175th anniversary of the great Kazakh philosopher and poet Abay

175th anniversary of the great Kazakh philosopher and poet Abay

Ibragim Kunanbayev (Abay) was born on August 10, 1845, in the city of Semipalatinsk (since 2007 — Semey). The world-famous nickname Abay was given to the future poet and educator of Kazakhstan by his grandmother. It means "attentive", "careful".

His family belonged to the local nobility. His father was the eldest sultan and a very well-to-do man. Abay got married early, at the age of 17 he already became a father. In total, he had 10 children from three wives. Abay Kunanbayev received his education in a local madrasah. There he became interested in Arabic and Persian literature, and read the works of Saadi, Hafiz, Firdousi, and Nizami.

According to tradition, he was supposed to lead his family, but at the age of 28, he chose the self-education.

Contacts with political exiles who were serving their sentences in Semipalatinsk became a landmark event for Abay Kunanbayev. Through communication with them, he not only became closely acquainted with Russian and European cultures but also became their main guide among the Kazakhs.

Abay Kunanbayev wrote his first poems in his youth. He was greatly influenced by the works of poets and scholars of the East, Russian writers and poets, as well as Western European literature. Abay's Work had a significant impact on the nascent Kazakh national intelligentsia of the late XIX − early XX centuries. He introduced new dimensions, rhymes and poetic forms to the Kazakh versification. He composed almost 170 poems and made more than 50 translations.

The most famous work of Abay Kunanbayev is the poem "the Book of words"("Words of edification"). Contains 45 parables and philosophical treatises. In this work, the Kazakh poet analyzes the history of his people, the problems of upbringing, the national worldview, the prevailing law and morality in society. Currently, the streets and avenues of almost all cities of Kazakhstan are named after Abay. The state Kazakh pedagogical Institute is named in his honour.

The award in his name was also established. It is awarded for achievements in literature and it has the state status. Other places that named after him include the Opera house in Almaty, a mountain peak in the Alatau spur. In Kazakhstan, in 2020, Kunanbayev's birthday, August 10, became a new holiday date — Abai Day. Many different events were prepared for it, most of which, taking into account quarantine restrictions, were held in an online format.

The Russian capital did not stay away from a memorable date. At the monument to the founder of Kazakh literature Abay, installed in 2006 on Chistoprudny Boulevard near the Embassy of Kazakhstan, an unusual event was held - "Abay readings". On this day, children, musicians, representatives of culture read poems of the Kazakh poet, performed songs in his honour. The event was organized by the Moscow house of nationalities and the capital's Kazakh national and cultural autonomy.

In one of his works, Abay identified five enemies of the Kazakh people — slander, lies, bragging, idleness and extravagance. In the published article "Abay – spiritual reformer", dedicated to the great son of the Kazakh people, the second President of the Republic of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev noted that these prophetic words do not lose their relevance. The society couldn't completely defeat five enemies.

And now laziness, eloquence, and a desire for an idle life are often manifested. Abay warned against this, according to the Kazakh leader. He taught work and called for spiritual growth.

KazNU: Faculty of Philology   

Department of general linguistics and European languages

Scientific supervisor: Mambetova M. K. cand. sc. philology, acting associate professor                            

Askar Zere Albertkyzy master student of 2nd course