15 September 2016The Second World Nomad Games (WNG) was held on 3-8 September 2016, in Kyrgyzstan. The official ceremonies and major competitions were launched on the shore of the biggest lake in Central Asia,Issyk-Kul, at the newly constructed hippodrome in Baktuu-Dolonotu village. In support of the global UNESCO initiatives in the framework of the “International Decade for the Rapprochement of Cultures, 2013-2022” and with the participation of the UNESCO Cluster Office in Almaty, the WNG promotes the protection and revival of the culture, identity and lifestyles of nations over the world in a period of rapid globalization, the renaissance of historical heritage of the nomadic civilization as well as the encouragement of peaceful relations among countries.
Athletes from 62 countries gathered for the World Nomad Games to compete in 28 different traditional sports, including archery, horseback wrestling, horse racing, Toguz Korgool (intellectual board game) and other traditional nomadic games. More than 500 representatives of mass media arrived to cover the event and 500 million spectaculars throughout the world tuned into the opening ceremony on TV.
Kyrgyzstan, in cooperation with Kazakhstan, Turkey and a number of other states, developed its own branded international event, the main idea of which is the realization of ethnocultural, ethnosport and scientific programmes. The delegation of UNESCO was invited by the President of Kyrgyzstan, Mr. Almazbek Atambayev, as special guests to participate in the official opening ceremony and launching of the a newly created Ethno Village in Kyrchyn Gorge that consists of 288 yurts and named “Kyrgyz Auly” or “Kyrgyz Village”. It was announced that the future Nomad Games will also be taking place in Kyrgyzstan.
“In today's world, mankind forgets its origins. There is a threat of disappearance of unique cultures and nations, changing national borders. The destruction of the environment leads to disastrous consequences at regional and global level. Therefore, the main mission of the World Nomad Games is the idea of the rapprochement of nations and cultures,” said President Almazbek Atambayev of Kyrgyzstan.
In September 2008, UNESCO and The Association for International Sport for All (TAFISA) made the Busan Appeal on the Promotion and Preservation of Traditional Sports and Games that validated the importance of traditional games and sports as a vehicle for tolerance, solidarity, integration, cultural awareness and world peace.
Therefore, the WNG acts as a new driver for the rapprochement of nations and cultures through the essence of nomadic traditions and lifestyle. Nomadic civilizations have coexisted in harmony with nature for centuries, providing a timeless model for sustainable development.