Abai Qunanbaiuli ( Kazakhstan )
Abay (Ibrahim) Qunanbayuli (Kazakh: Абай (Ибраһим) Құнанбайұлы (info)) (August 10, 1845 – July 6, 1904) was a great Kazakh poet, composer and philosopher. He was also a cultural reformer toward European and Russian cultures on the basis of enlightened Islam.
Early life and education
Abay was born in what is today the selo of Karauyl, in Abay District, East Kazakhstan Province; the son of Qunanbay and Uljan, Qunanbay’s second wife, they named him Ibrahim, but because of his brightness, he soon was given the nickname “Abay” (meaning “careful”), a name that stuck for the rest of his life.
His father’s economic status enabled the boy to attend a Russian school in his youth, but only after he had already spent some years studying at a madrasah under Mullah Ahmet Ryza. At his school in Semipalatinsk, Abay encountered the writings of Mikhail Lermontov and Alexander Pushkin.
Abay’s main contribution to Kazakh culture and folklore lies in his poetry, which expresses great nationalism and grew out of Kazakh folk culture. Before him, most Kazakh poetry was oral, echoing the nomadic habits of the people of the Kazakh steppes. During Abay’s lifetime, however, a number of important socio-political and socio-economic changes occurred. Russian influence continued to grow in Kazakhstan, resulting in greater educational possibilities as well as exposure to a number of different philosophies, whether Russian, Western or Asian. Abay Qunanbayuli steeped himself in the cultural and philosophical history of these newly opened geographies. In this sense, Abay’s creative poetry affected the philosophical thinking of educated Kazakhs.
Post mark of Soviet Union honoring Abay The leaders of the Alash Orda movement saw him as their inspiration and spiritual predecessor. Contemporary Kazakh images of Abay generally depict him in full traditional dress holding a dombra (the Kazakh national instrument). Today, Kazakhs revere Abay as one of the first folk heroes to enter into the national consciousness of his people. Almaty State University is named after Abay, so is one of the main avenues in the city of Almaty. There are also public schools with his name. The Kazakh city of Abay is named after him. Among Abay’s students was his nephew, a historian, philosopher, and poet Shakarim Qudayberdiuli (1858–1931). Statues of him have been erected in many cities of Kazakhstan, as well as in Moscow. A film on the life of Abay was made by Kazakhfilm in 1995, titled Abai. He is also the subject of two novels by Mukhtar Auezov, another Kazakhstani writer.
AT WILDNESS NIGHT
At windless night a ray from the bright moon
Trembles under the water flowing sparkling.
Near the village there is a deep ravine
And there the river rumbles violently.
From the thick trees all leaves
Converse among themselves whispering,
The soil was hidden under the earth
And the whole world flourished on greens
The mountain echoed, including the muses,
The barking dogs are inciting.
Do you come and wait for,
To meet the dear one in lonesomeness?
Unceremoniously inspired you are,
Now cooling and then warming yourselves,
You cannot breathe, but seek for pleasure,
Apprehensively, frantically frightened
Lingering without saying no words
Heart of the beloved may be beating violently.
Tell whether it was she standing before you
Hiding her chin under your neck?
Translated by Kairat Duissenov Parman
Еdited by Muhammad Shanazar
Желсіз түнде жарық ай,
Сәулесі суға дірілдеп.
Ауылдың жаны терең сай,
Тасыған өзен күрілдеп.
Қалың ағаш жапырағы,
Сыбырласып өзді өзі.
Көрінбей жердің топырағы,
Құлпырған жасыл жер жүзі.
Тау жаңғырып, ән қосып,
Үрген ит пен айтаққа.
Келіп пе едің жол тосып,
Бір суынып, бір ысып.
Дем ала алмай дамыл қып,
Елең қағып, бос шошып.
Сөз айта алмай бөгеліп,
Дүрсіл қағып жүрегі.
Тұрмап па еді сүйеніп,
Тамаққа кіріп иегі?