On 26-28 September 2019 an exhibition and a series of workshops on the production of traditional Kyrgyz felt carpets (shyrdak and ala-kiyiz) took place at the Frunze Museum in Bishkek.
The main goal of the event was to raise awareness about the rich culture and variety of traditional artisanship and skills of the Kyrgyz people related to the culture of felt carpets among wider audiences, especially among the Kyrgyz youth and children.
The master classes were followed up by a round table on the topic of “Preservation and promotion of Kyrgyz traditional felt carpets - ala-kiyiz and shyrdak”, which was held on 30 September. Among the round table participants were the members of the Kyrgyz Parliament, the Ministry of Culture, Information and Tourism of the Kyrgyz Republic, as well as representatives of specialized government agencies, artisans, ethnographers, experts, NGOs.
In 2012 Ala-kiyiz and Shyrdak, art of Kyrgyz traditional felt carpets, was inscribed on the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage List in Need of Urgent Safeguarding. The purpose of the round table was to draw attention of the public and the Kyrgyz government to the need for an in-depth study of Kyrgyz traditional culture, ensuring its preservation and transmission to future generations as an enduring value and foundation of national identity.
Events were organized by UNESCO Almaty together with the National Commission of the Kyrgyz Republic for UNESCO as part of the“Silk Roads Heritage Corridors in Afghanistan, Central Asia and Iran – International Dimension of the European Year of Cultural Heritage” – joint European Union and UNESCO Almaty project.