all the trade and song of the Volga region –


The new ethno-cultural festival brings together masters, artists and connoisseurs of crafts and folk art in one stay

The first international ethnocultural festival Aga-Bazar was held in the Bolgar museum-reserve on July 3. lively place of commerce, meeting with merchants from Europe and Asia, but also a cultural center. The calendar of modern life of the Great Bolgar has been added along with another interesting date. The organizers hope that the festival will become permanent. Where to find the recreation of ancient jewelry in the craft rows, whether it is easy to learn how to play the vargan, and why double-humped camels will move from Central Asia to Russia – read Realnoe Vremya’s report.

What games did the bazaar-bash play

The “Oriental Bazaar” is the central point of attraction of the whole festival. It is the merchant stalls – artisanal and gastronomic – which are the first to welcome the guests. Researcher of the Bolgar Museum-Reserve Renat Vagapov (also bazaar-bash [chief] festival) says: about 600 participants came from all over the country (but mainly from the Volga region). About 70 of them are artisans who present their products. The party gathered at least 4,000 guests.

“In addition to the fast-paced trade, one can participate in master classes – for example, old games. Today, under the Uen Fest tent, I discovered the European game “quarta”, which develops logic and imagination. Come back another time – I’ll teach you how to play alkerk, a medieval Arabic game like checkers – we have a lot of vacations. There are no gastronomic master classes today, but our participants actively present their products to the guests, ”Vagapov said.

The bazaar-bash promised that there would not be cheap Chinese goods in the trade stalls, but that there would be unique items and handmade goods in abundance. Indeed, the producers offered halva and pastila, honey and propolis. According to the participants themselves, they did not have to pay for a place in the bazaar, and the organizers themselves provided them with a commercial tent and counters. There were also original shops: for example, you could taste hot Udmurt perepechs, which are prepared over an open fire. The chefs took it with them … a mobile oven!

Oriental Bazaar is the focal point of the entire festival

The best tea for warriors

An attractive place, surprisingly, was the point where they learned how to brew fireweed – according to the original and unique rule. Yevgenia Tereshina, a craftswoman from Yelabuga district, said two families (her and her daughter) have left the towns to open their own farm. At the same time, they embarked on the collection and production of fireweed, even organized such a festival – this year it will be held on July 24 in the village of Novaya Anzirka, Yelabuga district.

“The peculiarity of fireweed infusion is that it does not contain caffeine, so it is useful even for pregnant women, the elderly. After all, the secret is in the consistency: if you stir it strongly – it soothes, weaker – it invigorates. The sheet must first be prepared – grounding on a special board with a wire in a special container turned over. We offer to do this to festival guests, mainly men – it takes a lot of effort. Then we brew fermented fireweed in this way. Before the revolution, such a drink was especially recommended to soldiers – as a restorative and life-prolonging “, the craftswoman shared her secrets.

Nadezhda Shaykhislamova presented the antique jewelry replicas of Tatar and Bashkir women at the oriental bazaar

Beautiful replica

Nadezhda Shaykhislamova, a master of applied arts from the Milli Khasite union, presented replicas of ancient jewelry from Tatar and Bashkir women at the Eastern Bazaar:

“All the accessories in my shop are plastic, sometimes stones are added. They are very large, but such a material makes them lighter and cheaper. This is why they are called replicas. Real jewelry reconstructions are first-class jewelry, their price reaches 10,000 rubles. If such jewelry appears in an auction, it is quickly bought because connoisseurs know that it will not be possible to get such a large number anytime soon. But our reenactments can be seen in Aga Bazar anyway – in the national courtyard where representatives of different ethnicities show off their particular national values, from costumes to meals.

The central stage was located directly behind the stores

How will your jaw harp sound?

The central stage was located directly behind the stores. The first Aga Bazaar officially opened there. Deputy head of Tatarstan spa district Sergey Tyunev and director of Bolgar museum-reserve Ramil Ziganshin did so. Both hoped that the festival would become annual and grow from year to year.

The main meaning of the festival is that the culture of different but neighboring ethnicities is present here. Everyone showed their art on three stages of Aga Bazar – the concerts didn’t stop, the spectators rushed from one inviting melody to another lively dance. The musicians demonstrated rare folk instruments, while the harp could be purchased. Thus Dalila Shaymardanova (Atelier Your Cosmos, Kazan) offered different harps made of steel and brass alloy at the Oriental Bazaar:

“The price range of Jewish harps is wide, each of them sounds particularly: louder, quieter. People are often interested in them, they are curious. Many are afraid to make the first sound but are reassured (as I promise to teach them how to make the first sound in five minutes), they decide to make a purchase.

Dalila Shaymardanova offered different harps made of steel and brass alloy to the oriental bazaar

“Don’t eat Vasya, he’s good!”

There is a camel farm outside the reserve, but only a half-year-old Vasya camel calf arrived at the festival. As the director of the family farm Artyom Kirichenko said, the two-humped baby is here to be exhibited. He can’t even be fed, let alone horseback riding:

“We don’t let anyone ride the animals, even on the farm, located behind the chak-chak museum and made up of 38 camels. The case is that this significantly reduces their lifespan. We can offer our customers camel milk, woolen items, but we will not let them ride the animals. This is why our animals live up to 50-70 years. I will note that a two-humped camel, or Bactrian camel, is going to be on the red list. They mainly live in Central Asia and people have become accustomed to consuming them. They ate them all, to put it simply. So I will only be happy if they migrate from the deserts and steppes of our neighbors to the vast regions of Russia. It is a very peaceful, communicative animal, it will not attack a person first, ”said the farmer.

There is a camel farm outside the reserve, but only a one-and-a-half-year-old Vasya camel calf made it to the festival

Award winning horse

By the way, camels aren’t the only ones welcoming Aga Bazaar guests. An inhabitant of Bolgar who modestly decided not to show up brought one of his horses which he breeds for his pleasure. It’s a real diamond – a Standardbred named Colombina. Experts call these horses “a distinctive award-winning horse”. A strong and large enough horse immediately attracts the attention of those who are not indifferent to animals. The horse breeder allowed photos to be taken with the horse and let people ride it for free. However, Colombina herself was a little alarmed. Maybe she was just flirtatious. As her owner explained, a male horse is nearby, she wants to attract him.

While some festival guests visited the stores, others enjoyed the performances of artists. National costumes of Tatars and Russians, Chuvashs and Mordvins, Husbands and Udmurts, songs and dances alternated. A big concert with artists from the artistic union IsTElek took place on the main stage in the evening. Various groups and many other virtuoso artists of folk fusion and electronic music performed there. Heavy rain attempted to stop guests and bring the festival to a close at noon, but guests took refuge in cafes and tea rooms, and the laughter and songs resonated with new strength after the rain.

Anna Tarletskaya. Photo: Anna Tarletskaya


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