Poetic Texts & Song Lyrics

Download text in PDF format
Eesi chygyp alangdap,
Feeling desperate for his life,
Atynyn bashyn burganda,
The khan Kongur pulled his horse's head
Kan jyttangan dayraga,
Towards the river, which smelled like blood,
Kan Kongur boyun sunganda,
And tried to cross the river.
Manas jetip buruldu.
Manas reached him from his back
Algaranyn kuyrugu,
And grabbed
Sunganda kolgo urundu.
Algara by his tail.
Manas bilekke chalyp tartkany
Manas wrapped his tail around his wrist,
Ee, kyrk kulach attyn kuyrugu,
The horse's thick tail, which was as long as forty arm spans,
Osho tübünön beri julundu, uuu.
Got ripped off from the bottom.
Kök joruday ungkuyup,
Like a gray vulture,
Körchü bolsong Kongurbay,
If you saw Kongurbay at that moment,
Etten alyp tultuyp,
He looked angry.
Oy, tuu kuyruktan ayrylyp,
Losing his beautiful tail,
Tulpary bolso bultuyup.
His stallion was outraged.
Ee, aman chygyp dayradan,
They pulled themselves out of the river,
Osho kayrattanyp turganda,
Stood there to fight back,
Oo, chabyshuudan kayran alp,
The strong man was ready for the fight.
Kün bütköndö, tün bütüp,
When the day was over and night fell,
Kan aldyndagy kara atka,
The black horse under the khan
Adamcha bölök til bütüp.
Spoke like a human being.
Kongurbayga kep aytat,
He said to Kongurbay
Kep aytkanda dep aytat.
The following words:
Ong kulagynan ayrylyp,
Losing my right ear,
Chunak kara at bolgoncho,
I don't want to be called a one-eared black horse.
Kuyrugunan ayrylyp,
Losing my tail,
Cholok kara at bolgoncho,
I don't want to be called a tailless black horse.
Algan külük Algara
May people instead say that the galloper Algara
Aykashtan ölgön desinchi,
Died when his tail got ripped when pulled by a rope tied to another horse.
Kaiyptan bütkön Algara,
May people say instead that the magic Algara
Kazattan ölgön desinchi.
Died in a military campaign.
Kanymdy karga jesinchi,
It is better if crows drink my blood and
Közümdü kuzgun oysunchu.
Vultures pick my eyes.
Söögümdön beri kaltyrbay,
It is better if all my bones are buried
Kömülör talap koysunchu.
In the ground, leaving no trace of me.
Oo, menin jalymdü kashyp berüüchü
Oh, where is Ach Buudan [a horse's name],
Janyma sherik boluuchu,
Who can scratch my mane
Ach Buudan kayda körünböyt.
And be my companion?
Kalbasa baary kyrylyp,
Have they all been massacred [by Manas]?
Kaar alsa anda el kayda.
Where is our people
Ushuncha jurttan ayrylyp,
Losing so many of our warriors?
El betin kantip karadyk?
How can you look our people in the face
Jer betin kantip karadyk?
And go to our land?
Ölsök ölüp kalalyk,
For us, it is better to die here.
Öküldögön Manastan,
We must restore our pride
Ölbösök namys alalyk.
By fighting the proud Manas.
Kayra suudan kechelik,
We should cross back through the river
Keng Manaska jetelik.
And reach the big Manas.
Köz aynygan chang kylyp,
Let's create fog from dust,
Körgöndördü tang kylyp,
Surprise those who see it
Karysh kyla ketelik.
By cutting [Manas] into pieces.
Ee, oshondo kaaryn salgan Algara
At that moment, the furious Algara
Atasynday köründü,
Looked liked his [wise] father and
Oo, jaratkan Kökö Tengirdin
Sounded like the blessing of
Batasynday köründü.
The Creator, Kökö Tengir. 1
Aytpay salsa köründü
It was unbelievable,
Oduraygan oshonun
Flames of fire came out
Oozunan otu tögüldü.
From the big mouth of Kalcha [Kongurbay]
Ok ötpögön sebil ton,
[Kongurbay] straightened his bullet-proof iron body armor
Ongdop kiydi temirdi.
On his body.
Dayrany jara süzdürüp,
Riding on Algara,
Algarany temindi.
He swam through the river.
Jetip alyp Manasty
He looked as if he would
Jep iychüdöy köründü.
Capture Manas and eat him up.
Ee, tokto, Manas, toktogun!
Hey, stop! Manas, stop!
Shashpa, Manas, shashpagyn!
Don't rush, Manas, don't rush!
Shashyp anda kachpagyn!
Don't rush to run away!
Menin karmashuuga karym bar,
I have strong arms to fight with you,
Chabysuuga chamam bar,
I have energy to come to blows with you,
Küröshüügö küchüm bar.
I have strength to wrestle with you.
Arkalyktyn Sary-Talaa
On the Sary-Talaa of Arkalyk,
At jaryshmak oynoyluk,
Let's race on our horses,
Üzöngü boogo salyshyp,
Or wrestle on horseback
Oodaryshmak oynoyluk,
By putting our legs on the stirrup's string.
Er kezegin bereli,
Let's have a real manly game
Eregishe kögörüp,
On horseback.
Küch synashsak küch synap,
Or, if you want to test our strength,
Toodoy tashty bölölük.
Let's see who can break that giant rock.
Andan ayla bolboso,
If that doesn't work,
At üstündö süzüshüp,
Let's come to blows on horseback
At tizginin üzüshüp,
And rip each other's reins.
Myktap maydan bashtaylyk,
Let's start a real battle on the field.
Ölümdön mynda kachpaylyk.
Let's not fear death.
Oshondo kök jal Manasyng, ee
At that moment, the brave Manas
Bura tartyp keldi deyt,
Came by, pulling his horse's head,
Kongurga kezek berdi deyt.
And gave the turn to Kongur, they say.
Tonkoyup bütkön talaaga,
He told him to scatter a big clamor
Toodoy chuunu chach dedi.
On the wide open field.
Er bolsong körgö jitirip,
If you are a brave man,
Ekige bölö chap dedi.
Make [that giant rock] disappear by slashing it into two parts.
Oshondo, topchulugu bir toguz,
At that moment, he, the big wild boar as big as a mountain
Toodoy bolgon chong donguz,
Who had huge button holders [on his coat],
Üpchülügü bir toguz,
He, the big wild boar as big as a house
Üydöy bolgon chong donguz,
Securing his body and fixing his coat,
Tula boyun tumchulap,
Struck his Algara with the whip,
Algarasyn kamchylap,
Fixing his body and
Oozunan otu tamchylap,
Hitting his horse with the whip,
Ay tushunan bir koydu.
The giant Kongurbay
Ey, alachyktay choyun bash,
Approached the giant rock from one side
Aylantyp kelip chong tashty,
And, circling around it six times,
Alp Kongurbay bir koydu
Knocked it with a huge iron mace.
Alty aylanyp chapkancha,
Manas, the lion, watched him from the side
Arstan Manas tim koydu.
While he tried six times.
Körchü bolsong Kongurdu
If you had seen Kongur at that moment,
Shondo közü ketti chekcheyip,
His eyes popping,
Beli ketti mekcheyip.
His back bending, unable to withstand the force!
Algarany moyundap,
He leaned forward onto Algara's neck,
Seksen kulach soyuldan,
From the eighty-meters-long mace
Saby kaldy kolunda.
Only the handle was left in his hand.
Oshol boydon kozgolboy,
The giant rock stood in his way and didn't budge,
Opol tash turat jolunda.
With no sign of damage.
Oshondo on ekisinde ok atkan,
At that moment, Manas, who shot arrows at the age of twelve and
On üchünö jetkende,
Played ordo,2 and struck at enemies
Ordo buzup joo chapkan.
When he reached the age of thirteen,
Jylgaluu jerde jylky algan,
Who drove off mares from steep slopes,
Koshogu menen kyz algan,
Who took a wife to whom a bridal song was sung,
Kokuylatyp er saygan,
Who killed warriors with spears,
Jaydak tulpar koshtogon,
Who is accompanied by barebacked stallions [to facilitate changing horses in battle]
Jan alchuga okshogon,
Who looked like a killer.
Aybatynan buulup
Fearing his might
Akpay dayra toktogon.
Even the rivers stopped flowing.
Arstan Manas baatyryng,
Manas, the lion, approached from a distance,
Kur kemerin chalynyp,
Tightening his belt around his waste.
Kuduretke jalynyp,
Praying to God
Jetip Manas chapkanda,
Manas reached the rock and struck it.
Jerdin kardy jarylyp
The ground split open and
Ot chachyrap toktoldu.
Burst into flames for a moment.
Opol tash kulap ydyrap,
The giant rock split apart
Ordu menen jok boldu.
And disappeared into a crack in the earth.
Aytylsa Manas taryhy,
If we tell the story of Manas,
Ee andan kalgan emespi,
The crack in the black earth
Osho kara jerdin jarygy.
Remains from hi


1. Kökö Tengir (Blue Sky Tengri) is the old Turkic name for God or Creator.

2. Ordo: a military game played with knucklebones.

Eey, mina oshondo Taytoru,
At that moment, Taytoru
Baskanyna mal jetpey,
Galloped with such an unusual pace
Bashkacha churkap alyptyr.
That no other animal would catch up with him.
Jelgenine jel jetpey,
He galloped with such a distinct pace
Jekeche churkap alyptir.
That not even a breeze would catch up with him.
Enkeyishte kalganda,
When he came to a downhill,
Eliktey kolu saiylat.
His front hooves tightly grabbed on the slope.
Örgö tarta bergende,
When he came to an uphill,
Jal, kuyrugu jaiylat.
His mane and tail fluttered in the air.
Talaa tuzgö kelgende
When he came to a flat field,
Tamany jerge tarsyldap,
His soles made sounds against the ground.
Kara bolot oozduk
The black steel bit
Kömököydö karsyldap,
Clattered against his palate.
Tal jibektey kuyrugun
He hit his straight silky tail
Chatky ayakka chapkylap.
Against his rear legs.
Kökülün kökkö yrgytyp
Throwing his forelock into the air
Könöktöy bolgon tuyagyn,
With his hooves as big as a bucket,
Körüngön jerge mylgytyp,
He ran, stepping all over the ground
Oynop ketchü nemedey,
He became playful,
Oysongdop bashyn chulgutup,
Tossing his head from side to side
Maralday bolgon denesi,
His body, which became like that of a doe,
Kapkara changa bölönüp,
Was covered in black dust.
Üstündögü jash Aydar,
The young Aydar on his top,
Er kashyna jölönüp,
Leaned onto the saddle's head.
Kele jatat Taytoru
Thus Taytoru was coming,
Ichi küyüp chok bolup,
Burning like embers inside,
Örttönüp ketchü ot bolup.
As if he were going to burst into flame.
Buydala tüshüp dürbünü,
Quickly grabbing her binoculars,
Kayran eneng Kanykey,
The noble mother, Kanykey,
Kayra saldy toktolup.
Looked again carefully.
Myna oshondo karasang,
When she looked,
Sary adyrmak urchukta,
On the far side of Sary Adyrmak mountain,
Salyngan toonun tumshukta,
In the foothills of the mountain,
Kerüüchünün jolunda,
On the road to Kerüüchü,
Kara Talas boyunda,
Near dark Talas,
Özüng körgön Taytoru,
That Taytoru whom she saw,
Kalgan eken janybar,
When she looked,
Myna oshondo karasang,
The charger with the soul, was left behind
Otuz tulpar songunda.
Thirty stallions.
Aylanaiyn Taytoru,
Dear Taytoru,
Belgilüü külük mal eleng,
You were a famous galloper,
Kechee katagandyn kan Koshoy,
Khan Koshoy of Katagan,
Aksakalduu abakem,
My respected uncle with a white beard,
Kabylan Manas ölgondö,
Had given you to me as a contribution for the funeral
Oshol azaga ele bergen mal eleng, uuuuu.
When Manas, the tiger, had died.
Ee, serüündötpös özümdü,
Don't ruin my dignity,
Shermende katyn dedirtip,
Don't make people call me a shameless woman,
Ubara kylba özümdü.
Don't let my efforts be in vain.
Dep oshentip jengekeng,
Saying these words, your dear sister-in-law [Kanykey]
Kayrat kylyp turalbay,
Became impatient
Kayra dürbü saldy ele,
And looked through her binoculars again.
Kayra karap kaldy ele,
When she looked again,
Baya körgön Taytoru,
Taytoru, whom she saw a while ago,
Tulparlygy bilinip,
Showed his real stamina,
Araanday oozun achyptyr,
He opened his mouth wide
Kan aralash ak köbük,
And splashed white foam
Omuroogo chachyptyr.
Onto his chest.
Baskanyna mal jetpey,
He galloped with such an unusual pace
Bashkacha churkap alyptyr.
That no other animal would catch up with him.
Jelgenine jel jetpey,
He galloped with such a distinct pace
Jekeche churkap alyptir.
That not even a breeze would catch up with him.
Atangdyn körü dünüyö,
Damn this world,
Özüng körgön buudanyng
That stallion whom she saw a while ago
Otuzunan adashyp,
Coming behind thirty horses
On ekige baryptyr.
Was now coming behind twelve horses.
Munu körgön jengengdin,
Seeing this, your dear sister-in-law
Köngülü jaman bölünüp,
Became so excited,
Közünön jashy tögülüp,
Tears poured from her eyes.


