Gulzhikhan Nurysheva




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Gulzhikhan Nurysheva
Doctor of Philosophical Sciences,

Kazakh national al-Farabi university,



Kazakhstan
The category of the Philosophy of the Kazakh nation
While investigating the essence of Kazakh Philosophy it should always be kept in mind that the Kazakh nation’s worldview is connected with the nomadic lifestyle. As it was fairly stated by the acknowledged philosopher Segizbayev O.A., a brilliant scientist that has devoted his whole life to the investigation of the Kazakh philosophy, “the philosophy of Kazakhs, understandingly, had a lot of commonalities with the world philosophy, there was no other way; but in addition, the peculiarities of the Kazakh life has been reflected in it. And these peculiarities are mainly specified by the nomadic lifestyle of the nation, its mode, habits, the temperament, rites, customs and traditions, and the influence of that socio-cultural environment, in which the whole historical life of Kazakhs has flowed” [1].

It is well-known that in the scientific literature there is no conventional opinion of what the nomadic civilization is. For example, the Europocentrism has developed a negative opinion about it. In fact, the objective analysis shows that the peculiarities of the nomadic lifestyle and its cultural and artistic potential is solid enough, and they have become the major sources of the formation of the main categories of Kazakh worldview.

There are several positive characteristic of the nomadic lifestyle. The nomadic Kazakh nation was integral with the nature, and the determinate set of its nomadic life was the “human-nature” paradigm. The nomadic lifestyle is tightly connected with the movement, and the movement is the aspiration to the improvement and constant renovation. The nomadic lifestyle has added the practical character to Kazakh way of life. Desire for the hoarding and the richness was alien to Kazakh nation. Constant resettlement, long and difficult way of migration from one place to another have developed in Kazakh nation such characteristics as patience, mutual understanding, caring, ability to live in a community, discipline, etc. At the sedentary way of life there is a problem of ruling power, while in the nomadic community the relationships among people are regulated through the traditions and customs. A nomad person, in contrast to a settled person, remains a relatively independent individual in the society.

The endless space of the nomadic lifestyle has become the basis of a particular culture, of distinctive arts of Kazakhs, its high spiritual inspiration. Ch. Valikhanov has fairly stated that the poetic and conceptual spirit of nomadic Kazakhs was influenced by light-hearted nomadic life or by constant contemplation of the nature, by open stellar sky and boundless green steppes [2].

In our opinion, the main category of the philosophic worldview of Kazakhs is life-өмір. Life is the most important value among the values surrounding a human being. Undoubtedly, it is the basis and the absolute pre-condition of all other values. Kazakhs, raising the life and comparing it with the death, stated: «Мың күнгі тамұқтан бір күнгі жарық» (One day of light than thousand days of darkness), «Өлі арыстаннан тірі тышқан» (It’s better to be a living mouse than a dead lion), «Тірі адам тіршілігін жасайды» (A living man will live and create). In the understanding of the Kazakhs a human being should live his life meaningfully, value each and every day, think about it as more as possible, and always aspire for its development. Surprisingly, but the existential question about life is raise in almost all of the national songs. Listening to them it is felt that Kazakhs were diligently calling the fellow countrymen on valuing the life, fulfilling it with the meaning and were regretting that it is transient. To express its philosophic thoughts Kazakhs were using the words of its rich and extremely beautiful language; and it is almost impossible to express its complexity and beauty in another language. For example, the following philosophical thoughts such as «Қыздар бұлбұл/Жігіт дүлдүл/Барады өтіп өмір құрғыр» are understandable only to that Kazakh that speaks his language perfectly. It is not occasionally that there is still no full translation to other languages of the verses and the “Edification Words” of the great Kazakh philosopher and poet Abay Kunanbayev. There are some quite good translations, but they still lack in the communication of the complete content and substance of his thoughts.

In the understanding of Kazakhs, only a human himself through his actions is able to fill his life with the meaning. Kazakhs say: «Дүниеге екі келмек жоқ». A man comes to this life once and he has been given with only one opportunity, and only he himself is accountable for his life. The characteristics of life are also explained through the category «дүние». It should be stressed that the word «дүние» is applicable when: 1) explaining the objective reality (дүние-болмыс), the material richness (дүние-байлық), the surrounding reality (дүние-әлем). But the main philosophical meaning of «дүние» is fully disclosed when characterizing life. The following word combinations «дүние-жалған», «сұм дүние», «өттің дүние», «дүние-арман» perfectly reflect the relativity and shortness of life. These thoughts are particularly well expressed in қара өлең – the simplest way of a verbal creation of Kazakh nation. Қара өлең is a quatrain that  was composed by every Kazakh. Қара өлең very precisely reflects the everyday life of Kazakhs. From the first side, it might seem that in Қара өлең it is suggested to live a life-дүниеeffortlessly and easily, in welfare and joy. But indeed, there were reflected the philosophical thoughts of Kazakhs about life-дүние. Kazakh nation teaches to fill the life with effort, the right satellite of life, with good friends and relatives.

