UAE shares own experience at the World Nomad Games

The third World Nomadic Games represented an opportunity to showcase the UAE’s Bedouin heritage and lay cultural bridges between various nations.
Sunday 09/09/2018
Celebrating heritage. Emirati and Kyrgyz archery contestants at the World Nomad Games in Kyrgyzstan.  (Abu Dhabi Festivals, Cultural and Heritage Programs Committee)
Celebrating heritage. Emirati and Kyrgyz archery contestants at the World Nomad Games in Kyrgyzstan. (Abu Dhabi Festivals, Cultural and Heritage Programs Committee)

ABU DHABI - The United Arab Emirates was among 80 countries that recently took part in the third World Nomadic Games in Cholpon-Ata, north of Bishkek, capital of Kyrgyzstan.

This was the second time the Emirates took part in the World Nomad Games. The festival represented an opportunity to showcase the UAE’s Bedouin heritage and lay cultural bridges between various nations in a spirit of tolerance and openness.

The Emirati pavilion showed local traditional objects and cultural products. The Heritage Corner at the pavilion offered Emirati cuisine and pastries, bridal clothes and jewellery and carpet-making techniques.

The Emirati General Women’s Union presented the essential role of Emirati women in producing and preserving UAE’s heritage as well as their effective economic role.

The Heritage Corner had live demonstrations of traditional crafts, such as sadu (a traditional form of weaving), spinning and the art of making clothing and decorating brides. Emirati women demonstrated applying henna, kohl and tattooing. Visitors partook of varied Emirati dishes and cooking ingredients, including varieties of stuffed bread.

Fujairah Crown Prince Mohammed al-Sharqi made an official visit to the Emirati pavilion, hearing a presentation by the organisers on the Emirati cultural elements that were inscribed on the UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage List, such as poetic forms known as Taghrooda (chanted poetry) and Al Azi (recitation of poems without music or rhythmic instruments), the folk dance of Razfa and sadu.

Noura bint Mohammed al-Kaabi, UAE minister of culture and knowledge development, highlighted the importance of having the UAE participate in international events that provide opportunities to introduce UAE culture, traditions and heritage to international audiences.

The Emirati presence at such festivals reflects the care the country takes in preserving its heritage.

“The UAE strives to strengthen cultural relations with the Republic of Kyrgyzstan and to develop appropriate ways for the development of cultural and artistic activities through bilateral participation in various events. Our presence here today is an opportunity for interaction and dialogue with other cultures and for achieving understanding and harmony with the various peoples of the world,” Kaabi said.

Faris Khalaf al-Mazrouei, chairman of the Abu Dhabi Festivals, Cultural and Heritage Programs Committee, said the UAE’s participation in the World Nomadic Games “aims to strengthen the UAE’s cultural cooperation with the various nations of the world in general.”

Mazrouei pointed out that 2018 represented the UAE’s second trip to the World Nomadic Games after the 2016 event was “outstanding and drew a lot of attention.”

“The World Nomadic Games is an ambitious and important cultural festival. Not only it keeps alive and promotes the traditions and games of the nomadic peoples but also strengthens friendship relations around the world,” he said.

Issa Seif al-Mazrouei, vice-chairman of the festivals committee, described the UAE’s participation “as a valuable contribution to international efforts for the purpose of preserving the identity and cultures of nomadic peoples and their specific way of life in a globalised world.”

“The Emirati participation also contributes to bringing people together for fruitful exchanges while at the same time highlighting the common human values present in all heritages,” he added.

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