Audio & Video Tracks | CHAPTER 12

Kyrgyz Funeral Laments

  • Ref. 12.1
    Koshok sung at a Kyrgyz memorial feast in Aksy region. Performed by Anash Andeleyeva.
  • Ref. 12.2
    "Chyngyz ölbös bolsochu" ("Tribute to Chingiz Aitmatov")
    Composed and performed by Elmirbek Imanaliev. Film footage compiled by Aytysh Film Co., Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan.
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    Aytaiyn sözdün chyndygyn
    Let me tell the truth,
    Arman kün,
    Azaptuu boldu bul kylym.
    It [the twenty-first century] was a sad century for us.
    Manastan kiyin kyrgyzym
    After Manas, my Kyrgyz,
    Maktanych bolchu Chyngyzyng.
    Your Chingiz was your pride.
    Aytmatov Chyngyz jarkygan
    We used to say that Chingiz
    Ak tangybyz dechü elek.
    Was our white dawn.
    Aytylyp bütpös düynödö
    We used to say he was a world saga
    Dastanybyz dechü elek.
    That had no ending.
    Aalamdyk adabiyattyn
    We used to say that
    Arstanybyz dechü elek.
    He was the lion of world literature.
    Aalamda sizdey az ele
    The world had few people like you.
    Ala-Too bolup ugulchu
    Just the name of our father would sound
    Atabyzdyn aty ele.
    Like our Ala-Too Mountains.
    Alysky bashka ölködö
    In faraway foreign countries,
    Al özünchö masele.
    He was a different story.
    Tarykhty bilbey kee bir el, bizdi
    Those peoples who didn't know our history
    Taanybay kalsa ech ele.
    And forgot who we were,
    Kyrgyzdyn debey kyrgyzdy
    Used to know us as the Kyrgyz,
    Chyngyzdyn eli dechü ele.
    As the people of Chingiz.
    Emi oshol
    Atabyzdy köralbay,
    Unable to see our father and
    Atabyz bar dey albay,
    Unable to say that he is alive,
    Engirep turbuz kaygydan
    Unable to come to our senses,
    Ekh arman,
    Oh, alas,
    Esibizge kelalbay.
    We feel lost in deep grief.
    Ak jamgyr bozdop tökköndöy-oy,
    As if the rain were pouring tears,
    Ak boroon ulup ötköndöy,
    As if a blizzard blew by sounding like a howling wolf.
    Ala-Toonun bashynan,
    It is as if the white glacier on the Ala-Too Mountains
    Ak möngü erip köchköndöy.
    Has melted and slid down.
    Atasy ketti uruktun,
    The father of the nation has left
    Aylasyz düynö kömgöndöy.
    And we have no choice but to bury him.
    Aalamyng kaldy tomsorup
    Your world is left behind alone
    Asmandan Aydy bölgöndöy.
    As if the moon became separated from the sky.
    Elibiz eey kyrgyz kaygyda
    Our Kyrgyz people are grieving
    Er Manas eki ölgöndöy.
    As if their hero, a second Manas, had died.
    Ak dayra bolup aktyngyz,
    You were like a white river that flowed fully,
    Aalamdy tirep böksörböy.
    And lifted the world up.
    Ordunda ushul shum düynö
    This devious world never stood
    Oo kachan turgan özgörböy.
    In one place without changing.
    Jalgandyn ushul myizamy
    It is the law of the false world
    Jazmyshka aalam köngöndöy.
    That makes the entire world submit to [God's] order.
    Kökürök tütöp turabyz
    We stand now with our hearts burning
    Köktön bir Kündü bölgöndöy.
    As if the sun became separated from the sky.
    Kaygydan kyrgyz elibiz
    The Kyrgyz people grieve so much
    Kan Bakay kayra ölgöndöy.
    As if Khan Bakay1 has died again.
    Ömürdün jolu burulush,
    Life has difficult turns,
    Özüngüz joktop turubuz.
    We mourn your death.
    Köz ötkönchö jaryktan,
    Until we pass away from this world,
    Kör tirliktin kulubuz.
    We live as slaves of our daily suffering.
    Aiyrmangyz atake--siz
    But you were different, dear father,
    Andaydan biyik turdunguz.
    You stood above them.
    Akyldyn alip jarygyn
    You took the light of wisdom
    Adamzatyna sundunguz.
    And gave it to mankind.