The category that defines the meaning of life is death. In understanding of Kazakhs the death is a natural life phenomenon; it does not exist outside of life but is in the dialectical unity with it. The death is perceived by Kazakhs in tight connection with the lived life of a human. Certainly every person has a subjective fear of death. But Kazakhs rarely make the absolutization of death and the ignorance of life; in addition, there is no concept of life meaninglessness due to the existence of death. If life was meaningful, the death cannot erase it. Only that person is afraid of death if he was not able to fulfill his life with the good acts and intentions. The great Abay in his poetry devoted to his son Abdrahman, who passed away being very young, stresses that it is important how he lived his way but not the fact that he passed away. The attitude of Kazakhs to death is strongly stressed in the thoughts of Kazakh commanders – “Batyrs” who protected their territories form the enemies.   

The category “араласу” (communicating) reflects the relationship between the individual and the society, his ability to live in peace and understanding with his fellow countrymen and the representatives of the entire humanity. The human existence is itself always developing, changing and renovating process of communication. A human being develops his personality only in the society, through the communication, in the dialog of “I” with the “Other”. A Kazakh nation differs has a striking aspiration for the communication. It can be said that “араласу” is itself the meaning of the life for Kazakhs, and one of the highest values. A professor K.S. Nurlanova, who has done a very detailed analysis of this category, highlights five levels of “араласу”: қарым-қатынас, келіп-кету, қатынас, сіз-біздесу, араласу, іштесу and stresses that the communication between Kazakhs is not only about the cognition, but outgoes the cognition process itself by revealing the richness and inimitableness of the world and a person himself [3]. It is thought that the reason for such aspiration to the communication Kazakhs have developed from the Nomadic lifestyle when they passed long hours with nature alone. The Kazakhs valued every moment of the communication not only with their relatives, the countrymen, but with all the other representatives as well. The aspiration to the communication has been transmitted from one generation to another. The guests of Kazakh land always noted the hospitability, patience, deep emotional state and the sincere purity of the thoughts of Kazakh people. In our opinion, these qualities are useful in life for a contemporary Kazakh person and lie at the foundation of the renaissance of the Russian philosophical concept of eurasionness developed by the Kazakh philosophers. A Russian scientist G.Urazgaliyeva mentions several reasons of that phenomenon: 1) Russian-speaking Kazakh elite of the 90s; 2) the popularity in the spiritual atmosphere of Kazakh intelligence of the idea of L. Gumilev about the interaction of the two worlds – Forest and Steppe; 3) love  of all the Russian-speaking people of Soviet and Post-Soviet space to Olzhas Suleymenov, who made accessible the Kazakh soul of a person from steppe and of modern citizen to people; 4) the works of C. Aytmatov where the steppe attained the cosmic vertical and the window into the future [4].

Another reason for the renaissance and the real incarnation of the idea of the eurasionness is the factor of Kazakh national mentality, one of the peculiarities of which is the aspiration to theараласу-communication; that is colored with the mutual closeness to each other, high spirituality, the wisdom of the existence, and with the goodwill not only to the close people but to the entire world as well. The recent events show that the idea of the eurasionness proved its viability by playing a big role in preservation of the Eurasian unity that went through a difficult way of the formation.

It should be stressed that the investigation of the philosophy of Kazakh nation is still at the development stage and it should become mostly the object of the scientific research of Kazakh philosophers.

Reference List

[1] SegizbayevO.A., 2001, Istoriya Kazakhstkoy Philosophiyi, p.28. Almaty

[2] Valikhanov Ch., 1995, Proizvedeniya, p.294. Almaty

[3] NurlanovaK.S., 1994, Chelovek I Mir. Kazakhskaya Natsional’naya Ideya, p.5. Almaty

[4] UrazaliyevaG., 2006, Evraziystvo lal sotsiokul’turnaya tsennost’, The collection of the articles of the VII theoretic-methodological conference “The values of the society and the values of the intelligence”, p. 255. Moscow




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