1. Kyrgyz warriors named their coat of armor. Chubak named his armor "Akh albars" (hungry demon).

Qulaq salyng jan doslarym,
Listen here, my friends,
Moskvany körip keldim.
I saw Moscow.
Esitsengiz yar-doslarym,
Harken, my dear friends,
Körip miyrim qanyp keldim.
I saw and enjoyed it with my soul.
Köshe aralap jürgenimdi,
Having walked around the streets,
Közim menen körgenimdi,
What I saw with my eyes,
Öz kewlime bilgenimdi,
What I learned with my heart,
Men sizlerge alyp keldim.
I bring to you.
Barghansha temir jol eken,
While you are on your way, there is a railroad ahead,
Ölmesek ömir mol eken.
While you are alive, there is a long life ahead.
Moskva kätta, zor eken,
That Moscow is powerful and great
Zeinim tanyp bilip keldim.
I knew in my soul.
Araladym köshelerin,
I walked around the streets,
Közim kördi neshshelerin,
My eyes saw so many
Biyik-biyik tekshelerding,
Sky-high flights of stairs,
Men basyna shyghyp keldim.
I went up to their top.
Ortasynan kün shyghyp tur,
From the center the sun is rising,
Kün qasynan nur shyghyp tur,
From around the sun light is shining,
Baghy-bostan gül shyghyp tur,
In the garden flowers are blooming,
Bärin ÿ irdie körip keldim.
I saw it all at once.
Ortasynda jatyr kösem,
In the center there lies the leader,1
Lenin tiri, öldi desem,
Lenin is alive, although considered dead,
Jatyr eken baryp körsem,
He lies there, I saw this
"Ölgen joq," dep külip keldim.
And said smiling, "He has not died."
Million adam barady eken,
Millions of people go there
Künde baryp köredi eken.
And see it every day.
Öshiret jetpei turady eken,
Waiting in line is never-ending,
Köp asyghyp men de ildim.
Hastening, I made it too.
Jatyr eken bir saraida,
He lies in a palace,
Märwärt penen salghan jaida,
In a marble-built dwelling,
"Ölgen joq," dedim qalaida,
So I said, "He has not died,"
Köp shadlanyp külip keldim.
Rejoicing and smiling.
Özi ölse de joly tiri,
Even if he has died, his path is alive,
Tap Leninning durys ekeni.
Showing Lenin's right way.
SSSRdyng jaryq nury,
The bright light of the USSR,
Moskvany körip keldim.
Moscow, I saw.
Bälentten salghan qalasy,
The city built high,
Ülken-kishi, yash balasy,
Old and young, even a child,
Taza bakhyt, zang talasy,
Are assured sheer happiness by law,
Sony taqyiyq bilip keldim.
I witnessed this.
Kördim neshshe jaidy biyik,
I saw so many high houses,
Birining üstine birin üyip,
Piled upon each other,
Turma dep aspangha tiyip,
Reaching the sky,
Soghan shad bop külip keldim.
I rejoiced at this and smiled.
Kördim jailar neshshe-neshshe,
I saw countless buildings,
Ishine kirseng tekshe-tekshe.
When you go in, there are many flights of stairs.
Oinalyp tur künde pesse (pyesa),
Every day plays are acted,
Tamashasyn körip keldim.
I saw the shows.
Bir waqlary tömen kettik,
Once we went down below,
Bir eki-üsh teksheden öttik,
Took two or three staircases,
Bir azyraq poezd küttik,
Waited a while for a train,
Jer astynda minip keldim.
Underground I went by train.2
Sarras eken temir joly,
The rail track is smooth,
Metroda adam toly,
The metro is full of people,
Otyz tiyin bälent (bilet) puly,
The cost of the ticket, thirty tiyin,
Här mingende berip keldim.
For every ride I paid.
Jerding astyn oighan eken,
The earth is deeply dug
Qola menen quighan eken,
And cast with bronze,
Shamdy jagyp qoighan eken,
Chandeliers are lit and hung,
Köp aralap körip keldim.
Having traveled much, I saw this.
Jerding asty öjire-öjire,
There are many rooms under the earth,
Bärin kördim jüre-jüre,
I saw them all as I walked,
Aita bersem köp shejire,
If I start talking, there are many stories,
Söz tabalmai qoiyp keldim.
Not finding words, I stop.
Syrt porymy qyzyl-jasyl,
The city façade is red and green,3
La'li-gäwhar, bäri hasyl,
Pearl and emerald, everything is precious,
Bäri de sondai äl-hasyl,
All is valuable and precious,
Körgenimdi aityp keldim.
I tell what I saw.
Algha qarap jürmeklikti,
That we should look ahead and progress,
Köp üirensek örneklikti,
That we should learn much from the example,
Shadly turmys keleshekti,
For a happy life in the future,
Khalyqqa paida bilip keldim.
For the people's sake I learned.
"Moskvadan örnek alsaq,
"What if we take an example from Moscow,
Biz de sondai jailar salsaq,
Build such houses as well,
Khalqymyzdy shadly qylsaq,"
And make our people happy,"
dep könglime alyp keldim.
I came to ponder.
Moskva ülken küsh eken,
Moscow is a great power,
Ziyat shadly turmys eken,
Life there is joyful,
Jer jüzining beyishi eken,
It is paradise on earth,
Men ishine kirip keldim.
I entered and came back.


1. Reference to Lenin's Mausoleum in Red Square, Moscow.

2. The Moscow Metro had opened in 1935.

3. That is, bright, multicolored.

Download text in PDF format
Geshtek (Male get-together)
Video Clip 1
Shasänem bul sözdi tamam etti. Aqsha menen jol jürip kele berdi. Ekewi sharshap, dem alyp otyrdy. Sol waqytta Shasänem tawlargha qarap, bir söz aityp tur:

Bir sözim bar tawlar saghan,
Arzym mynaw tawlar sennen,
Kelippen syrym aitpagha,
Arzym mynaw tawlar sennen.

Eki közim qanly jasy,
Eritedi tawdy-tasty,
Izlermen jaqsy syrlasty,
Arzym mynaw tawlar sennen.

Näileyin joqdur ghardashym,
Dünya menen joqdur qoshym,
Säwer yarym häm syrlasym,
Arzym mynaw tawlar sennen.

Qoldan ushyrdym Sayatym,
Gähi ghamly, gähi shadlym,
Haqtan tilermen muradym,
Arzym mynaw tawlar sennen.

Shasänem der, jetti jangha,
Shärbet ishtim qana-qana,
Yar därtinen jana-jana,
Arzym mynaw tawlar sennen.

Bul sözdi aitqannan song ekewi jol jürip, lalazarly tawlardyng qasyna keldi. Tawlardan Ghäripti sorap tur:

Qulaq salyp esit, tawlar, bul sözim,
Bälent tawlar, sennen Ghärip ötti me?
Ghäripsiz dünyany körmesin közim,
Bälent tawlar, sennen Ghärip ötti me?

Ya bas alyp bul watannan ketti me?
Ya mungaiyp bul shöllerde jatty ma?
Ya Ghärip oqpangha özin atty ma?
Bälent tawlar, sennen Ghärip ötti me?

Iyem uzaq etsin ömirin ziyada,
Pälekting jäbirinen kelip bunda da,
Ya atly keldi me, yaki piyada,
Bälent tawlar, sennen Ghärip ötti me?

Shasänem der, namys kerek, ar kerek,
Shyn ashyqqa mudam ahyw-zar kerek,
Ya bolsa zer kerek, yaki zor kerek,
Bälent tawlar, sennen Ghärip ötti me?

Bul sözdi aityp bolghannan song, Aqsha menen ekewi külisip kiyatyrghan waqytta, bulardyng aldynan atlaryn oinaqshytyp kiyatyrghan eki atly jigit dus keldi.

—Bul eki perini bizge qudai bergen shyghar. Här qaisysyn bir-birden atymyzgha mindirip keteyik,—dep janyna kelip qarasa, Shasänemning basynda jyghasy baryn kördi. Bulardy zorlyq penen alyp ketip bolmas. Bular menen bir-eki awyz söileseyik,—dep Shasänemge qarap, bek uly bir söz aityp tur…

Video Clip 2
Soraw: Özingiz de aitasyz-gho, qyssa jolyna?
Kärimbai Tynybayev (KT): Endi, rasyn aitqanda, bayaghyda, 1950-jyllardyng berjaghynda azyraq sawat ashqannan keyin Mäspatsha, Qoblan, Alpamys qusaghan dästanlar kirill alfavitinde shyqty. Sol waqytlarynda qyssa jolyna salyp, gharrylargha oqyp beretughyn edik.
Soraw: Gharrylar soraitughyn ba edi?
KT: Gharrylar soraghanda, gezeklesip äketetughyn edi. "Karimbaijan, erteng bizing üige baryp oqyp ber; gharrylar, sizler de barasyzlar,"—deidi. Endi ol waqta men özim jas balaman. Kitapty jaqsylap woqyiman. Hawaz da bar. Täsirli jerlerine kelgende, engkildep, jylap otyratughyn edi. Quwanyshly jerlerine kelgende "ha-ha"lap küledi. Haqyiqatynda, sonda gharrylar gezekpe-gezek shaqyryp aittyratughyn edi. Endi ol namalar song baqsyshylyq etkennen keyin, bäri yadta joq häzir. Biraq, birew aityp atyrghan waqta "he-e, myna jeri mynadai-gho," dep ishimiz sezip otyrady.
Soraw: Häzir bir aityp bergeningizde jüdä jaqsy bolar edi.
KT: Aitsam bolar edi. Biraq, oghan tayarlanyp, yadlap jürgenimiz joq.
Soraw: Ram shaiyrlardy waqtynda esitkensiz-gho siz?
KT: Endi küni menen bular (sol jerdegi qyssakhanlar) Abbaz atanyng jolyna aityp atyr. Men Sadyq atanyng jolyna bir mysal aityp bereyin:

Sovet batyry
Köpti körgen men bir gharry bolsam da,
Esitpedim ömir jolyn aspanda.
Eng birinshi qaldy isming dästanda,
Qudiretli küshlering sovet batyry.

Baryp kelding qolgha alyp gülingdi,
Täbiyat bas iyip, saghan jügindi.
Adamlardyng ärmanyna bügingi,
Qudiretli küshlering sovet batyry.

Mine, söitip kele beredi.
Endi myna Ram aghany da köp tyngladym. Ram aghanyng da öz aldyna jollary bar. Mysaly, Ghärip Ashyqtan aitady ol köbinshe:

Kepter kibi pälpellep, keler yarym aspanda,
Aman keler-kelmesi, bolyp tur-ghoi gümanda.
Taqat joqdur tänimde, mening ushbi zamanda,
Rähim äilep yaryma-ei, aman jetker yarymdy,

—dep turady.

Shasänem finished speaking. Together with Aqsha she continued walking along the road. When both of them became tired, they sat down to rest. Then Shasänem, looking at the mountains, says this:

I want to tell you something, mountains,
Here is my plea to you, mountains,
I have come to tell you a secret,
Here is my plea to you, mountains.

My eyes are shedding tears of blood,
Dissolving mountains and making stones melt,
I am looking for my soulmate,
Here is my plea to you, mountains.

What am I to do without my friend?
I have no joy in this world,
My soulmate and lover is not with me,
Here is my plea to you, mountains.

I have let my falcon slip from my hand,
Now I am sad, now I am joyful,
I beseech the Ultimate Reality1 to fulfill my desire,
Here is my plea to you, mountains.

Shasänem says: it has reached the depths of my soul,
I have quenched my thirst by drinking nectar,
I am burning with anguish for my lover,
Here is my plea to you, mountains.

After she had said this, the two went along the road and came to a flowery mountainside. [Shasänem] asks the mountains about Ghärip:

Harken to my words, mountains,
High mountains, has Ghärip not passed over you?
May my eyes not see the world without Ghärip,
High mountains, has Ghärip not passed over you?

Or has he left this homeland headlong?
Or has he lain in this desert in despair?
Or has he thrown himself into an abyss?
High mountains, has Ghärip not passed over you?

May God lengthen his life,
Driven here by blows of fortune,
Has he come on horseback or on foot?
High mountains, has Ghärip not passed over you?

Shasänem says: one must have honor and conscience,
A true lover must have an admirer,
One must have wealth or power,
High mountains, has Ghärip not passed over you?

Having said these words, she went on with Aqsha, and then they came across two young men on horseback.

Young men:
"It looks like these two fairies have been given to us by God. Let's seat each of them on horseback and take them away," they said and rode closer. Then they saw a jygha2 on Shasänem's head and thought, "We mustn't take them by force. Let's exchange a few words with them." And, looking at Shasänem, the bek's son speaks…

Kalmurza Kurbanov (KK): Do you yourself sing in the manner of qyssakhans?
Kärimbai Tynybayev (KT): Well, to tell you the truth, after the 1950s, when I had just learned how to read, editions of dästans Mäspatsha, Qoblan, and Alpamys came out in the Cyrillic alphabet. At the elders' request, I then read them these dästans in the style of qyssakhans.
KK: Elders asked you to read?
KT: They did. They would invite me to their homes in turn, saying: "Kärimbaijan, come to our home to read tomorrow; and elders, you come too." At that time, I was a young boy. I read books well and had a good voice. Listening to me, they would cry in the places that were touching and laugh in the places that were amusing. Then the elders indeed started to invite me in turn. But afterward, when I became involved with baqsyshylyq, I forgot those tunes. However, when I hear somebody sing [in the manner of qyssakhans], I react to it at once, thinking to myself, "Hey! This bit should be sung in this way."
KK: It would be very good if you could sing something now.
KT: It is possible. But I didn't specially prepare.
KK: Did you listen to poets like Ram shaiyr at the time?
KT: Today everything has been performed in the style of Abbaz ata.3 So I shall sing to you an example of Sadyq ata's style:

Soviet Hero4
Although I am an old man who has seen much,
I have not heard of a path of life in the sky.
Your name is the first to be inscribed in the dästan,
Your power is mighty, Soviet hero.

You went there with a flower in your hand,
Nature bowed its head and paid homage to you.
[You fulfilled] people's dreams today,
Your power is mighty, Soviet hero.

There, it went like this.
I also listened a lot to Ram agha.5 Ram agha had his own manner of singing. For instance, he often sang from Ghärip Ashyq in this way:

Like a playful dove, my lover is flying in the sky,
Will she or will she not come safely to me, I wonder.
I have lost my patience now,
Showing your mercy toward my lover, deliver my lover safe and sound.