    Ala-Toonun koynunan,
    You flowed like a spring gushing
    Atylyp chygyp bulaktay,
    From the heart of the Ala-Too Mountains
    Alp dengizderge kuydunguz.
    And poured into giant seas.
    Atlanttyn ar jagyn kayra
    You turned the world's attention beyond the Atlantic Ocean
    Aziyaga burdunguz.
    To Asia.
    Altyndan ordo kurbastan,
    Instead of building a palace from gold,
    Akyldan ordo kurdunguz.
    You built a palace from wisdom.
    Biz jürbüz--
    While we went around being proud
    Ayalym, bala,tuugan dep,
    That our wife gave birth to a baby boy,
    Aalamga kyzmat kyldyngiz, oooy . . .
    Served the entire world . . .
    Atagy kylym karytkan
    You were a noble, wise man,
    Asyl jan eleng daanyshman.
    With century-old fame.
    Özgö elder bizden köp süyüp sizdi
    Other nations loved you more than us
    Özümdük kylyp alyshkan.
    By making you their own.
    Kün batyshtyn ar jagy
    People who live where the sun sets
    Gülsary atka jem berip
    Gave food to the Gülsary horse2
    Künügö taptap bagyshkan.
    And trained him well every day.
    Jamilany engseship
    They all longed for Jamila3
    Jabyla süyüp kalyshkan.
    And fell in love with her.
    Akbara menen Tashchaynar
    Akbara and Tashchaynar4
    Alardy da bilet alystan.
    Are also known in faraway lands.
    Kayra emi sizdey chygaby
    Will there be a man like you again
    Kalkyn turgay jerinin
    Who can make not only his people known
    Karyshkyryn jurtka taanytkan.
    But the wolves of his land?!5
    Ekh arman!
    Oh, alas!
    Jyldyz öchpös bolsochu,
    I wish the stars would never fade away!
    Chyngyz ölbös bolsochu.
    I wish that Chingiz would be immortal.
    Kyraanynyn ölgönün
    I wish that the Kyrgyz
    Kyrgyz körbös bolsochu.
    Would never see their hero die.
    Aalamdan echen el joktop,
    Many people in the world mourn your death,
    Asman da joktop Jer joktop.
    Even the sky and the earth mourn your death.
    Bardyk aalam ölkönün
    All the leaders of the world
    Bashchylary teng joktop,
    Equally mourn your death.
    Elim menen koshulup
    Together with my people,
    Erlmirbek uulung men joktop.
    I, Elmirbek, your son, mourn your death.
    Aytmatov jashayt ömürdö,
    Aytmatov will live on,
    Ak jyldyz bolup tagyldyng
    For he became an eternal shining star
    Asmandyn kökürögündö.
    Pinned onto the chest of the sky.


    1. Bakay: one of the main characters in the epic Manas - an elderly wise man who served as Manas's adviser.

    2. Gülsary: the name of a horse in Aitmatov's short novel Farewell, Gülsary!, written in 1966. The novel narrates the life journey of an old, golden chestnut horse in parallel to the life journey of an old man, Tanabay, who is a hard-working kolkhozchu, a collective farm worker who strongly believes in communist ideology. In 2008, Kazakhstan's state film company produced a new film based on Farewell, Gülsary! using the same title.

    3. Jamila: the main heroine in Aitmatov's short novel Jamila, written in 1958. After reading the story, the French writer Louis Aragon called it "the world's most beautiful love story." The novel describes the difficult World War II years in a Kyrgyz village and the romance between a young married woman, Jamila, and a young man, Daniar, a soldier who returns wounded from the war and ends up working in the collective farm.

    4. Akbara and Tashchaynar: a wolf couple (Akbara is a she-wolf and Tashchaynar a he-wolf) in Aitmatov's short novel Place of the Skull (Kyyamat in Kyrgyz, Plakha in Russian), written in 1986. The novel tells the story of a wolf pack that comes into contact with humans.

    5. The reference is to the wolf couple in Place of the Skull.




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