed issues such as: the interrelation of humans, Animals and Sacred Sites; Messaged from the Divine and Resilience; the Responsibilities of Spiritual Messengers, Traditional Knowledge and Resilience Approaches in Crisis Situations, Kyrgyz rituals such as: sun meeting ritual, fire ritual, tushoo kesuu (fetter cutting) ritual.

This event gathered more than a hundred people from all parts of Kyrgyzstan: Bishkek, Osh, Jalal-Abad, Naryn, Issik-Kul and Talas, including local residents of Ozgorush village, where Nyldy-Ata sacred gorge is situated. Also there were people from Altai and representatives of different religious beliefs such as Islam, Christianity, Buddhism and other Kyrgyz traditional beliefs. In order to avoid a monolithic understanding of practices, it was agreed that issues would be considered by traditional culture bearers and supplemented by the theories of scientists.

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