1. God.

2. A type of feathered headwear symbolizing nobility.

3. A respectful form of address to a senior man.

4. A fragment from a poem dedicated to the cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin.

5. Another respectful form of address to a senior man.

Ataşa – semender, ysşa – perwana,
Salamander to the flame, moth to the light,
Ýanar men, köýer men günde, Akmeňli, boý Meňli.
I shall burn up and perish in daylight, Akmeňli, beautiful Meňli.
Her bir sözüň bermen ýüz-müň dessana,
I would not exchange one word of yours for a hundred thousand dessans.
Ýanar men, köýer men Akmeňli, boý Meňli.
I shall burn up and perish, Akmeňli, beautiful Meňli.
Sen deýin görmedim ulusda-ilde,
I have not seen anybody like you on the face of the earth,
Suraýy gerdende, bykynda, bilde,
You have grace in your shoulders, demeanor, posture,
Her ýaňagyň her reňde, her hilde,
Your cheeks are crimson, bright,
Husnuň ile şöhle salar, Akmeňli, boý Meňli.
Your loveliness irradiates everything, Akmeňli, beautiful Meňli.
Saýrasa bilbiller, açylsa güller,
Nightingales will sing, flowers will open,
Aý geçer, gün geçer, öwrülmez ýyllar,
Days, months, years will pass,
Huraman boýnuňa öwrülse gollar,
If I could only touch your tender neck,
Zerre janda takat galmaz, Akmeňli, boý Meňli.
There is no sliver of patience left in my soul, Akmeňli, beautiful Meňli.
Kemine diýir, her hil reňkde öwser sen,
Kemine says, you are gleaming with all hues,
Kemansyz atar sen, tygsyz keser sen,
You shoot without a bow, you stab without a dagger,
Ýalançy bäş gündür, messan basar sen,
Life is fleet as five days, serenity will overwhelm you,
Altynjy gün munda goýmazlar seni, Akmeňli.
On the sixth day no one will be left here, Akmeňli.
Bul düynödö ne karyp?
What is destitute in this world?
Kiyilbegen böz karyp,
An unworn cotton cloth is destitute,
Chiyilbegen söz karyp,
An unwritten word is destitute,
Kadyryn jengeng bilbese,
If a sister-in-law doesn't know her value,1
Boygo jetken kyz karyp,
A young maiden is destitute.
El jakalay konboso,
If people don't camp on it,
Betegelüü bel karyp,
A pasture covered with feather grass is destitute.
Kaz ördögü bolboso,
If it has no geese and ducks,
Aydyng chalkar köl karyp,
A beautiful lake is destitute.
Ulugu adil bolboso,
If the leader is not just,
Ubara tartat el karyp.
His people will be destitute.
Jaltangdyn bashy zoo bolot,
A shiny cliff has a high peak,
Jaman menen dos bolsong,
If you befriend a bad person,
Akyry bir kün doo bolot.
One day he will make you indebted.
Jakshy menen dos bolsong,
If you befriend a good person,
Ölgüchöktü kush salat.
He will go on hunting with you until death.
Jaman menen dos bolsong,
If you befriend a bad person,
Bayagimdy bergin dep,
He will come after you
Eki aydan kiyin mush salat.
After two months and punch you to get his things back.
Ketse döölöt bashyngdan,
Once wealth leaves your head,
Kelmegi kyiyn al kaytyp.
It will be difficult to bring it back.
Kele dep kelse beresing,
When [death] demands [your soul] suddenly,
Keyitet jandy sargaytyp.
You feel weak and hopeless.
Chyrpygyng synsa talyngdan,
If a branch breaks off a tree,
Chynar bolboyt al kaytyp.
It will not grow into a maple tree.
Chyndap ajal kelgende,
When real death comes,
Chykkan jan kelbeyt al kaytyp,
The departed soul won't return.
Ötkön ömür uchkan kush,
The past life is like a bird that has flown away,
Kolunga kelbeyt al kaytyp.
And that doesn't land on your hand again.
Münüshkerge kush jakshy,
Birds of prey are good for a falcon trainer,
Jigitterge kyz jakshy.
Girls are good for young men.
Til albagan jamanga,
A fist is better than wise words
Akyl sözdön mush jakshy.
For a bad person who doesn't listen.
Bul düynödö nur jakshy,
Light is good in this world,
Bulbuldarga gül jakshy.
Flowers are good for nightingales.
Alys sapar jol jürsöng,
When you set out for a long journey,
Azemdüü jorgo at jakshy.
An elegant trotter is good to ride.
Okusang bilim üyrönüp,
For reading and learning something,
Orunduu jazgan kat jakshy.
A well-written book is good.
Sarangdardyn minginen,
One generous man is better
Jalgyz da bolso mart jakshy.
Than a thousand stingy men.
Kebi jaman ayaldan,
Having typhoid fever is better
Kelte oorugan dart jakshy.
Than having a wife with a bad tongue.
Askar, askar, askar too,
There is a high snow-capped mountain range
Ayagy baryp chat bolot.
Its end becomes a gorge.
Atadan altoo bolso da,
If there are six brothers from the same father but they don't invite one another,
Syilashpasa jat bolot.
They become strangers to each other.2
Terektin tübü tyt bolot,
Mulberries lie under a poplar tree,
Jaman adam kyrt bolot.
A bad person has a rude personality,
Kaaryna kalganda,
When it is cursed by [God],
Ak jaydyn künü jut bolot.
Snow frost occurs in summertime [in a summer pasture].
Ak bökön kelip chalynat,
A white saygak is caught,
Sayatchy aldyn tordoso.
When hunted by a hunter.
Iyri jygach tüz bolot,
A warped timber becomes straight
Teske salyp ongdoso.
If one places it between clamps.
Dushmanyna kor bolot,
If one humiliates his kinsmen,
Öz tuuganyn kordoso.
He will be humiliated by his enemy.
Bolo turgan jigittin,
A real young man,
Jürögündö otu bar.
Has fire [life force] in his heart.
Tamdy tesher uurunun,
A thief has a hatchet
Saby kyska chotu bar.
To cut a hole in the house wall.
Argymak moynun ok keset,
A bullet kills a stallion,
Azamat moynun jok keset.
Poverty kills a young man.3
Argymaktyn azgany,
A stallion loses his strength
Arky-terki baskany.
From running back and forth in vain.
Azamattyn azgany,
A young man loses his strength
Azapka bashy batkany.
From too much worry and suffering.
Azamatta mal jok dep,
Saying that a young man doesn't have any livestock,
Joogo tashtap ketpenger.
Don't leave him to the enemy.
Argymakta jal jok dep,
Saying that a stallion doesn't have a mane,
Jolgo tashtap ketpenger.
Don't leave him on the road.
Özöndüü suuga tal bütöt,
One day, trees will grow on a river bank
Ölbögön kulga mal bütöt.
A slave will accumulate livestock.
Mal bütkönchö ish ketet,
It takes work and time to raise livestock,
Aga-ini dos ketet.
Until then, kinsmen and friends, leave him.
Kuuray chykpas kuu takyr,
When tall grass grows on a bare hill
Kuuray chygyp bergende,
Where nothing was growing before,
Kulun churkap ötalbayt.
A foal won't be able to run through it.
Mal jyiylgys kuu jakyr,
When the poor man who never had livestock
Mal jyiylyp bütköndö,
Accumulates much livestock,
Aydap jurtka jetalbayt.
He won't be able to drive them off to his summer camp.
Jaman atty buyga min,
Ride a bad horse for doing work around your house,
Tünöp kalgan uyga min,
And for searching for the cows that stayed overnight on the pasture,
Chalma bir salyp suuga min.
Put a rope on his neck and ride him to fetch water.
Ishenimdüü jakshi atty,
Ride a reliable good horse
Kötörülgön tuuga min,
For an earsplitting battle
Kulak tungan chuuga min.
Led by a high banner.
Atyng külük bolgon song,
If your horse is a racehorse,
Ashtan-toydon kalgan song,
But doesn't win races at feasts,
Külüktügü ne payda?!
What is the value of his swiftness?
Alganyn suluu bolgon song,
If your wife is beautiful,
Arkyrap betten algan song,
But yells in your face,
Suluulugu ne payda?!
What is the value of her beauty?4


1. Among the Kyrgyz and Kazakhs, sisters-in-law (jenges) are responsible for finding a match for their husband's younger sisters (kayyn singdis). Kayin singdis share their personal secrets with their sisters-in-law, who in turn give them advice about dating and being a good bride, wife, and daughter-in-law.

2. This statement has become a proverbial saying.

3. This statement has become a proverbial saying.

4. This statement has become a proverbial saying.

Download text in PDF format
Kulak toygon köz achka,
Our ears are full, but our eyes are hungry.
Kursak toygon tösh achka.
Our stomachs are full, but our chest [inner spiritual world] is hungry,
Jashadyk kanday turmushta,
What a life we lived
Jardamy jok söz achka.
With no hope and empty words!
Jalgan baylyk dep jürüp azyr,
Chasing after false wealth,
Jan düynölör ötö achka.
We became hungry for our spiritual world.
Algyla anda köngülgö
Pay attention then to what I say,
Aytaiyn zaman jönündö
Let me sing about the time in which we have been living,
Chyndykty aytat akyndar,
Aqyns speak the truth
Chygarbay bir söz tögüngö
Without saying one false word.
Bilgenim azby köp bele,
I know more or less [what happened],
Bilishim menin shart bele,
Perhaps, I had to know these things,
Karegim körböy jakshyny, negedir
Not seeing the good, somehow
Kaygyga batty jash dene.
My young body sank into sorrow.
Let me tell you from the beginning,
Bashynan aytyp keleyin
We saw everything [that happened] and
Baarysyn kördük kalp debe.
don't say that I'm wrong.
SSSR kulap kyrgyzga
Not too long ago, the USSR collapsed
Keche ele, Egemen tangy atty ele
And the dawn of independence shone on the Kyrgyz.
El bilgen ajo kerek dep,
We said that we need a leader who knows the people.
Erendin baary birigip
All the intellectuals got together
Es-akylyn chakty ele.
And brainstormed.
Ichinen biröö tandalyp
From among them, one was liked
Ilimpoz jaktan jakty ele.
As he was a man of science [i.e., Askar Akaev]
Iririn bilseng atting ay,
Alas, if we had only known that he would rot.
Ilimde jürsö jakshy ele.
It would have been better had he stayed in academia.
Ajo bol kyrgyz elge dep,
It was Aytmatov who told him to be the president
Aytmatov bagyn achty ele.
And thus brought fortune to his head.
Korkposton somdu kirgizip
He [Akaev] introduced the som without hesitation.
Gerb menen tuubuz ilinip,
And our new state emblem and flag were hung.
Akyly bir az bilinip,
He showed some intelligence,
Arbytyp joldu basty ele,
And made some progress in his work.
Internet jagyn köböytüp,
He increased use of the Internet
Iyneden közdü tapty ele.
And found the eye of a needle.
Manas 1000 atyn chygaryp,
He made the one thousandth anniversary of the epic Manas famous,
Maaniker minip chapty ele.
And rode the horse Maaniker.1
Chykebizge tayanyp,
Relying on our Chike [Chingiz Aitmatov],
Chet elden dostu tapty ele.
He found friends abroad.
Janynda jaynap jürgöndör,
Those many people who worked in his office
Jakyn bele kas bele.
Were not clear whether they were his friends or enemies.
Kymynday shekti bildirbey
Very secretly and quietly
Kumtördün kenin kazdy ele.
He had dug the gold of Kumtör and
Yrbatyp ulam jarany,
Hurt people's wound
Yrysyn eldin chachty ele.
By giving away people's fortune.
Üch jolu shayloo ötkörüp
By holding an election three times,
Üch jolu mingen takty ele.
He sat on the throne three times.
Ürtük köz kytay maktasa
When the slant-eyed Chinese praised him,
Üzöngü-Kuushtu satty ele.
He sold Üzöngü-Kuush2 to them.
Akyyikat aytsa sulatyp, tigil
He shot the people of Aksy dead to the ground
Aksynyn elin atty ele.
When they spoke the truth.
Shayloonun shaytan oynunan,
Due to the satanic game of the election
Shashylysh künü batty ele.
His days were quickly over,
Manastyn jeri bütkönsüp,
And as if the land of Manas were finished,
Moskvaga közdöy kachty ele.
He fled toward Moscow.
Eskisin antip aydadyk,
So, in this way, we chased away the old leader, and,
Es-akyly durus dep, anan
Believing that he was smarter and wiser,
Ekinchisin shayladyk.
We elected the second one [Kurmanbek Bakiev],
Ayantka cheyin toy kylyp,
Organized a big feast on the main square,
Ayabay any mayladyk.
And celebrated with such excitement.
"Uluu, Urmattuu, Aziret" dep,
We began using big words,
Ukmushtuu sözdü kamdadyk.
Addressing him as "His Highness, His Honor."
Kalkybyz bashta bilbeptir,
Our people didn't know in the beginning
Kalaaryn tügöl aldanyp.
That they would be betrayed completely.
Chyrkyratyp jyl ötpöy,
Not even a year had passed,
Chymynday janga küch boldu,
And all who criticized his work Faced a difficult fate.
Chyndykty aytkan baarysyn
All who told the truth
Chynjyrluu küngö tush boldu.
Faced jail with their hands shackled.
A birok Ak Jol partiya,
He created the new political party Ak-Jol [White Road]
Akyikattyn chin jüzü,
But forgot that the real face of Justice
Ak ekenin unuttu.
Is white.
Tartyp alma mansabyng,
He forgot that wealth looted from people
Kara ekenin unuttu.
Is dirty.
Baaryna kalys kudaydyn,
He forgot that there was a God
Bar ekenin unuttu.
Who was witness to everything.
Zamanga jakshy kalyng jurt,
He forgot that the whole nation
Zar ekenin unutttu.
Was longing for a place to relax.
Karkyra jayloo jaktardy,
The summer pastures in Karkyra,
Kadimki pansionattardy,
The summer resorts [in Issik-Kul],
Kazakka berip kuruttu.
He gave them all to the Kazakhs.
Nur jaagan kyrgyz elinen,
Or was Nursultan ["Sultan of Light"—the first name of the president of Kazakhstan] greater than
Nursultan emne ulukpu?
Your light-shining Kyrgyz people?
"A" tamga kachyp ketkeni,
The letter "A" fled from the country,
Arbybady eldin ech jeri.
But people's lives didn't get any better.
Körsö "B" tamgaga jagyptyr,
It turned out that the letter "B" [Bakiev]
Murunku "A" tamganin
Liked the notebook [record of bribes]
Kaltyryp ketken depteri.
Left by the letter "A" [Akaev].
Manastyn yiyk mekenin,
Such mankurts3 came and stamped on
Mankurttar kelip tepsedi.
The sacred land of Manas.
Jeti atasy barktagan,
They sold the land revered by their seven forefathers,
Jerin satty jetpedi.
But that wasn't enough.
Kelechek üchün katylgan,
They sold the gold reserved for the future,
Kenin satty jetpedi.
But that wasn't enough.
Kalk aldynda kalp aytyp,
Telling lies before the public,
Kebin satty jetpedi.
They sold their empty words, but that wasn't enough.
Uluttun tilin kor kylyp,
He humiliated the national language,
Ukmushtun baaryn chong kylyp,
By appointing big shots who knew [no Kyrgyz].
Tilin satty jetpedi.
He sold the language, but that wasn't enough.
Kep-sözüngdü urbaym dep,
Ignoring people's concerns and
Kerek bolso puldaym dep,
In order to make money,
GESin satty jetpedi.
He sold the GES [hydroelectric station in Toktogul].
Amerikaga külmüngdöp,
Grinning at the Americans,
Orustarga ming süylöp,
Promising a thousand words to the Russians,
Betin satty jetpedy.
He sold his face, but that wasn't enough.
Ala-Toonun baylygyn,
He loaded on his back the entire wealth of Ala-Too,
Tartyp aldy jetpedi.
But that wasn't enough.
Tarazalap biröönün,
He took away the food
Tapkan ashyn, emgegin,
Of people who earned it with their hard work,
Tartyp aldy jetpedi.
But that wasn't enough.
Telefondon da tyiyndy,
He even took [60] tyyyn from every mobile phone conversation,
Kalpyp aldy jetpedi.
But that wasn't enough.
A tügül agyp jatkan dayradan,
Not even that, they stole the water
Suu uurdashty jetpedi.
From the flowing [Naryn] river, but that wasn't enough.
Akyry kyrgy chydabay,
Finally, the Kyrgyz have had enough and
Ak üydü közdöy bettedi.
Marched towards the White House.
Oylonup körböy jakshylap, alar
But, without thinking carefully,
Ok menen menen kirdi atkylap.
He began shooting at the people one by one.
Bir kezde ushul Ak üydü
He had said in the past
Avtomat menen korgoym dep,
That he would protect the White House with a machine gun.
Aytkany közgö tartylat.
He had said these words [on TV].
Kyiyldy kayran jigitter,
Many noble young men fell to the ground
Kyiylgan symal bak kulap.
Like trees being chopped down.
Kalk üchün küyüp ayantka, jalang
Only the beloved sons of ordinary people
Karapaiym elderdin
Who cared for people's well-being
Karaldary baryshty.
Went to the main square.
Korgoshundan korkposton,
Not fearing the bullets,
Korgodu eldik namysty.
They fought for people's honor.
As you saw,
Karaan kün tüshkön al jerge
The so-called cream of society,
Kakshanyp kalkym degendin
The well-known eloquent politicians
Kaymagy baryp ölgön jok,
Who always said "my people,"
Sayatchynyn sayragan
Did not go there and
Salmagy baryp ölgön jok.
Die at that tragic place.
Baatyrmyn degen chongdordun
The children of big shots who consider themselves heroes
Baldary baryp ölgön jok.
Didn't go and die there.
Bashka uluttun biri da
None of the other ethnic groups
Batynyp korduk körgön jok.
Dared to go there and suffer.
Jalang kyrgy jyieyldy,
Only the Kyrgyz gathered and
Jalang kyrgyz kyryldy.
Only the Kyrgyz were massacred.
Tike karap ajalga,
They looked straight at death and
Titiretti kylymdy.
Shook the world.
Ata-Jurt üchün, el üchün,
They died fighting for justice and
Akka moynu sunuldu.
For the sake of their fatherland and people.
Uluu joldu ulayly,
Oh, my Kyrgyz,
Let's continue on our great path,
Uchuna jetip maksattyn.
Let's reach our goal together.
Uluttu bölgön küchtör bar,
There are forces that divide the nation,
Ukpayly sözün akmaktyn,
Let's not listen to the words of the wicked.
Eneng kyrgyz bolgon song,
Your mother is Kyrgyz,
Eldi bölsön akmaksyng.
You are a bastard if you divide the people.
Jeteng kyrgyz bolsong song,
Your seventh forefather was Kyrgyz,
Jerdi bölsöng akmaksyng.
You are a bastard if you divide the land.
Tündük-tüshtük degendin,
May the wishes of those
Tilekterin tash kapsyn.
Who divide the people into "north" and "south" crash!
Jaraksyz kepti ukkanda,
When I hear such nonsense words,
Jan düynö bolot jaradar.
My inner world is wounded.
Öz elin bölüp jürgöndör,
Dividing one's own people
Özünün ölgönü menen barabar
Is like one's own death.
Jeti atasynyn söögün mürzödön
It's like separating one's seven forefathers' bones
Bölgönü menen barabar.
From their grave.
Dagy aytsam sözdün yrasyn,
If I tell a more bitter truth,
Dartyman alsyz kubatym.
My life energy will become weaker than my illness.
Kokuylar tepse üstünön,
Pressured from above,
Kor boldu madaniyatyng.
Our culture suffered.
Oluttuu nerse jazylbay,
With no serious works being written,
Oor boldu adabiyatyng.
Our literature suffered.
Belgilüü jazuuchularyng,
Our renowned writers
Belgilüü gezit arkyluu
Revealed one another's petty sins
Bir-birin kazdy uyatyn.
By writing in popular newspapers.
Jaydak sözdü jazyshpay,
Instead of light works, I wish they had written
Jalpyga arnap chygarma,
Good works for a common cause,
Jaiyshsa deysing kulachyn.
And thus moved people ahead.
Aksakal narky bolboso,
If writers aren't respected as elders,
Alardy kantip ugasyng.
How can you follow their advice?
Karylarga tang kalam,
I'm surprised at our elders,
Kayra turup ardanam.
And I feel embarrassed for them because
Kyiynchylyk uchurda
They could not say their just words
Kalys söz ayta albagan.
At difficult times.
Manas dep ming köz tursa da,
Ignoring the thousand eyes that looked up at Manas,
Maksimdin közün tandagan.
They considered Maksim's eyes [Bakiev's son] to be beautiful.4
Kalkym, emi
My people,
Kalp, kaygyny jyibayly,
Let's not collect lies and sadness.
Konstitutsiya degendi,
Let's not turn our Constitution
Khanstitutsiya kylbayly.
Into a "Khanstitution."5
Jamaachylabay jyl saiyn,
Let's not change it every year, but
Jalpybyz toluk syilayly.
Respect it all together.
Myizamyng tuura ishtese,
If the Law functions well,
Mung-zaryng bolboyt turbayby.
We won't have any complaints.
Tuura biyde tuugan jok,
A just ruler doesn't bring his relatives to power,
Tuuganchyl biyde yiman jok.
A ruler who brings his kinsmen has no faith.
Jakynyngdy kyiyn dep,
If you say that your kinsman is smart,
Jakyndatpa janynga,
Don't let him come close to you.
Kim kyiyn menden ele dep,
If you say that no one is smarter than you,
Kirbesin shaytan kanynga.
Don't let Satan get into your blood.
Kalaiyk jardam kylyshat,
People will help you in your work
Kalystyk kylsang baaryna.
If you are just to everyone.
Jakshylykty kylbasang,
You aren't kind,
Jantalashyp talap jep,
But steal as much as you can,
Jalang baylyk jyinasang,
And accumulate much wealth,
Kalasyng eldin kaaryna.
You will be the object of people's wrath.
Bata emes kargysh kuyulup,
Only curses instead of blessings will pour on you.
Bata albay meken tamynga.
You won't fit in your own land,
Barganyng bilbey kalasyng,
And won't notice how quickly
Tigi Lukashenkonun janyna.
You will find yourself next to Lukashenko.6
Emi körüngön jakka alynbay,
Now, let's not give in to all kinds of provocations.
Bir jalyndyn tabynday,
Like the warmth of one flame,
Bir denenin janynday,
Like the soul of one body,
Bir tamyrdyn kanynday,
Like the blood of one vein,
Yymanduu bashchy tabylyp,
By finding a faithful leader,
Yntymaktuu jashayly, kalkym
Let's live in unity,
Bir kamchynyn sabynday.
Like the handle of one horse whip.


