The opening ceremony of the monument to the classic of the Turkmen literature, Makhtumkuli Fraghi, first of this kind in Russia, was held in Stavropol region.
The official administrative status of the inhabited area is aul, a phenomenon not very peculiar to Russia as a whole. And the name of the settlement, Edelbai, is not of Slavic origin. However, taking into account the multiethnic nature of the Stavropol region, where representatives of more than forty nationalities live abreast with Russians, one can easily understand the roots of toponymic oddities of this land.
On a lovely spring day, February 16, Edelbai aul's streets were crowded with well-dressed people. Improvised stages nearby decorated yurts reflected the holiday atmosphere. The songs in Turkmen and Russian accompanied by an accordion were replaced by flashing dances. One could say with confidence that the majority of 15-thousand Turkmen diaspora in Stavropol region came to the aul to attend the remarkable festivity. The Stavropol Turkmens marked the approaching national holiday, Makhtumkuli's Poetry Day, by opening of the first in Russia monument to the prominent poet and thinker, and founder of the Turkmen literary language.
The participation of the Stavropol Krai's Governor Alexander Chernogorov and Turkmen Ambassador to Russia Khalnazar Agakhanov added special importance to the event. Having covered the distance of almost five thousand kilometers, the imposing delegation of singers, musicians, poets and workers of culture from Ashgabat arrived to attend the festivities.
During the ceremony, both hosts and guests spoke about the productiveness of cultural interaction, thanked the Turkmen government and President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov for the generous gesture - financing of the monument to the man whose name is sacred for every Turkmen. Though, in Russia itself with its richest literary traditions, people treat Makhtumkuli's creative works with great respect, recognizing him as an outstanding representative of world literature. Just on the eve of the holiday, for the first time in twenty years a collection of poems by Makhtumkuli translated by the best Russian masters was published in Moscow.
The book became the most desired present for every participant of the festivity in Stavropol region's Edelbai village. On the special occasion, the administration of Blagodarensk Municipality issued a memorable badge - "275th birthday of Makhtumkuli". The head of the district administration conferred the badge on those who actively participated in the creation of the monument. Certificate No.1 was issued on the name of Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov.
The gathered people welcomed with the burst of applause the moment when the white coverlet was stripped off the monument, and thousands of people saw the bronze face of the great poet. The bust of Makhtumkuli by well-known Ashgabat sculptor Saragt Babaev harmoniously fitted the area of the school yard which faces the central square of the aoul.
The local youth's genuine interest in the event served as evidence of the continuity of the spiritual link of generations. The poet's name is equally valuable even far away from his historical homeland. Neither time nor distance can be a hindrance for the poetry of a genius. Makhtumkuli's poems were recited both in the Turkmen and Russian languages and replicated in songs. During the celebrations a new tradition was born. Since the national Turkmen holiday - Day of Makhtumkuli's Poetry coincides with the annually celebrated Day of Stavropol Krai, the Stavropol region's Governor Alexander Chernogorov proposed that these two events are combined to mark on the Stavropol land one general holiday - the Day of Mutual Understanding and Mutual Enrichment of Cultures of two nations.