Thursday, April 21, 2011

Meanwhile, back in Turkmenistan...

Festively garbed Turkmen women admire an exhibit of horse paintings.
While we're preparing for Easter this Sunday, in Turkmenistan they are preparing for one of their most important holidays, Turkmen Horse Day. Throughout Turkmenistan they have festivals, contests and exhibitions in honor of their prized Akhalteke "Heavenly Horses" breed of racing horses.

President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov kicked off the week-long festivities with the following speech:

“I heartily congratulate you on the opening of the “Horse – the Wings of Revival” Exhibition and III International Conference “Turkmen Horse and Art of World Horse Breeding” in honor of the Turkmen Horse Day. I wish good health, long life and family well being to you and every success in work to the exhibition and international conference!”

“The age-old national values have been revived in our country during the years of independence. The wonderful traditions of the Turkmen people, their customs and rites, holidays and festivities have been enriched with a new content and gained a new meaning in the epoch of new Revival and great reforms. The state has created the conditions conducive to reviving former worldwide fame of our ‘heavenly’ horses, which have been a cherished adornment of the celebrations at all times.

“The Turkmen Horse Day is celebrated solemnly and widely in our country each year on the last Sunday of April in honor of horses called the wings of the soul of the Turkmen people. It is encouraging that scientists, horse breeders, experts, connoisseurs of Ahalteke horses from all over the world come to our country to participate in celebra...

Ooops, sorry about that. I must have dozed off typing that in. Anyway, I'm sure it was a fine speech.

What interests me about it is that National Holidays are often times days where prisoners are granted amnesty. As near as I can tell the Turkmen government spends the year randomly tossing people into jail and then pardons them to make room to toss other people into jail.

In light of my Free Ma-Ro campaign, which admittedly hasn't exactly caught fire in the blogsphere for some odd reason, I think Turkmen Horse Day would be the first holiday during which the Turkmenstani pop star, his dad, brother and brother-in-law might be granted amnesty. I wish them good luck. 

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