1. Maaniker is the name of a racing horse in the Manas epic.

2. The name of a mountain glacier on the border between China and Kyrgyzstan, which the Kyrgyz government sold to China as a source of water.

3. Mankurt: a reference to mindless slaves, made famous in Chingis Aitmatov's novel, A Day Lasts Longer than a Century.

4. Here Jengishbek refers to the statement of a well-known senior Kyrgyz doctor, who said that Maksim, president Bakiev's son, had beautiful eyes. The doctor's view was the opposite of that espoused by many Kyrgyz, who thought that he had a cold look and scary eyes.

5. The combination of "khan" and "constitution," referring to Bakiev and his family as having total control over the country and its people.

6. The president of Belarus, who has alienated almost all former allies and who offered asylum to the deposed Kyrgyz president Bakiev.

Kagazsyz yrdy jat aytkan,
They improvised songs without paper [reading],
Takalyp kalbay bat aytkan.
And sang them fast without stumbling.
Toktogul, Kalyk, Jengijok,
I proudly pronounce the names of our fathers
Tolgop bir atang aty aytkan.
Toktogul, Kalyk, and Jengijok.
Alty sap menen bashtayly,
Let’s start our song with six verse lines,
My son,
Akyl oy tynsyn tak aytkyn.
Speak clearly and delight the mind.
Talanttyn alpy taza aytkan,
These giant talents sang pure words.
Talanttyn kalpy pas aytkan.
Fake talents sang poor words.
Maktasa kökkö chygaryp
They praised [good people] by making them fly in the sky.
Jakpasa any kashaytkan.
They taught [bad people] a lesson by making them feel the heat,
Takalbay sizdey bash aytkan,
Elders like you spoke without stumbling.
Takalbay bizdey jash aytkan.
Youth like me spoke without stumbling.
Alty sap menen jakshy ayttyng,
You did a god job with improvising the six-line verses.
Ar birin sözdün akty ayttyng.
You sang truth in each of your words.
Tört saptan emi bashtayly,
Let’s now sing with four-line verses,
Top kelsin baykap asta aytkyn.
Make sure that your words rhyme carefully.
Ayt deding alty sapty ayttym,
You told me to sing a six-line-verse song, and I did,
A kayra tort dep bashka ayttyng.
Then you told me to sing a four-line song.
Eseptep ar bir sap yrdy,
By counting each verse line,
My dear father,
Esti alyp közdü chakchayttyng.
You are making me scared.
Aytkandy tuura kabyl al,
Understand me correctly,
My son,
Akyn bol jurtung sagynar.
Be the beloved aqyn of your people.
Araket kylsang jakshylap,
If you try harder,
Ar jagy dele tabylar.
You will find the rest of the words.
Tak bilesinger baryngar,
You all know obviously that
Tayaktyng eki jagy bar.
A stick has two ends.
Eki saptan dep aytat,
We will switch now to a two-line-verse song,
Esingerge salyngar.
Pay attention to it.
Poyuzdun eki jolu bar,
A train track has two rails,
Adamdyn eki kolu bar.
A man has two hands.
Pilus-minus eki san,
There is plus and minus
Elektrdin togu bar.
In electricity.
Bardyk ele düynönün,
There is existence and non-existence
Bary menen jogu bar.
In this world.
Urgaachyny, erkekti
Don’t forget,
Ushunu da oyunga al.
There is female and male.
Eki tashtan ot chygat,
Rubbing two rocks gives a spark,
Eki zymdan tok chygat.
Connecting two wires gives electricity.
Dary menen pistondon
Gunpowder and caps
“Dong!” dedirip ot chygat.
Make a loud “bang!”
Barysh menen kelish bar,
There is going and coming.
Alysh menen berish bar.
There is taking and giving.
Tozok jana beyish bar,
There is hell and heaven.
Adyr jana tegiz bar.
There is hill and plain.
Batysh menen chygysh bar,
There is west and east.
Jatysh menen turush bar.
There is sleeping and getting up.
Anda bir saptan yrga ötülü,
Now, let’s switch to a one-line song,
Mende mynday sunush bar.
This is my proposal.
Asmandagy kün jalgyz.
There is only one sun in the sky.
Alla özüng bir jalgyz.
There is only one Allah [God].
Andan kiyin kim jalgyz?
What else is only one?
Aysyz kara tün jalgyz.
A night without the moon is alone.
Asmandagy ay jalgyz.
The moon in the sky is alone
A düynödö jay jalgyz.
The place in the other world is alone.
Aylanyp turgan jer jalgyz.
The circling earth is alone.
Baylanyp turgan er jalgyz.
A tied-up man [hero] is alone.
Bir sapty eki bölölü.
Let’s divide the verse line into two.
Anda biyagyn aytyp korolü.
OK. Let’s try to sing that way.
T-A: Eki tering--ton bolboyt.
Two sheep hides--can’t make a coat.
T-A: Eki tyyyn--som bolboyt.
Two coins--can’t be called money.
T-A: Uy terisi--ton bolboyt.
A cowhide--can’t be a coat.
T-A: Urushchaak kishi--chong bobloyt.
A quarrelsome person--can’t succeed.
T-A: Dümürü jok--bak bolboyt.
A tree without roots--can’t be a tree.
T-A: Dülöy kishi--sak bolboyt.
A deaf person--can’t be cautious.
T-A: Afiriste--ar bolboyt.
A liar--has no shame.
T-A: Afrikada--kar bolboyt.
Africa--has no snow.
T-A: Uzartyp emi--sozpoylu.
Let’s not sing--too long.
T-A: Ushunu menen--toktoylu.
Let’s stop--here.
Chongdu’s riddle:
Ayry-ayry bel bolot,
Chains of hills create passes,
Oyloboy aytsang jel bolot,
Careless words are like a puff of air, but
Atasy ölsö ne bolot?
What is it like losing one’s father?
Er ölüshsö joo bolot,
The death of heroes makes people enemies,
Enesi ölsö ne bolot?
What is it like losing one’s mother?
Akyl ukkan zor bolot,
One who listens to wise words will succeed,
Aga-tuugan bel bolot,
Relatives are one’s support, so
Agasy ölsö ne bolot?
What is it like losing one’s older brother?
Kara chym basyp denesin,
If buried under the black wet soil,
Karyndash ölsö ne bolot?
What is it like losing one’s younger sister?1
Jengilin jerden aluuchu,
What is it like losing one’s sister-in-law,
Jengeng ölsö ne bolot?
Who eases everyone’s work around the house?
Ezilip tosup turuuchu,
What is it like losing one’s older sister,
Ejeng ölsö ne bolot?
Who welcomes you with great joy?
Balkytyp turchu denengdi,
What is it like losing one’s child,
Balang ölsö ne bolot?
Who melts your body with his [her] smell?
Totu kushtay kulpungan,
What is it like losing one’s daughter,
Kyzyng ölsö ne bolot?
Who is as beautiful as a parrot?
Kerilip burchta olturgan,
What is it like losing one’s daughter-in-law,
Kelining ölsö ne bolot?
Who sits gracefully in the corner?
Kapshytyngdy tolturgan,
What is it like losing one’s wife,
Katynyng ölsö ne bolot?
Who fills your house?
Jurt jakshysy kadyrman,
What is it like losing a wise man
Akylman ölsö ne bolot?
Who is a respected leader?
Eki el joolashsa,
If two people fight and
Ebi ketip doolashsa,
Demand retribution from each other,
Anyn jaiy ne bolot?
What will happen to them?
Arstanbek’s answer:
Ataluu adam zor bolot,
One who has a father has it all.
Atasy ölgön kor bolot,
One whose father dies will be miserable.
Askar toosu solkuldap,
It is as if a mighty mountain
Uragan menen teng bolot.
Shakes and collapses.
Enesi ölgön adamdyn,
One who loses one’s mother
Chalkar bulak soolup,
Is like a dried-up spring
Changkagan menen teng bolot.
That can’t satisfy thirst.
Eti boyu ezilip,
There will be no one like a mother
Enedey süychü kim bolot?
To love and adore you.
Agasy ölgön adamdyn,
One who loses one’s older brother
Aytarga sözü kem bolot,
Will not be able to speak confidently,
Arkalap jürchü kim bolot?
And will have no one to back him up.
Inisi ölgön adamdyn,
One who loses one’s younger brother
Chabaarga kamchy kem bolot.
Will have no horse whip to ride [his horse].
Jatyndash saga dem bolot,
Because a brother is your strength,
Jatyndashtan ajyrash,
Being separated from your brother
Jalyn menen teng bolot.
Is like burning in flames.
Karyndash ölsö kakshaysyng,
You feel forlorn and hopeless
Bar aylangdy tappaysyng.
When you lose a younger sister.
Jengesi ölgön adamdyn,
Losing a sister-in-law is like
Jengi jelden jyrtylat,
Having your sleeve ripped off by the wind
Jakasy kirden kyrkylat.
Or your collar disintegrate from dirt.
Ejesi ölgön kishinin,
One who loses an older sister
Erkeler jeri az bolot,
Will have no place to go to indulge oneself.
Ejenin közü ötkön song,
After your older sister dies,
Jeen degen jat bolot.
Your nieces and nephews will be estranged.
Balasy ölgön adamdyn,
Losing one’s child is like having
Bar özögü örttönüp,
Embers poured over your body and
Chok chachkan menen teng bolot.
Burning to your bones.
Kyzy ölgön adamdyn,
Losing a daughter
Kabyrgasy bölünöt,
Is like having one’s ribs broken,
Kanduu jashy tögülöt.
You will shed tears of blood.
Kelini ölgön adamdyn,
Losing a daughter-in-law
Kermeden aty boshonup,
Is like losing one’s horse and
Kemigen menen teng bolot.
Losing a family member.
Katyny ölgön adamdyn,
Losing a wife
Kutu ketet üyünün.
Is like losing the kut2 of a house.
Akylman ötsö duynödön,
If a wise man dies,
Artynda asyl söz kalat.
Pearls of wisdom will remain behind him.
Eki el joolashsa,
If two groups of people fight and
Eldikten ketip doolashsa,
Demand retribution from one another,
Jetim menen jesirdin
The number of orphans and widows
Sany elde köböyüp,
Will increase in society,
Sayasy ketet jeringdyn.
Your land will lose its spirit.
Sandyraktap ar jerde,
Wandering everywhere like beggars,
Sany ketet elingdin.3
People will diminish.


1. Qaryndas/qaryndash is a Kazakh and Kyrgyz kinship term used for a younger sister of a man. The term for a younger sister of an older sister is singli/singdi.

2. Kut: a Turkic word that has multiple meanings and is understood and used differently in various contexts. Here it means “fortune,” “luck,” “blessing,” “warmth.”

