Silk Road Heritage Cultural-Tourism Rangorang Festival
On 30th August 2014, VSO/ICS Tajikistan in partnership with the Committee of Youth Affairs, Sports and Tourism under the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan held the 3rd annual Silk Road Heritage Rangorang Festival in Dushanbe Botanical Garden. The overall theme of the festival was inclusive economic development through tourism promotion. By providing an opportunity for sellers and tourist providers to meet such tourists in Dushanbe, in exciting and enjoyable environment domestic and international tourists have been attracted. The Festival was organized grander in scale and secure a wider pool of sponsors, with the ambition of building on the attendance of last year from 2500 people to 3000, and to work more closely with tourism operators and embassies. There was above 5600 attendees in the Festival.
As a general observation from the festival, overall feedback was very positive, with attendees expressing their thanks and enjoyment to festival organizers throughout the day, which was evidenced in the surveys. Most popular with attendees was the showcase of Tajik crafts and musical performances, followed also by the
chance to meet and talk with people of different nationalities, demonstrating the international aspect of the festival.
The slogan of the festival was ‘share your knowledge, show your culture’, with an emphasis on showcasing Tajik culture through the display of cultural handicrafts and products, as well as traditional dance and song performances. Speaking to tourists and experts from countries including England, France, Germany, America, Russia, India, China and Pakistan, it was found that the festival was successful in attracting a range of international tourists, many of whom who purchased items from local sellers.
The tourism operators who had attended in previous years agreed that overall this festival was a major improvement on the previous years, emphasizing that they found the event a very useful opportunity to be able to communicate with tourists and experts.
Rangorang 2014 was a great opportunity for many local handicraft sellers to showcase their products and culture, to tourists and expats from other nationalities, with sellers coming from Kulob, Qurghonteppa and the Pamirs, showcasing different regional traditions. They did also visible involve by selling their products and handicrafts.
Festival music and performance section of the festival provided an opportunity for up and coming artists in Dushanbe to show off their talent, as well as showcasing Tajik and international culture. It there was range of different acts, and that there was an equal inclusion of male and female performers.
Feedback from performers was very positive, enjoying their performance and expressing their gratitude for such an appreciative and large audience. This satisfaction meant that several of the scheduled performers were willing to perform longer than their allocated slot in order to fill in for missing acts, and so it is vital that the stage is well managed and that all performers are well looked after, developing a strong mutual understanding between organisers and performers.
One of the strengths of the music and performance section was the variety of acts have been able to secure, from a children’s fashion show (by Nafisa Imranova), a mixed martial arts showcase and blind accordion player (Abdukholik Sufiev), to the famous Zikriolloh Hakimov, a circus act and a dance performance from the Pakistan Embassy.
Many of the performers sang well-known songs, encouraging the audience to sing along and to dance, creating a very lively and vibrant atmosphere, adding to its success.
The Botanic Garden was an excellent venue as it had already covered stages, meaning that money did not have to be spent setting up a stage area. There was also an additional weather alongside the main stage, which we chose to use as a kids area, running activities and games to occupy children throughout the day. Activities included ball games, drawing and painting, as well as a body art and face painter who was very popular with both children and adults! Throughout the day, the kids area was incredibly busy and a major success, which was helped further by the popular bouncy castle and sumo suits brought by Sworde Teppa (NGO based in Qurghonteppa).
Silk Road Heritage Festival was a great opportunity for sellers, tourist operators and NGOs to sell their products and advertise their organizations to tourists and locals. On the day of the festival there was a great atmosphere with a range of performances, showcasing Tajik culture to people from around the world. There have been attracted an extensive amount of international tourists, helping to fulfill our aim of promoting international tourism in Tajikistan. VSO Tajikistan in partnership with Committee of Youth Affairs, Sports and Tourism successfully raised the profile of the Festival amongst businesses, organisations, locals and tourists, and with several groups.