📑 Great Mountains: This week, as part of the “Uluu Toolor” (Great Mountains) project, high school students from grades 7-11 from two of the three schools in the Issyk-Kul region conducting research among local residents of the villages Tuura-Suu and Kazhy-Saz organized a community clean-up on Tastar-Ata Mountain. The children collectively removed plastic waste from the Tastar-Ata area and cleaned nearby trails. Next week, the students will present the results of their research projects on topics such as petroglyphs, legends, medicinal plants, and successful women. The research groups are led by school teachers. The leader of the group from the Kazhy-Saz village school is Asel Bekturova, a history teacher; the leader of the group from the Tuura-Suu village school is Batyrbek Shygaev, a Kyrgyz language and literature teacher; and the leader of the group from the Ton village school is Nargiza Isakunova, a geography teacher. The presentations will be in creative formats such as video reports, photo exhibitions, plays, and other formats. Throughout the month, the young researchers have been actively posting photos and video reports about the process on social media, drawing attention to their research and environmental initiatives.

📒 Field Research: A team from local communities completed field research on the impact of climate change on intangible cultural heritage (ICH) in the Batken and Naryn regions. Based on the data collected through in-depth interviews, a questionnaire for information verification was developed by a project expert and will be distributed among a broader circle of local residents by the end of May.

⛰️ Working Visit: From May 10 to 13, the Aigine CRC team, along with a group of practitioners and partners, visited the city of Zhezkazgan and met with the organization “Uluu Tagzym”. During the meeting, the two organizations shared information about their history and work and discussed common interests in detail. One of the interests is the joint study of Ulytau and Kyrgyz petroglyphs. During the visit, the Aigine CRC team and “Uluu Tagzym” visited the Aulie Tirekti complex and examined the petroglyphs preserved on these ancient mountains, and made a pilgrimage to the sacred Ulytau mountain under the spiritual guidance of the founder of “Uluu Tagzym”, Bakhtiyar Saparbekovich Kozhakhmetov.

🪨 Field Trip: From May 13 to 15, 2024, the Aigine CRC team, together with a group of practitioners and partners of the center, at the invitation of Sanzhar Zhubanov, made a field trip to Altyn Emel National Park, located in Kazakhstan. During this visit, the group reviewed the petroglyphs of Tamgaly located in Altyn Emel and studied the large kurgans of Bes Shatyr. The group included the Manaschi Kalybek uulu Nurbek, who recited the Manas epic among the Tamgaly petroglyphs, and musician Aiday Kalmamatova, who played melodies on the traditional Kyrgyz reconstructed musical instrument Jetigen at the site. An important moment of the visit was the fire ritual performed with wishes for fruitful cooperation between Kyrgyz and Kazakh practitioners in the study and preservation of traditional knowledge related to petroglyphs and kurgans of Central Asia.