3. Arstanbek, (Bishkek: Ilim, 1994), 53.

Köken Shäkeev:
Ou, körermender eldegi, osy jerdegi de,
Oh, spectators of this land,
Ou, qysqasha sälem berdim-au, zerdelige.
Oh, I greet you, alert [listeners].
Ou, qauym, osy aitysu oblystan
Oh, community, this aitys between districts
Ainaldy janga ömirding örnegine.
Has become an epitome of new life.
Ou, uaqyt tyghyz, shama joq naiqalugha,
Oh, there is no time for lingering,
Ou, ündemei durys bolmas jaiqalugha.
Oh, it is no good dragging your feet without saying a word.
Sizderge sälem berdim, tuysqandar,
I greet you, relatives,
Qatysqan aqyndardyng baiqauynan, a, e.
At the parade of participating aqyns, ah, eh.
Ou, aitys degen maqtanysh önerimiz,
Oh, the art of aitysis our pride,
Ou, el-jurtqa bergennen köp bererimiz.
Oh, we give generously to the people.
Shynynda, aitys degen ruhani
Truly, aitys is our spiritual art
Kün saiyn köterildi önerimiz.
That has daily been lifted high.
Oi, aitystyng mäni nusqa, sözi nusqa,
Oh, the meaning of aitys is an exemplar, its word is a model,
Shangyraq kötergendei qurylysta.
It is akin to a shangyraq1 lifting a building.
Shynynda, aitys degen ruhani
Truly, aitys is a spiritual [art]
Ainaldy äleumettik qubylysqa, a, e.
That has become a social phenomenon, ah, eh.
Ou, saqtaiyq aqyndyqtyng parasatyn
Oh, let us uphold the good sense of aqyndyq,
Jaqsygha jaqsy märtebesi jarasatyn.
Matching each other in fine stature.
Qaraghym Qonysjanym, jaqyndashy,
Dear Qonysjan, come closer,
Üzenggiles jürgenge jarasatyn.
It suits us to go side by side.
Ou, shashylghan alphalt jolda astyghyndai,
Oh, like grain scattered on an asphalt road,
Teruge qus emespiz talasatyn.
We are not birds fighting to gather it.
Shashylghanda örneksiz öleng bolsa,
When it comes to scattering a simple song,
Körshining böten emes qarasatyn.
We are not strange neighbors casting an eye over each other.
Ou, adamdar söilegenshe jat bolatyn,
Oh, until people have talked, they are strangers,
Söilesken song bauyr bop tarasatyn.
After they have talked, they part as brothers.
Ou, ölengdi joqtan bardyng-au jelip ötti,
Oh, you can instantly make a song out of nothing,
Torghaiyng shyn aqyn dep senim etse.
Your Torghai has put its trust in you as a true aqyn.
Közben körip, gazetke jazyp eding,
You wrote in a newspaper what you have seen,
Maqtai ber Kökshemizdi, tiling jetse.
Celebrate our Kökshe, if your language is adequate.
Ou, otyrsyng arty qazir “Torghaiym” dep,
Oh, you are sitting now thinking, “My Torghai,
“Sol üshin bügin uzaq tolghaimyn” dep.
Today I shall long praise it in song.”
Torghaiyng saghan da ortaq, maghan da ortaq,
Torghai is close to both you and me.
Otyr ghoi, “Aghang sözin sozbaiyn” dep.
You are sitting and thinking, “May agha2 spread out his words.”
Ol “syigha syi, sisyz sugha barady” degen söz bar,
There is a saying, “Who gives a present gains a present, who does not fetches the water,”
“Älipting artyn kütip ozbaiyn” dep.
But “Don’t speak too soon,” as they say.
Ou, keshegi Yrghyz-Torghai öngirinde
Oh, from the former Yrghyz-Torghai region
Bilemiz Amangeldining ömirin de.
We know well the life of Amangeldi.3
Serik bolghan batyrgha, batyrgha Älibiding
A companion to the hero was the heroism and valor of Älibi4
Erligi, öjettigi köngilimde.
I remember that.
Ou, zäulim üi, teatr men saraiyng bar,
Oh, you have high buildings, palaces, and theaters,
Kömir, temir, baqsisyng qalaiyng bar.
You have coal, iron, and molten ore.
Mektebingdi salghyzsang, Ybyraiym,
My Ybyrai,5 if you built a school,
Oi, ülgi eter pana aqyn aghaiynyng bar.
Oh, there are fellow aqyns who will praise you for setting an example.
Bilemin qazirgi erleringdi,
I know your contemporaries,
Maqtaugha jaraitughyn talaiyng bar.
Many of them are praiseworthy.
Ou, bilemin jaqsy menen esilingdi,
Oh, I know the good and the best from your region,
Shyghargha jaqsylyqpen esimingdi.
Who have made their names by good deeds.
Qoi qoralas, jan-jandas körshim eding,
You are my close neighbor both in mingling flocks and in kindred spirit,
Jaqsy körem ilgeri ösuingdi.
I like it that you are prospering.
Ou, bar edi-au sizding jaqta tanystarym,
Oh, I have acquaintances in your area,
Ou, qiyn boldy-au körshimmen alysqanym.
Oh, it is difficult to contest with a neighbor.
El senimi biyl da aqtalghandai,
People’s trust seems to have been justified this year, as well,
Qaiyrly, qutty bolsyn tabystaryng!
Congratulations on your achievements!
Al, qaraghym, bereiin saghan kezek,
And now, dear, I should give you your turn,
Jaqsy boldy-au aitysyp tabysqanym.
It is good that we have met to compete in an aitys.
Qonysbai Äbilov:
Assalaumaghalaiküm, Köken agha, ou,
Peace be upon you, Köken agha, oh,
Jürmisiz jairang qaghyp, esen, agha, ou?
Are you happy and well, agha, ?h?
Sizbenen sälemdesu maghan baqyt,
It is a pleasure for me to greet you,
Mäz bolyp, aulyma ketem, agha, ou.
I shall return to my auyl overjoyed, agha, oh.
Ötken jyl esimingiz jüregimde,
Your name is in my heart from last year,
Mänggilik alyp edi-au, neken agha, ou.
It will stay there forever, the only agha, oh.
“Bul bala nege sonsha maqtady?” dep,
“Why is this child boasting so much?” you are thinking,
Sözime qaramangyz sekem alyp, ou.
Don’t be looking at my words distrustfully, oh.
Maqsatym el aldynda marapattau, ou,
My goal before the people is to praise, oh,
Oiym joq ishke bükken böten, agha, ou.
There is no ulterior motive at the back of my mind, oh.
Ardaqty özingizdei aghalardy
Honorable senior people like yourself
Töbeme köterumen ötem, agha, ou.
I shall glorify, agha, oh.
Izbasar inilikke jarai alsam,
If I am worthy of being [your] inheritor, [your] younger brother,
Mendaghy maqsatyma jetem, agha, ou.
I have reached my goal, agha, oh.
Kezdesip qaldyq bügin, jolyngyzdy
We have met today,
Kiiktei qalai kesip ötem, agha, ou?
How will I stand in your way like a saiga, agha, oh?
A-yai, a-yai, a-yai…
A-yai, a-yai, a-yai…
Biledi örge süirer shamangdy är kim,
Everyone knows your surpassing strength,
Aldyngyz berekesin shamandardyng.
You stripped the hapless of their success.
Elime erte ösken, ardagerim,
Matured for the sake of my people early on, my veteran,6
Qalaisha auzym baryp jamandarmyn?
How can I get my tongue round speaking badly of you?
Keshegi el basyna kün tughanda,
When calamity came to the former country,
Qolynga qarudy da, qalamdy (da) aldyng.
You took in your hands both a weapon and a pen,
Khalqymnyng öner süigen talabyna
At the desire of the art-loving people
Ishinen qalyng örtting aman qaldyng.
You stayed alive amid overwhelming fire.
A-yai, a-yai, a-yai…
A-yai, a-yai, a-yai…
Ölengdi men de jastan qurap edim,
I, too, have made verses in song from my youth,
Aq bata bügin sizden surap edim.
Today I ask for your kind blessing.
Aqan men Birjan shyqqan Kökshetaudan
From Kökshetau, [the homeland of] Aqan and Birjan,7
Kelding be jeldei esip, Qulagerim?
Haven’t you come, blowing like a wind, my Qulager.8
A-yai, a-yai, a-yai…
A-yai, a-yai, a-yai…
Körkine Kökshening kim talasady, ei?
Who can rival the beauty of Kökshe, eh?
Ataghy Alataudan äri asady, ei.
Its glory has spread beyond the Alatau [Mountains], eh.
Shyngyna örlep ösken aghashtary
Indeed, its towering fully grown trees
Ybyrai ükisindei jarasady, ei.
Are like Ybyrai’s feathers, eh.9
Aqylgha, aghajan, siz kende emessiz,
Dear agha, there is no denying your intelligence,
Aghattau söilep ketsem, jön demessiz.
If I say something amiss, don’t take me wrong,
Ardager Amangeldi, Älibidei
To the sons of my Torghai like the honorable Amangeldi and Älibi
Ul bergen Torghaiymdy kem demessiz.
You are not inferior.
Otyrsyz är sözimnen shyrailanyp,
You are sitting and beaming with joy at my every word,
Shegelep aitqan sözim unai qalyp.
Liking what I say pointedly.
Eki elding tuyn alyp topqa tüsken,
Raising the banners of the two regions, we are performing before the audience,
Köpshilik bizdi endi synaidy alyp.
People will now be judging us.
Otyrmyz jüirikterdi jarystyryp,
We are at the contest of orators,
Ne kerek bul mashina namys qylyp?
What is this car10 for, toward defending our honor?
Qazaqtyng qasietti eki otauyn
Why compare all over again
Qaitemiz qaita-qaita salystyryp?
The two sacred Kazakh homes?
A-yai, a-yai, a-yai…
A-yai, a-yai, a-yai…


1. Wooden circlet at the top of the yurt.

2. Respectful form of address to an elder brother or senior man.

3. Amangeldi Imanov (18731919) was the leader of the anti-Tsarist uprising in the Torghai region in 1916 who actively participated in the establishment of the Soviet administration in the Kazakh steppe.

4. Älibi Jangeldin (18841953), originally from Torghai region, was a revolutionary and companion-in-arms of Amangeldi Imanov in the 1916 uprising against the Tsarist domination.

5. Ybyrai Altynsarin (18411889), another famous native of Torghai, was a teacher and enlightener who initiated secular education among the Kazakhs.

6. The aqyn refers to the fact that his opponent was a veteran of World War II.

7. Aqan seri Qoramsauly (18431913) and Birjan sal Qojaghululy (18341897) were celebrated singer-songwriters who came from the Kökshetau region.

8. Qulager, Aqan seri’s favorite horse, was known for his unrivalled qualities as a racer. He was killed during a horserace at the order of a wealthy man whose own horse was likely to lose. Aqan seri commemorated Qulager in a song that is prominent in the repertory of singers from the Sary-Arqa tradition.

9. Ybyrai Sandybaiuly (18601930) was a renowned singer-poet from Kökshetau who adorned his headpiece with owl feathers (üki)--traditionally an amulet that offered protection from the evil eye--and was therefore nicknamed Ükili Ybyrai (Ybyrai with Owl Feathers).

10. The main prize of the aitys.

Amanjol Ältaev:
Eu, terbeltip mülgip jatqan, eu, shyngdaryngdy,
Oh, quiescent, oh, mountain peaks [of Alatau],1
Serttesip segiz aqyn, au, syngha kirdi.
Eight aqyns have made a commitment, oh, and entered the trial.
Köz salghan küreng baisha qalyng elim,
My numerous people, who are looking on,
Ishinen daralap al shyn daryndy-au, ai.
Choose the most talented ones, oh, eh.
Eu, baqty dep, bir basyna, ou, Kök Tängirden,
Oh, Blue Sky [Tengri], oh, bestow happiness on me,
Syrlastym boz dalada, ou, jortqan ulmen.
Your prodigal son, oh, who has shared his innermost thoughts with the feather-grass steppe.
Kaspiiding tolqynyndai tulap aqqan,
Akin to the wild waves of the Caspian Sea,
Armysyng, Melis aqyn, topqa kelgen-ai.
Greetings to you, Mels aqyn, performing before the audience, eh.
Eu, bügingi bul keruenning, eu, nary sensing,
Oh, you are the leader,2 oh, of today’s caravan,
Mäueli sayasy mol-au, taly sensing,
You are a blossoming, oh, shady tree,
Jasqanbai, künge jumsar, qart Kaspiiding
Not afraid of the sun.
Aibarly basyndaghy baghy sensing.
You are the luck of the fierce old Caspian Sea.
Söz söile ülken bolyp el aldynda,
Having spoken and matured before the people,
Bügingi bul aitystyng shaly sensing-ai.
You are the old man of today’s aitys, eh.
Eu, batystyng balasy eding, eu, arys mangdai,
Oh, you are a child of the west, oh, with a broad forehead,
Kezing joq alghy shepten, eu, qalysqandai.
There has been no time, oh, when you were falling behind the forefront.
Eu, nur tökken kün astynda enshi surap,
Oh, looking for your allotted position3 under the shining sun,
Baiqadyng segiz jüirik jarysqandai.
You witnessed how eight aqyns have competed.
Talai düldül inimmen aityssamda,
With what eloquent younger brothers I might have competed,
Özingmen bolmaidy eken alysqanda, ei.
It is not like competing with you, eh.
Eu, qarsylas, bes qaruyng-ai sai sekildi,
Oh, opponent, you seem to be well prepared, ah, [for the competition],4
Tulaidy jyr tolqynyng, eu, tai sekildi.
Waves of poetic song are roaring, oh, like a colt.
Alshang basyp jaighastyng janyma kep,
Proudly you have stationed yourself beside me,
Kökseudi bappen qozghap bai sekildi.
Like a rich man longing to get started in earnest.
Bir kürkirep qoyasyng anda-sanda,
You will rumble now and again,
Sharq etip, jerge tüsken-au jai sekildi.
And hiss like lightning, oh, striking the earth.
Al, endi kezektesip-au aitysalyq,
Let us now compete in an aitys, oh, one after the other,
Kezek shyqqan Kün menen Ai sekildi-au, ei...
Like the Sun and Moon coming out in turn, oh, eh…
Mels Qosymbaev:
Ä, e…
?h, ?h…
Ei, aitysqa bügin tüskenmin,
Eh, I am taking part in the aitys today,
“Ashsyn” dep “Qudai baghymdy.”
Thinking, “May God grant me luck.”
Tuyaghy altyn tulpar jür,
Racers with golden hooves gallop,
Tabaiyn sening babyngdy.
Let me find a way to you.
Burynghy ötken shaldaryng
Old men of the past
Tobyqtai sözben bitirgen
Settled unending disputes
Toqtamaghan dauyndy.
With concise words.
Shabyt keldi maghan da.
Inspiration has come to me, too.
Köpten beri körgen song,
Not having seen it for a long time,
Saghynyp Alatauymdy.
I have missed my Alatau.
Alatau--mening taghdyrym,
Alatau is my fate,
Qarsy alatyn qas qaiyp
Meeting head-on
Dauyl menen jauyndy.
Storm and rain.
Izdegenge suraghan,
What I was looking for,
Qasymnan mening tabyldy.
I found at my side.
Keregi bolsa, alarsyng,
If it has to be, you will win,
Tarazygha tarttyryp.
Tipping the scale.
Men ortagha saldym barymdy,
I have laid bare all I have,
Sol siyaqty söz degen.
Words are like this.
Taba almai erteng qalasyng,
Tomorrow you might not have found them,
Taqyrgha shashsang taryngdy.
As if you threw millet around on the bare ground.
Amanjoldai qurdasym,
My peer, Amanjol,
Kezdestirding aitysta
You have met at the aitys
Melis degen shalyndy.
An old man called Mels.
Ei, “Jabysatyn shal ghoi!” dep,
Oh, thinking, “What a tenacious old man!”
Bul Melis saghan ne qyldy-ai, e… ?
What has this Mels done to you, ah, eh… ?
Ei, khalaiyq otyr aldymda,
Oh, the audience is sitting in front of me,
Aqyndardan jyr tilep.
Longing for poetic words in song from the aqyns.
Jyrmen de birge aitatyn
Together with the sung poetry
Aluan da aluan syr tilep.
They are longing for a wide range of secrets.
Amanjol keldi, köreiik,
Amanjol came, let us see,
Shulatyp köpti büldirgen.
Exploded and stirred up many.
Buidasyn jelge türdirgen,
Turned the camel’s bridle reins toward the wind,
Bura tös bulttai kürkürep,
Rumbled like a thundercloud,
Jaraspaidy bizderge.
This does not work for us.
Alqagha salsa aitysta,
He performs before the crowd,
Söz aitqanda sirkirep.
Letting his words fall drop by drop.
Sen “shal” degen Melisting
Mels, whom you call “an old man,”
Saqaly tügil murty joq, e…
Doesn’t even have a beard or a moustache, eh…


