Record number of participants gather for IV WNG in Turkiye

The Fourth World Nomad Games began on September 29 in the city of Iznik in Turkiye. More than 3000 athletes from 102 countries participate in these games. A record number of participants came to these Games. The games will last 4 days and end on October 2.

Prior to this, the Games were held three times in Kyrgyzstan. Kyrgyzstan is the author of ethnogames, which can now compete with the Olympic Games in popularity.

In 2012, the Government of Kyrgyzstan, as part of the revival and preservation of nomadic culture, initiated a project called the World Nomad Games. The World Confederation of Ethnogames also acted as organizers, thereby pushing the action to the international arena.

The Games are aimed at promoting, developing and preserving the ethno-cultural heritage of civilization. As conceived by the authors of the Games, they are aimed at reviving the identity of ethnic groups and peoples of the world, fostering their tolerant attitude towards each other, developing the global ethnosports movement, as well as bringing people together at cultural events and caring for the environment.

The first Games were held in September 2014. More than 700 athletes from 19 countries of the world responded to the invitation of the organizers. The Games themselves were held in Cholpon-Ata, Issyk-Kul region in Kyrgyzstan. Participants from Azerbaijan, Austria, Afghanistan, Belarus, Brazil, Germany, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Lithuania, Mongolia, Russia, USA, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Turkey, Uzbekistan, France, Sweden and South Korea competed in a dozen kinds of ethnic sports.

Cholpon-Ata became the capital of the Games, subsequent WNGs were held here. Sports events were held in the sports and recreation complex of the city, and the cultural part – in the high-mountainous gorge Kyrchyn. An ethno-town was set up there.

The Second World Nomad Games were also held in September 2016 in Cholpon-Ata, where more than 1,500 athletes and participants arrived, who competed in 26 types of ethnosport and represented 62 countries of the world. It is noteworthy that athletes from the United States came to such a popular type of competition among nomads as Kok-boru (fight for goat on the horses), performing on horses rented from locals.

The largest Nomad Games in Kyrgyzstan were held in 2018 in 37 types. Kyrgyzstan has prepared thoroughly in these types. A hippodrome for 10 thousand seats was built, and a capacious sports and health center was built nearby, inside which athletes competed in many types of ethnosport games. More than 2,000 athletes took part in the Games.

According to the previously agreed schedule, the Games were to be held in two years. Turkey and Kazakhstan claimed to host the games in 2020. However, due to the pandemic, the games were postponed and then it was decided that the 2022 World Nomad Games would take place in Turkey.

The Turkish authorities took the organization of the Games very seriously. At first, the Games were planned to be held on the shores of Lake Van, where the bulk of the Kyrgyz diaspora lives in Turkey. However, later it was decided to hold the Games in the west of the country – in the city of Iznik.

The city of Iznik is located on the shores of the lake of the same name in the Turkish province of Bursa in the north-west of the country. Once it was called Nicaea. The Roman-Byzantine walls of the fortress, the ancient basilica, which was transformed into a mosque, and monuments of the Ottoman era have been preserved here.

The program of the World Nomad Games, as a rule, includes three large-scale components: events related to ethnoculture, ethnosport and science. The ethno-cultural part is represented by the Universe of Nomads festival. Its program includes a craft fair with master classes, folk dances, folklore, outdoor performances, exhibitions, folk epos and much more.

The program of ethno-sport competitions includes horse races and competitions on horseback, various types of national wrestling, tug-of-war, arm wrestling, traditional archery, intellectual games, dog racing, hunting with a golden eagle and a falcon, and much more. The scientific program includes a forum, among the tasks of which is the study of the history and culture of nomadic peoples, the historical heritage of the peoples of the world and the formation of a scientific platform for scientists and researchers. Among the events: round tables, conferences, lectures, quizzes.

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Oct. 01, 2022