Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Sharaf Rashidov's Song of Kashmir





In 1955, on a diplomatic goodwill mission for USSR to Kashmir, Uzbek communist leader Sharaf Rashidov, a name that in later years would be called 'a communist despot' and a few years later would be called 'a true Uzbek hero', came across Dina Nath Nadim's opera Bombur ta Yambarzal, a modern re-telling of an inspiring old Kashmiri story. By the end of 1956, Rashidov was already out with his interpretation of the story in a novella titled 'Kashmir Qoshighi' ( also known as Song of Kashmir/Kashmir Song/Kashmirskaya song) acknowledging Nadim's work.

I finally managed to get my hand on it. This is the English edition published in 1979 by Gafur Gulyam Literature and Art Publishers, Tashkent. Translation by A. Miller, I. Melenevsky. Illustrations by K. Basharov and R. Halilov.


From the foreword:

"Memory is a drawing on a rock and a picture on a canvas.

Memory is line of words carved on a stone slab and a book.

Memory is a fairy-tale, a tradition and a legend.

Memory is song and music.

In them we find the people's memory, which widens its banks as it flows from generation to generation. This is where we find the people's wisdom, the blazing torch that is passed from generation to generation.

Take it, bear it, pass it on!

Add grain to grain and line to line, fruit to fruit and music to music, blossom to blossom and song to song!"

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Previously: Russia and Bombur ta Yambarzal, including bits about the Russian animated film from 1965 based on the story.


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