1. The aqyn refers to Alatau because the aitys took place in Almaty.

2. Nar, literally dromedary.

3. Enshi, literally share of inheritance given to elder sons in a family.

4. Literally “Your five weapons seem to be ready [for action]” (idiomatic expression).

Didar Qamiev:
Bismillä, joldan taima, jaghym, qane,
Bismillä,1 do not stray from the track, my tongue,
Tulpar e(di)m topqa tüsken babyndaghy.
I am a racehorse in its prime performing before the public.
Toi dübiri estilip osy jaqtan,
The tumult of a celebration is heard from here,
Qazaqtyghym oyandy qanymdaghy.
Kazakhness has woken up in my blood.
Arqadan Qarakesek balang keldi,
From Arqa your son, Qarakesek, has come,
Qarakesek ettei bop qamyrdaghy.
The flesh and blood of the Qarakesek.2
Shieli qut daryghan kieli ölke,
Shieli is a sacred region endowed with abundance,
Qundaghynan qasiet arylmady.
Whose virtue has not disappeared since the cradle.
Qaimaghy buzylmaghan qaimana jurt,
Tight-knit community the cream of whose crop remains unspoiled,
Qashanda jaqsylyqtyng qamyndaghy.
Who always take care of the good.
Ar-uyat, ädet-ghuryp, salt-dästürin
Their honor and conscience, traditions and customs, rites and conventions
Sary maidai saqtaghan qaryndaghy.
Have been preserved like butter in an animal stomach.3
Meiirimmen qarsy alyp meimanyndy,
You are welcoming your guest with hospitality,
Peiiling men nieting tarylmady.
Your graciousness and good intent have not diminished.
Assalaumaghalaiküm, Shielimning
Peace be upon you, my Shieli’s
Qaiyspas qaisar jurty qabyrghaly.
Unyielding, steadfast, strong community.
Äbdildamen artady ghasyrlargha,
[The name of] Äbdilda4 will be retained for centuries,
Qazaqy qara ölengning qadir--mäni.
The power of a real Kazakh verse in song (qara öleng) is in its meaning.
Aghaiyn, toilaryngyz qutty bolsyn!
Kinsfolk, congratulations on your celebration!
Güldeitin musylmannyng sabyr--baghy.
Patience blossoming among Muslims is a blessing.
Ölengimdi uzattym özderinge,
I have extended my song for you,
Shapalaqpen tölensin qalyng maly.
May the reward5 be paid for by rounds of applause.
Köpshilik, endi bermen bas bura ber,
Folk, now look at me,
Shang qappai shauyp körsin jas Qulager.
May the young Qulager race ahead of its competitors.6
Älemde erkek deitin bir qauym bar,
There is a people in the world who are called men,
Men bolamyn solargha jas murager.
I am their young successor.
Erkek degen ejelden qoidan juas,
Men from old times are meeker than sheep,
Oghan mening minezim--jaqsy dälel.
Good evidence of this is my temperament.
Sen bolsang, sonyng bärin jengip bitting,
As for you, you have won all of them,
Köngilime kek turyp, kek bolyp ras turady ol.
Solardyng namysy üshin men kep turmyn,
I came here for the sake of their honor,
Shamang jetse, auzyma tas tygha ber.
If you have the capability, try gagging me.
Erkekterding balyghyn qoidai qyrghan,
Slayer of all men like sheep,
Armysyng, Ainur deitin “qasqyr äiel”!
Greetings to you, a “wolf-woman” called Ainur!
Bul Didar tap kelgenge shap berushi edi,
This Didar, when he enters a competition, snatches [his opponent],
Qarsylas sonda qandai shaq kelushi edi?
What opponent can then outdo him?
Aghaiyn, demeu berip otyryngdar,
Kinsfolk, lend your support,
Jamaghat, jas balagha jaq bolushy edi.
People, come to the young boy’s defence.
Sebebi janymdaghy Ainur apam,
This is because Ainur apa,7 sitting beside me,
Saiysqa sauysqandai saq kelushi edi.
Has come to the contest like a wary magpie.
Bayaghyda aitysqa shyqqan saiyn
Once, when entering an aitys,
Tal shybyqtai arular tap kelushi edi.
One would meet with beauties like willow twigs.
Al bügingi qarsylas müldem bölek,
And today’s contestant is altogether different,
Barghan jerden bas bäige ap kelushi edi.
Whatever contest she goes to, she gets the main prize.
Täuekel, ne de bolsa, aitysaiyn,
I’ll take the risk and, whatever happens, compete with her in an aitys,
Babym kelse, basyma baq qonushy edi.
If I am well prepared, fortune will be on my side.
Shiedei erinderi diril qaqqan,
Her lips are trembling like cherries,8
Shielide jolyqty-au, aq kelinshek.
In Shieli I have met, oh, with a fair young lady.9
Shögerip Shielige tüiengizdi,
You made your camel kneel in Shieli,
Kelipsiz üige tastap iengizdi.
You came here, having left your master at home.
Eriningdi shiedei dep otyrsam,
If I say that your lips are like cherries,
Qashyrmaiyn dep edim kiengizdi.
Let me not scare off your sanctity.10
Aitystaghy eng jasy bolghannan song,
Since I am the youngest [contestant] at the aitys,
Özinge juptap qoidy, mine, bizdi.
I was allotted to you.
Tättige bala ghana qumar bolady,
Only a child loves sweets,
Menen basqa kim jeidi shiengizdi?
Who else but me will eat your cherries?
Ainur Tursunbaeva:
Äi, bala, saghan ne boldy?
Eh, child, what’s up with you?
Qyzyq qoi myna qylyghyng.
This trickery of yours is amusing.
Tüsinbei qaldym bul uldyng
I didn’t understand this boy’s
Shielidegi shyrylyn.
Squealing in Shieli.
Shiengnen bügin jeimin dep,
You say you will eat cherries today,
Shie böridei ulydyng.
Howling like a wolf.
Erkekting kegin alsyn dep,
You say you will avenge men,
Aidap saldy eken muny kim?
Who is it that incites you?
Ony saghan jeu qaida?
How on earth are you going to eat them?
Süiegi qatty bolmai ma?
Aren’t their stones going to be hard?
Tatsang da täube shyrynyn,
Even if you taste its juice,
Iesi bar ghoi shiening.
The cherry has its master.
Sony bilmei me bul inim?
Doesn’t this younger brother know this?
Qaidaghy joqty jeimin dep,
Having eaten whatever comes to hand,
Qaqalyp qalma, qulynym!
Don’t choke on it, my little kid!11
Bismillä sözdi bastaiyn,
Let me begin with the words Bismillä,
Jyr-qymyz tögip sabamnan.
Pouring qymyz-song from my saba.12
Asan qaighy atam jatqan jer,
The land where the forefather Asan qaighy13 is laid,
Alashqa aty taralghan.
Whose name has spread throughout Alash.14
Dülei jel syndy ekpini,
Impetuous like a wild wind,
Süleiler shyqqan arangnan.
Famous bards came from this area.
Qanshama miras qaldy ghoi
How much heritage has been left
Nar tulgha Nartai danamnan!
By my patron, sturdy Nartai!15
Qazyna qaldy qanshama
How much treasure has been left
Imanjüsiptei babamnan!
By forefathers like Imanjüsip!16
Janazar batyr taghy bar,
There is also Janazar batyr,17
Jebedei jaugha qadalghan.
Who pierced enemies like an arrow.
Shoqtyghy biik Mustafa,
The high summit, Mustafa,18
Ruhy berik qoi qamaldan.
Whose spirit is stronger than a fortress.
Shahmardan menen Äbdilda
Shahmardan19 and Äbdilda
Shieli topyraghynyng
Were the building bricks
Kirpishi bolyp qalanghan.
of Shieli earth.
Qyryq bir engbek erining
It is true that forty-one Worker Heroes
Shyqqany ras qoi arangnan.
Came from this area.
Ybyrai menen Jadyra
Ybyrai and Jadyra20
Engbekten ornyn taba alghan.
Found their place thanks to their work.
Tälim alady qyzdaryng
Your girls follow the example of
Altynshashtaiyn anamnan.
Mothers like Altynshash.21
Önege alad(y) uldaryng
Your boys follow the model of
Quandyq, Asqar aghamnan.
Senior men Quandyq and Asqar.22
Mukhambetqali aqynnyng
Aqyn Mukhambetqali
Elinen bügin bagha alghan.
Is now appraised by the people.
Äuendi ändi estimiz
We hear a melodious song
Bakhtiyar änshi balangnan.
From your son, singer Bakhtiyar.23
Ruslandai eren ulyngnyng
Your hero sons like Ruslan24
Ortadan erte ketkeni.
Passed away early.
Jas aghyzbai ma janardan?
Are you not shedding teardrops?
Eshqaisy(sy) kökten tüsken joq.
Not one of them came from the sky.
Eshqaisy(sy) kökten tüsken joq,
Not one of them came from the sky.
Perzenttering bop sanalghan.
They are all counted as your children.
Qasietingnen när alghan,
They sipped your virtue,
Topyraghyngnan jaralghan.
And were created from your soil.
Armysyng, qairan Shielim,
Greetings to you, my dear Shieli,
Alyptar shyqqan Aq Ordam!
The White Horde25 of larger-than-life men!
Aitysta ötti Ainurdyng,
Many a destiny has passed as Ainur
Tartyspen talai taghdyry.
Competed in the aitys.
Taghdyrym qalai bolsa da,
Whatever is my destiny,
Jaratqannyng sol jarlyghy.
It is the will of God.
Qoidai ghyp bärin qyrdyng dep,
You said I slaughtered everyone like sheep,
Estildi-au sözding qaldyghy.
I heard those last words of yours.
Bekarys, Balghynbekterding
With Bekarys and Balghynbek26
Jarasqan bizben än-jyry.
I found common language through songs.
Rinat pen Aibek, Mukhtarlar
Rinat and Aibek, Mukhtar
Kötere bilgen baghamdy.
Rated me highly.
Estilmei sözding qaldyghy,
I did not hear the rest of your words,
Qoidai qyp qyrdyng deidi me?
Did you say I slaughtered [everyone] like sheep?
Köngilding bul ma tarlyghy?
Is this perhaps your jealousy?
Qasqyr bop kimdi jep qoidym?
Who have I devoured like a wolf?
Ölmei-aq jür ghoi barlyghy!
Everybody is alive and well!


1. From the Arabic Qur’anic phrase Bismi Allah (In the name of God).

2. Qarakesek (literally black piece) is the name of a clan of the Arghyn tribe within the Orta Jüz (Middle Horde). The aqyn plays with the word “Qarakesek” (“I am a dough-stuffed piece of meat”) to imply that he is a true descendant of the Qarakesek clan.

3. Among nomads, an animal stomach was used as a container for preserving butter. In such a container butter would stay fresh. The aqyn here implies that Shieli’s traditions and customs have been preserved unspoiled.

4. Äbdilda Täjibaev (19091998), the poet and playwright on the occasion of whose anniversary the aitys was organized.

5. Qalyng mal, literally dowry, brideswealth.

6. Literally ahead of a cloud of dust raised by racing horses.

7. Respectful form of address to a senior woman.

8. The aqyn plays on the name of the region, Shieli (from shie, literally cherry).

9. Kelinshek is an address to a young married woman.

10. The aqyn implies that, even though he is flirting with his opponent, he does not want to be disrespectful toward her, a married woman.

11. Qulyn, literally colt, a form of address to small children.

12. Song is compared to fermented mare’s milk (qymyz) poured from a leather flask (saba), traditionally used for making and preserving qymyz.

13. Asan qaighy is a Kazakh poet, philosopher, and legendary hero thought to have lived in the 14th15th century.

14. Alash is here used with reference to an early confederation of Kazakh tribes.

15. Nartai Bekejanov (18901945) was an eminent aqyn originally from Shieli.

16. Imanjüsip Qutpanuly (18631929) was another famous aqyn whose name came to be associated with Shieli.

17. Janazar batyr was a ?ompanion-in-arms and military commander of Abylai Khan (18th c.).

18. Mustafa Shoqai (18901941) was a civic leader and politician who headed the Turkestan Autonomy (19171918), a short-lived unrecognized state that existed on the territories of present-day Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and Kyrgyzstan.

19. Shahmardan Esenov (19271994) was a scholar-geologist and statesman, a former Minister of Geology and President of the Republic of Kazakhstan Academy of Sciences.

20. Ybyrai Jaqaev and Jadyra Taspambetova, Worker Heroes of Kazakhstan.

21. Contemporary writer and political leader Altynshash Jaghanova.

22. Writer Quandyq Tümenbai and mathematician Asqar Jumadildaev.

23. Bakhtiyar Tailaqbaev, a singer, Honored Artist of Kazakhstan, and cultural administrator in the Qyzylorda region.

24. Ruslan Bölebai, a young television journalist who died in 2009.

25. White Horde (Aq Orda) was a Turkic state on the territory of present-day Kazakhstan in the mid-13thearly 15th centuries. Here the aqyn refers to the White Horde in the sense of the homeland.

26. Aqyns who competed with Ainur Tursunbaeva.

Aqyngha jarasady almas qylyq,
Diamond-like [sharp] words befit aqyns,
Otyrmyz biz önerdi almastyryp.
We are sitting and exchanging our art.
Aaly aituly aqyn ekensing ghoy,
Aaly, I learned that you are a famous aqyn.
Sözingdi jürersing almas buzyp.
Your words can destroy even diamonds.
Maira men Serik syndy köreiikshi,
Let’s try to compete like Maira and Serik,1
Ädemi aitystardy jalghastyryp.
By continuing [the tradition of] beautiful song contests.
Ardaktuu jengem Qanysham,
My esteemed jenge,2 Qanysha,
Siz menen bügün taanysham.
I will get to know you today.
Albette Maira, Serik syiaktuu,
Of course, like Maira and Serik,
Siz menen bügün jarysham.
I will compete with you.
Albette zalkar akynsyz,
You are indeed a great aqyn.
Kudaiym kylsa buyruktu,
If God wills it,
Arkangyzda kalysham.
I will lose this contest with you.
Kudaiym kylsa buyruktu,
If God wills it,
Artymdy bir top changytam.
I will leave you in the dust behind me.
Egemen kyrgyz kalkymdyn
I have come to sing
Aldyna kelip kaldym da.
Before my independent Kyrgyz people.
Eldi körüp men bügün
Seeing the people today
Ergigensip kaldym da.
I became inspired.
Ee, tuugandar, mynakey
Hey, brothers, you see
Jyiyylgan jurtum bar mynda.
My people who are gathered here.
Bular askasy asman tiregen,
These people lived in high mountains
Arkary ak kar jieregen,
Where the deer dig grass through the snow.
Ala-Too bashyn jaylashyp,
Inhabiting the high Ala-Too Mountains,
Allaga jakyn jaygashyp,
And thus being close to Allah [God],
Azattyk kündü tilegen.
They wished freedom [from the USSR].
Eng biyik tördü jaylashyp,
Inhabiting the highest mountains,
Egeme jakyn jaygashyp,
And thus being close to the Master [God],
Egemendikti tilegen.
They desired independence.
Kyraandary joodon el korgop,
Their brave men protected people from their enemy,
Kylychyn ayga bülögön.
And sharpened their swords in the moonlight.
Al emi,
Koy menen kosho kiyigi,
Their sheep and deer
Koroosunda tünögön.
Slept in the same corral.3
Butuna bulut orolup,
They wrapped the clouds around their feet,
Bulardyn kalpagy tiygen jyldyzka.
Their kalpaks touched the stars.
Kabylan Manas tukumu,
They are the descendants of Manas, the lion.
Kaygyryp turgan uchuru,
These days they are sad,
Karaany toodoy Chyngizka.
Grieving the loss of Chingiz,4 who was their support, like a mountain.
Ayla jok eken kanteyin,
We have no choice but
Allahym saigan buyrukka
To submit to Allah’s will.
Kan tögüp ata-babalar,
Our ancestors shed their blood [to protect their people]
Kaltyrgan muras uul-kyzga.
And left their heritage to their sons and daughters.
On jeti jylga toluptur
Today, it has been seventeen years
Egemendik turmushka.
Of their independent existence.
Engkeyip tizem bügülüp,
By kneeling down and bowing,
Elge aytam salam jügünüp,
I greet this people,
Egemen uluu kyrgyzka.
The independent and great Kyrgyz [nation].
Chyn ajal jetip kaygyrgan,
The Kyrgyz people with white kalpaks lament
Chyngyzynan ayrylgan,
The loss of their Chingiz
Ak kalpak kyrgyz el da arman.
Who met his real death.
Jana Maira jengem aytkanday,
As my Maira jenge said a while ago,
Kayrylbay ketken tör da arman.
An uninhabited mountain pasture laments.
Sizdey ak kuusu kelip konboso,
If a white swan like you does not land on it,
Aydyngduu Ysyk-Köl da arman.
The beautiful Issyk Kul5 laments.
Jana Rahmatulla menen aityshpay,
Also, for not having had the chance to compete with Rahmatulla6
Bal sözünö balkyshpay,
And thus not having heard his honey-like words,
Maga kelip tush bolgon,
But instead for having been assigned to me,
Ardaktuu jenge sende arman.
The esteemed jenge, you lament.
Anan Sara kyz menen bir chykpay,
And finally, for not singing with the girl, Sara,7
Kabyrgasynan chymchyshpay,
And teasing her with words,
Sizge tush bolgon mende arman.
For having been assigned to you, I lament.
Aqyndar onda jinasyn,
May the aqyns gather
Öleng men boigha bar küshin.
The whole power of their essence with song.
Tanylsyn mening qyrghyzgha,
May the great power of my soul
Boiymdaghy nar küshim.
Be known to the Kyrgyz.
Jaqsylyqpenen aitaiyn,
Let me sing with goodwill,
Jaqsy künnen jarylqasyn.
May the good [independence] day be blessed.
Qurmanbek degen ulyng bar,
You have your son, [President] Kurmanbek,
Jurtungnyn alghan alghysyn.
Who received your people’s appreciation.
Qanatyng menen Rüsteming
Your Kanat and Rustem8
Qir shalmatyghyn qarly shyn.
Are [like] pure snow-white peaks.
Ölengmen soghyp keteiin,
Let me build a mountainous monument
Qyrghyz bauyrlar tauly müsin
To the Kyrgyz brothers with a song.
Aq qalpaqty aghaiyn,
Our kinsmen with the white kalpaks,
Bauyrlarym armysyng!
My brothers, my greetings to you!
Sulayman bayke jaghdaiym qiyndady,
Uncle Sulayman,9 I am in an awkward position,
Qanshanyng bir özingiz syiynghany.
You are admired by many.
Jaraspas Jetisudan kelgennen song,
I have come all the way from Jetisu inopportunely
Balamen bala bolyp süiilghany.
To compete with the little boy as if I were a boy.
Rahmetulla qurdaspen shygham degen,
I wished to compete with Rahmatulla, my contemporary,
Rahmetulla manglaiyma büiyrmady.
But Rahmatulla wasn’t assigned to me by fortune.
Men singlisi em, qaraghym, Sara apanyng,
My dear, I am a younger sister of aunt Sara,
Atqandai qyrghyzyna dara tanym.
And I am like a startling daybreak to the Kyrgyz.
Qulyndy biesi edim analardyng,
Like a colt after its mother mare
Men de seni ilestirip jaratamyn.
I like to follow you.
Sakhnagha jengeshe dep shygha kelding,
You came onto the stage addressing me as jengge,
Sondyqtan men de äzildi taratamyn.
So I shall pass around the joke.
Myna otyrghan qasymda qaiynymdy,
I shall attract the attention of my qaiyn10 sitting in front of me,
Esten tandyryp auzyma qaratamyn.
Making him laugh until he passes out.
Al onda özing tiisting qaghynyp sen,
You have started teasing me yourself,
Özinge-özing myqty bol balapanym.
Now watch out, my baby bird.


1. Maira and Serik were a Kyrgyz and Kazakh pair of female and male aqyns who had competed before.

2. Jenge/jengge: a respected term of address used among the Kyrgyz, Kazakhs, and Uzbeks by a younger brother toward the wife of an older brother. Men call the wife of their older brothers and kinsmen jenge. Kyrgyz have a saying, “One of the thighs of the sister-in-law belongs to her husband’s younger brother” (Jengenin bir sany kaynisiniki). This saying is related to an old practice among the nomadic Kyrgyz and Kazakhs wherein if a woman’s husband died, the woman married her husband’s younger brother to keep the young children in her husband’s family. Mature younger brothers (kayni/qaiyn) often tease their jenges/jengges, who in turn teach them about courtship and marriage. In this aitysh, the young Aaly aqyn is trying to tease his older female opponent by establishing the traditional jenge-kayni relationship.

3. The aqyn is saying that the Kyrgyz people lived in harmony with nature.

4. A reference to the Kyrgyz writer Chingiz Aitmatov, who died in 2008.

5. Issyk Kul: the name of a large mountain lake in northern Kyrgyzstan that is a popular tourist attraction.

6. Rahmatulla: a middle-aged Kyrgyz aqyn.

7. Sara is the name of a young Kazakh female aqyn with whom Aaly previously competed in Kazakhstan.

8. These are two Kyrgyz wrestlers who won the gold and silver medals at the Beijing Olympic Games in 2010.

9. Here Qanysha is addressing Sulayman Kaiypov, who served as the head of the judges, sitting in the front row to evaluate the aitysh.

10. Husband’s younger brother or male relative.

Download text in PDF format
Aytaiyn sözdün chyndygyn
Let me tell the truth,
Arman kün,
Azaptuu boldu bul kylym.
It [the twenty-first century] was a sad century for us.
Manastan kiyin kyrgyzym
After Manas, my Kyrgyz,
Maktanych bolchu Chyngyzyng.
Your Chingiz was your pride.
Aytmatov Chyngyz jarkygan
We used to say that Chingiz
Ak tangybyz dechü elek.
Was our white dawn.
Aytylyp bütpös düynödö
We used to say he was a world saga
Dastanybyz dechü elek.
That had no ending.
Aalamdyk adabiyattyn
We used to say that
Arstanybyz dechü elek.
He was the lion of world literature.
Aalamda sizdey az ele
The world had few people like you.
Ala-Too bolup ugulchu
Just the name of our father would sound
Atabyzdyn aty ele.
Like our Ala-Too Mountains.
Alysky bashka ölködö
In faraway foreign countries,
Al özünchö masele.
He was a different story.
Tarykhty bilbey kee bir el, bizdi
Those peoples who didn't know our history
Taanybay kalsa ech ele.
And forgot who we were,
Kyrgyzdyn debey kyrgyzdy
Used to know us as the Kyrgyz,
Chyngyzdyn eli dechü ele.
As the people of Chingiz.
Emi oshol
Atabyzdy köralbay,
Unable to see our father and
Atabyz bar dey albay,
Unable to say that he is alive,
Engirep turbuz kaygydan
Unable to come to our senses,
Ekh arman,
Oh, alas,
Esibizge kelalbay.
We feel lost in deep grief.
Ak jamgyr bozdop tökköndöy-oy,
As if the rain were pouring tears,
Ak boroon ulup ötköndöy,
As if a blizzard blew by sounding like a howling wolf.
Ala-Toonun bashynan,
It is as if the white glacier on the Ala-Too Mountains
Ak möngü erip köchköndöy.
Has melted and slid down.
Atasy ketti uruktun,
The father of the nation has left
Aylasyz düynö kömgöndöy.
And we have no choice but to bury him.
Aalamyng kaldy tomsorup
Your world is left behind alone
Asmandan Aydy bölgöndöy.
As if the moon became separated from the sky.
Elibiz eey kyrgyz kaygyda
Our Kyrgyz people are grieving
Er Manas eki ölgöndöy.
As if their hero, a second Manas, had died.
Ak dayra bolup aktyngyz,
You were like a white river that flowed fully,
Aalamdy tirep böksörböy.
And lifted the world up.
Ordunda ushul shum düynö
This devious world never stood
Oo kachan turgan özgörböy.
In one place without changing.
Jalgandyn ushul myizamy
It is the law of the false world
Jazmyshka aalam köngöndöy.
That makes the entire world submit to [God's] order.
Kökürök tütöp turabyz
We stand now with our hearts burning
Köktön bir Kündü bölgöndöy.
As if the sun became separated from the sky.
Kaygydan kyrgyz elibiz
The Kyrgyz people grieve so much
Kan Bakay kayra ölgöndöy.
As if Khan Bakay1 has died again.
Ömürdün jolu burulush,
Life has difficult turns,
Özüngüz joktop turubuz.
We mourn your death.
Köz ötkönchö jaryktan,
Until we pass away from this world,
Kör tirliktin kulubuz.
We live as slaves of our daily suffering.
Aiyrmangyz atake--siz
But you were different, dear father,
Andaydan biyik turdunguz.
You stood above them.
Akyldyn alip jarygyn
You took the light of wisdom
Adamzatyna sundunguz.
And gave it to mankind.
Ala-Toonun koynunan,
You flowed like a spring gushing
Atylyp chygyp bulaktay,
From the heart of the Ala-Too Mountains
Alp dengizderge kuydunguz.
And poured into giant seas.
Atlanttyn ar jagyn kayra
You turned the world's attention beyond the Atlantic Ocean
Aziyaga burdunguz.
To Asia.
Altyndan ordo kurbastan,
Instead of building a palace from gold,
Akyldan ordo kurdunguz.
You built a palace from wisdom.
Biz jürbüz--
While we went around being proud
Ayalym, bala,tuugan dep,
That our wife gave birth to a baby boy,
Aalamga kyzmat kyldyngiz, oooy . . .
Served the entire world . . .
Atagy kylym karytkan
You were a noble, wise man,
Asyl jan eleng daanyshman.
With century-old fame.
Özgö elder bizden köp süyüp sizdi
Other nations loved you more than us
Özümdük kylyp alyshkan.
By making you their own.
Kün batyshtyn ar jagy
People who live where the sun sets
Gülsary atka jem berip
Gave food to the Gülsary horse2
Künügö taptap bagyshkan.
And trained him well every day.
Jamilany engseship
They all longed for Jamila3
Jabyla süyüp kalyshkan.
And fell in love with her.
Akbara menen Tashchaynar
Akbara and Tashchaynar4
Alardy da bilet alystan.
Are also known in faraway lands.
Kayra emi sizdey chygaby
Will there be a man like you again
Kalkyn turgay jerinin
Who can make not only his people known
Karyshkyryn jurtka taanytkan.
But the wolves of his land?!5
Ekh arman!
Oh, alas!
Jyldyz öchpös bolsochu,
I wish the stars would never fade away!
Chyngyz ölbös bolsochu.
I wish that Chingiz would be immortal.
Kyraanynyn ölgönün
I wish that the Kyrgyz
Kyrgyz körbös bolsochu.
Would never see their hero die.
Aalamdan echen el joktop,
Many people in the world mourn your death,
Asman da joktop Jer joktop.
Even the sky and the earth mourn your death.
Bardyk aalam ölkönün
All the leaders of the world
Bashchylary teng joktop,
Equally mourn your death.
Elim menen koshulup
Together with my people,
Erlmirbek uulung men joktop.
I, Elmirbek, your son, mourn your death.
Aytmatov jashayt ömürdö,
Aytmatov will live on,
Ak jyldyz bolup tagyldyng
For he became an eternal shining star
Asmandyn kökürögündö.
Pinned onto the chest of the sky.


1. Bakay: one of the main characters in the epic Manas - an elderly wise man who served as Manas's adviser.

2. Gülsary: the name of a horse in Aitmatov's short novel Farewell, Gülsary!, written in 1966. The novel narrates the life journey of an old, golden chestnut horse in parallel to the life journey of an old man, Tanabay, who is a hard-working kolkhozchu, a collective farm worker who strongly believes in communist ideology. In 2008, Kazakhstan's state film company produced a new film based on Farewell, Gülsary! using the same title.

3. Jamila: the main heroine in Aitmatov's short novel Jamila, written in 1958. After reading the story, the French writer Louis Aragon called it "the world's most beautiful love story." The novel describes the difficult World War II years in a Kyrgyz village and the romance between a young married woman, Jamila, and a young man, Daniar, a soldier who returns wounded from the war and ends up working in the collective farm.

4. Akbara and Tashchaynar: a wolf couple (Akbara is a she-wolf and Tashchaynar a he-wolf) in Aitmatov's short novel Place of the Skull (Kyyamat in Kyrgyz, Plakha in Russian), written in 1986. The novel tells the story of a wolf pack that comes into contact with humans.

5. The reference is to the wolf couple in Place of the Skull.

Kulaaly degen shakta bar,
The buzzard resides on branches,
Kuda da bolmok narkta bar.
Becoming in-laws is our tradition.
Kyrgyiek degen shakta bar,
The little hawk resides on branches,
Kyzdy da bermek saltta bar.
Marrying a girl off is our tradition.
Ukuruk tiybes kachagan,
Now, you're like a horse that can't be caught with a lasso,
Urugung bashka jasagan.
You're destined to go to another clan.
Kamchy da tiybes kachagan,
Now, you're like a horse that a whip cannot reach,
Kalkyngdy bashka jasagan.
You're destined to go to other people.
Kanatyn kakpay jem jegen,
Is there a bird like the hawk,
Karchygaday kush kayda?
Which eats grain without flapping its wings?
Akyly menen til bilgen,
Is there a maiden like Elmira,
Elmiraday ele kyz kayda?
Who is wise and who knows the language [i.e., English]?
Tumshugun kakpay jem jegen,
Is there a bird like the falcon,
Turumtayday ele kush kayda?
Which eats grain without making its beak messy?
Chet elge baryp til bilgen,
Is there a maiden like Elmira,
Elmiraday ele kyz kayda?
Who studied abroad and learned the foreign language?
Ak kagazdy eey karalap,
You have traveled in a foreign land,
Chet elde gana jürdüng aralap.
By writing on a white paper.
Jazgan kagazyngda kata jok
There is no error in her writing, and
Singdim Aychüröktön kemi jok.
My sister is as beautiful as Aychürök.
Boz torgoy eleng bierde,
You were a gray skylark in your house,
Bolup da berdik tiyerge.
Now we're giving you away to them.
Kyzgaldak eleng biyerde,
You were a poppy in your house,
Kaalap da berdik tiyerge.
Now we're voluntarily giving you away.
Chong atangdy men aytsam,
If I'm to talk about your great-grandfather,
Chong atang eldin ulugu.
Your great-grandfather was a great man,
Öz atang suudun tunugu.
Your own father is the purest of water.
Altyndan kylgan kupaday,
If I'm to talk about your uncles,
Abalaryng men aytsam,
They're like a horse harness plated with gold,
Ala barchyn shumkarday.
They're like eagles turning into hunting birds.
Kümüshtön kylgan kupaday,
If I'm to talk about your uncles,
Abalaryng men aytsam,
They're like a horse harness plated with silver
Kök ala tuygun shumkarday.
They're like grayish grouses and gyrfalcons.
Suu tübündö sülüktöy.
If I'm to talk about your brothers,
Akelering men aytsam,
They're like leeches under the water,
Suurulup chykkan külüktöy.
They're like stallions running ahead of the herd.
Ey, sayyidi kavnayin, shajanshohi hamidi,
Mahbubi khudo, sohibi Qur'ani Majidi
Dar takhti "Lavo Khalaqtu sultoni amidi,
Yak shab z-in saro to ba Surayo, ki rasidi
Mobayni rusul khotamu yaktovu yazidi.
Dar ummi tu yak-yak malak ovarda payomat
Dar hini tavallud shuda ghavghoi qiyomat.
Shod omada Jibrili amin dod salomat,
Dar arsai kavnayin Muhammad shuda nomat.
On roz tu az katmi adam parda kushudi,
Ey khossai durguhari bahri haqiqat,
Afzal zi Masehost sukhanhoj daqiqat.
Tu rohbari murshidi a'loi tariqat,
Bujahli la'in tashnalab az bahri amiqat,
Alhaqqi tu on mo'jizahoe binamudi.
On nuri huvaydo ki ba peshonayi ab bud
Az bahri tu on nur asari bakhsishi Rab bud.
Aslat zi Qurayshi, nasab bud.
Kome, ki ham o yoft ham on nur sabab bud.
Nuri tu muqaddam ba qadar, lek jadidi.
On roz ba paigambariyat dod ki payghom,
Umrat ba yatimivu gharibi shuda itmom.
Dar dahri fano az ghami mo subhi tu shud shom.
Ne roz ba qalbat farahu ne shabat orom.
Doim zi ghami ummati khud ranj kashidi.
Omad ba darat payiki ajal gashta chu soyil,
Mahrum shuda az khoki diyorti tu Azozil,
Muhii ba darat rozu shabon gasht chu soyil,
Bar va'dai Jabbor nashud tab'i tu moyil,
"Ghaffartu lakum" zoti malak, to nashunidi,
On roz tu az jomi ajal boda chashidi.
Akh, Iloji, maqsuding bil, jumlai joqndani, yo Rab,
Qatori yakhwhilar dizdan yamon sharmandani yo Rab.

Oh, Master of the world, Lord of the faithful,
Lover of God, author of the incomparable Qur'an.
On the throne of truth, you are the King of the faithful,
In one night, you fly to the starry skies from the earthly home.
Among the prophets, you are incomparable, and approach God.
A heavenly angel brought you to your worshippers.
At the moment of your birth the heavens trembled.
With joy, Gabriel brings you safely from the heavens.
And in this world, they gave you the name Muhammad.
From this day forth, you have been separated from people,
Oh, incomparable jewel in the sea of truth.
Each one of your words is incomparable among the jewels of truth,
You, great leader of the faithful, your path is outstanding.
You, invigorating spray from the sea of beauty, in truth your miracles are unending.
This first ray of light that preceded you into existence is incomparable among the sea of light rays.
By birth you are from the tribe of Quraysh,
The reason that you became beloved was this ray.
Your ray was so splendid that from this day, all the prophets acknowledged it.
Your life was lived in modesty, but you cared for us from the beginning to the end of your days.
Your soul didn't know a day of peace,
Eternally caring about your people,
When the time came to part with this world,
This world lost your remains.
Goodness and faithfulness were always with you, which God gave you for your servants.
God raised you up to be higher than the heavenly angels,
And let you drink from the cup of immortality.
Oh, God, we have one wish: to be your servant,
Our God, bring us nearer the good; save us from the bad.
Download text in PDF format
Äy . . .
Hey . . .
Bu taghlar egiz taghlar,
These mountains are tall,
Gheribning yolini baghlar.
They hinder the path of the desolate.
Gherib ölsä kim yighlar?
If the desolate die, who will cry for them?
Gheribqa yitim yighlar.
Orphans cry for the desolate.
Gheribdur män bu alämdä,
I am desolate in this world,
Yitimdur män bu alämdä.
I am an orphan in this world.
Tayinliq makan yoqtur,
There is no land for me,
Khotänni islam achtilär,
They opened Khotan to Islam,
Migär Hajim Hebiybulla
Hajim Hebiybulla
Kütürdi qolini amingha,
Raised his hands to pray,
Du'a qildi Räsulilla.
He prayed to the Prophet.
Yengi shähär baza aldida,
Boys in front of the city bazaar,
Kibir qildi Ghojam Pashsha,
Ghojam Pasha was proud of himself,
Himmätlik Ghojam Pashsha,
Gracious Ghojam Pasha,
On altä mährum ong qolida,
Sixteen companions to his right hand,
On altä mährum chap qolida,
Sixteen companions to his left hand,
Häy Khotänlik yash balilar,
Hey, young boys of Khotan,
Baghri yumshaq Qaraqashliq,
Kind people of Qaraqash,
Shäri'ätni tutunglar,
Hold to Islamic law,
Namaz qaza qilmanglar,
Do not delay prayer,
Ondin birni öshrini berip yänglar,
Give a tithe of one in ten,
Qiriqtin birni zakatti berip yänglar.
Give a zakat of one in forty.
Kishigä di lazar qilmanglar däp
Do not hurt the hearts of others, said
Himmätlik Ghojam Pashsha.
Gracious Ghojam Pasha.
Däwza aldida tursa,
As he stood in front of the gate,
Zang'guydiki Mimanbay,
Mimanbay of Zangguy,
Miminkhaning bir oghli,
One of Mimankhan's sons,
Khät tashlapqina qachti.
Ran away to toss off a letter.
Xetini körüp baqsa,
When he saw the letter,
Ey Abdurakhman Pasha,
"Hey, Abdurakhman Pasha,
Märd-märdanä bolar bolsang,
If you are brave,
Urush mäydanigha chiqqin sän,
You will go out to the battlefield,
Urush mäydanigha chiqalmisang,
If you do not go out to the battlefield,
Bu shähärni bikarlighin.
Please vacate this city."
Degän khätni bir körüp,
He took a look at this letter,
Himmätlik Ghojam,
Gracious Ghojam,
Anisining aldigha käldi:
He came in front of his mother:
"Way ana jenim ana,
"Oh mother, dear mother,
Kechidin körgän chüshümdä,
In the dream I saw last night,
Yättä itning arisida qelip,
I was among seven dogs,
Bu chüshni körüp qaptim ana.
I saw this dream, mother.
Ätigän tang atqanda,
When dawn broke in the morning,
Däwza aldida tursam,
As I stood in front of the gate,
Bir älchi haramzadä,
A bastard messenger,
Khät tashlapqina qachti.
He ran away, having dropped off the letter.
Khetini körüp baqsam:
When I looked at the letter:
'Ey Abdurakhman Pasha,
'Hey, Abdurakhman Pasha,
Oghul bala ärkäk bolar bolsang,
If you want to be a real boy, a real man,
Urush mäydanimizgha kälgin,
Come to the battlefield,
Urush mäydanigha kelälmisäng,
If you do not come to the battlefield,
Bu shähärni bikarlighin.'
Vacate the city.'
Degän khätkän uz ana.
So says the letter, dear mother,
Bu jäng'gä barghili ana,
To go to the war, mother,
Äsli dilim tartmaydu.
I have no will to go.
Barmay desäm bolmaydu ana,
But I must go, mother,
Qandaq qilimän," degändä.
What should I do?" he said.


Translation by Elise Anderson and Mutallip Iqbal

Shahzadä Qämbär didiki: I padishahi aläm, chüshkä täbir bärgüchi kishi pästä turup, chüshning täbirini anglighuchi kishi täkht üstidä bulurmu, didi. Padishah täkht bäkhlirini bikar qilip, Shahzadä Qämbärni täkht üstigä achiqip qoyup. Ämdi körgän chüshini birinbirin Shahzadä Qämbärgä sözligänliri, padishah nimä däydur qeni:

Kichä körgän chüshümdin,
Ol chüshümdin qorqimän. (2x)
Kichä körgän chüshümdä,
Qan kichip yatalmidim. (2x)
Shährimdin ayrilmaqni,
Sän manga rawa äylimä. (2x)
Ol beshimdin way mining,
Ol seriq sämbär gül, (2x)
Way zimingä chechildi.
Aghzimdin bir jüp qush,
Pärwaz qilip uchti,
Ikki yenimdin ikki yolwas,
Way mini talap aldi. (2x)
Kichä körgän chüshümdin,
Ol chüshümdin qorqimän. (2x)

Ämdi padishah körgän chüshini birinbirin Shahzadä Qämbärgä sözlidi. Ämdi Shahzadä Qämbär padishahning körgän chüshini anglap, bu padishahning chüshigä nimä däp täbir biridu qeni? Ämdi Shahzadä Qämbärdin söz ishtmäk kiräk.

Ol bashingdin sachilghan
Ol seriq sämbär gül,
Qizil qaningdur, didi. (all three lines 2x)
Aghzingizdin uchqan qush
Rohi janingdur, didi.
Talap alghan ikki yolwas,
Yüsüp-Ähmädtur, didi. (2x)

Atlirining yurghisi
Quyunchä bardur.
Qaysi shähärgä at salsa
Shuni aladur.
Ol bäglärning palwanliqi
Rostämchä bardur.
Yüsüp alidu shähringni,
Körgin tamasha. (two lines 2x)
Ol beshingdin sachlighan,
Seriq sämbär gül,
Ol seriq sämbär gül,
Qizil qaningdur.
Aghzingizdin uchqan qush,
Rohi janingdur.
Talap alghan ikki yolwas,
Yüsüp alidu shähiringni,
Körgin tamasha.
Yüsüp bilän u Ähmäd,
Häm musulmandur. (two lines 2x)
Da'im qilghan ishliri,
Yüsüp alidu shähiringni,
Körgin tamasha. (two lines 2x)
Yüsüp bilän Ähmäd Bäg,
Ikki shir-batur. (two lines 2x)
Ol bäglärning palwanliqi,
Rostämchä bardur. Yüsüp alidu shähiringni,
Körgin tamasha.
Bäglär kilidu aqiwät,
Shirina sözläp. (two lines 2x)

Äl qissä, Shahzadä Qämbär padishahning chüshigä shundaq täbir bärdi. Padishah bu Shahzadä Qämbärning gipini anglap, Shahzadä Qämbärni därhal zindan bashliqi Hämdishäp digän kapirni chaqiritip turup, zindan bashliqi Hämdishäp digän kapirning quligha tapshurup bärdi.

Shahzadä Qämbärni säksän yättä baldaqliq shota bilän tigigä yetip chüshidighan, bundaq eghir gunahqa yitip hechqandaq kishini salmighan zindangha tashliwätkin, buninggha bir loqma ta'am bärmigin, bir qäträ su bärmigin. Yaghachtäk qurup ölüp kätsunlär, däp ämir qildi.

Shahzadä Qämbärni shu küni säksän yättä baldaq shota bilän tigigä yitip chüshidighan zindangha bänid qilip tashliwätti. Ämdi, Padishah täräp-täräpkä namä äwätip, täräp-täräpkä xäwär äwätip, 360 shähärning khalayiqlirini yighdurup: Manga qandaqlikin kishi Yüsüp-Ähmäd bäglärni tutup äkilip bärsä, shundaq kishigä padishahliq täkhtimni birimän. Undaq kishini altun-kümüsh, dunya-oqattin bihajät qilimän. Shundaq kishigä ta ömrüm ötkünchä wäzir bulup ishläymän, didi.

The king told of his dream in great detail. Shahzadä Qämbär said, "Hey, King of the world, should the person interpreting the dream be so low, while the person listening sits upon the throne?" Getting down, the king put Shahzadä Qämbär on the throne. Now listen to what the king said as he described the details of his dream:

The dream I had one night,
I am afraid of this dream. (2x)
In the dream I had one night,
I was wading through blood. (2x)
That I will be separated from my city
Do not tell me. (2x)
From my head,
A yellow sämbär flower, (2x)
Scattered on the ground.
From my mouth, a pair of birds,
Flew out.
From both sides of me, two tigers,
Oh, they bit me. (2x)
The dream I had one night,
I am afraid of this dream. (2x)

The king described his dream to Shahzadä Qämbär in detail. Having heard the king's dream, what interpretation did he give? We should listen to Shahzadä Qämbär:

"Scattered from your head,
The yellow sämbär flower,
Is your red blood," he said. (all three lines 2x)
"The bird that flew out of your mouth,
Is your spirit," he said.
"The two tigers that bit you,
Are Yüsüp and Ähmäd," he said. (2x)

"The speed of Yüsüp and Ähmäd's horses
Is like a tornado.
Whatever city they enter on horseback,
They will take that city.
The bravery of Yüsüp and Ähmäd
Is like Rustam's.
Yüsüp will take your city,
Sit back and watch. (two lines 2x)
Scattered from your head,
The yellow sämbär flower,
That yellow sämbär flower,
Is your red blood.
The bird that flew out of your mouth,
Is your spirit.
The two tigers that bit you,
Are Yüsüp and Ähmäd.
Yüsüp will take your city,
Sit back and watch.
Both Yüsüp and Ähmäd,
Are Muslim. (two lines 2x)
Their everyday work,
Is religious duty.
Yüsüp will take your city,
Sit back and watch. (two lines 2x)
Both Yüsüp and Ähmäd
They are two brave lions. (two lines 2x)
The bravery of these bags,
Is like Rustam's.
Yüsüp will take your city,
Sit back and watch.
The bags will come in the end,
Speaking sweetly."

Shahzadä Qämbär interpreted the king's dream thus. Hearing Shahzadä Qämbär's words, the king immediately ordered Hämdishäp, the infidel dungeon-keeper, to imprison Shahzadä Qämbär.

"Throw him into the dungeon at the depth of an eighty-seven-runged ladder so that no one may reach him. No one has committed such a grave sin as he has. Give him not a single morsel of food, give him not a drop of water. May he die as dry as wood," he said, giving orders.

That day, they threw Shahzadä Qämbär in the dungeon at the depth of an eight-seven-runged ladder. The king sent out decrees everywhere, gathering the people of 360 cities. "I will give my throne to whomever captures and brings me Yüsüp and Ähmäd. I will see to it that he does not want for gold and silver, for earthly things. I will work as a vizier to him for the rest of my life," he said.


Translation by Elise Anderson and Mutallip Iqbal

Bishnav hamd-i Alim-i Kholiq-i jud
Kirdigor-i jahon-u Haiy-i Wadud
Khilqatoro-yi harfe Kun fa-yakun
On ki orad faroz-u shebu burun.
Orad az olam-i adam hasti,
Pas bino-yi balandi-yu pasti.
Gunbaz oroyad-u malak sozad,
Poygasht-i malak falak sozad.
Huru ghulon dar uu chu sham'u siroj
(Mekunad)Dod z-in guna dar bihisht riwoj
Just ham Nuhu nuri vahdat-i Shoh,
Guft, ki la ilaha illa llah
Doramat dar ilohiyot ba qabul,
Ai tu parvardigor ammo tu rasul.

Mazhar-i jud-u adam, khodim-i lavhu qalam
Nuqta-i asror-u fahm, Shoh Said ul-Hasan.
Shud zi Muborak sukhan, nuqta ba vasf-i Hasan
Nutq-e az u bar diham, Shoh Said-ul-Hasan

Doni, ki rubab-i mo chiho meguyad?
Az zot-i pok-i Murtazo meguyad.
In pora-yi chub-i qoq az qudrat-i ust,
Ba kom-i zabonash yo Khudo meguyad.

Doni, ki rubab-i ishq-ro tor ki bud?
Sarpanja-yi on rubab ustod ki bud?
Ustod-i tamom-i anbiyo Jabrail ast,
Doni, ki ba Jabrail ustod ki bud?

"Naqsh-i dolon" (Corridor decoration) (2:172:46)
Kashidam chand harf-i mashqiyona
Bimonad yodgor-i har zamona.
Hazor-u sesad-u dah bud guftam,
Ki dar moh-i safar mond in nishona.

Next poetic fragment (2:483:49)
Har mushk ast nofay-e mushk-i Khitan-Khitan.
Khurram bahor-u ast (ghuncha) zi vaslat chaman chaman,
Az nolaho-yi zor-i Muborak watan-watan.

Next poetic fragment (3:505:06)
Mazhar-i jud-u adam, khodim-i lavhu qalam,
Nuqta-i asror-u fahm, Shoh Said ul-Hasan.
Shud zi Muborak sukhan, nuqta ba vasf-i Hasan,
Nutq-e az u bar diham, Shoh Said-ul-Hasan.

Hear the praise of the All Knowing, the Creator of Beings,1
The Creator of the World and the Everlasting, the Loving.
The source of creation is the letter, "Be, and it is" [Kun fa-yakun],2
He brings fortune and misfortune.
He brings existence from non-existence,
Rise and fall, superiority and inferiority.
He creates the universe and the angels,
From the patrolling of angels he creates heaven.
Houris3 and giants are like candles in it,
[He] bestowed the heavens with these species.
He sought Noah, light and union with the King,
He said: "There is no god, but God" [La ilaha illa-llah].
I accept you into divinity,
You are the Lord and the Prophet.

"Naqsh-i dolon" (Corridor decoration) (2:172:46)
I drew some letters for exercise
To be remembered forever.
I said this [when] it was the one thousand three hundred and tenth [year],
The month of Safar4 is the omen.

Next poetic fragment (2:483:49)
Every musk is the fragrance of Khotanese musk.
The spring is cheerful and the flower garden is fresh from your union,
From the deplorable cry, the fatherland of Muborak.

Next poetic fragment (3:505:06)
The manifestation of being and non-being, the custodian of the Tablet and Pen,
The point of secrets and comprehension is Shah Said al-Hasan.5
These words come from Mubarak for the praise of Hasan,
All I say [is] about Shah Said al-Hasan.


1. Names of God.

2. A phrase from the Qur'an that refers to the creation of the universe by the word of Allah.

3. Houri refers to a "pure companion" made available to all believers in paradise.

4. The second month in the Muslim calendar

5. Shah Said al-Hasan (d. 1881) was the first Aga Khan, Imam of Mubarak Wakhani's time.

© 2015 - The Music of Central Asia - All rights reserved