CGTN released this video clip, titled “Live: The Chat Room – Leave it all behind and play Aken Aytes!” – below is their description.

Aken Aytes, or Aken Songs, is a folk art form popular among the Kazakh ethnic group, in which the performer improvises a song while playing the tamboura. The performer is also called Aken, which means “poet” in Kazakh, because the lyrics are always beautiful, humorous or inspiring. Being an Aken is hard work as the art is usually performed singing, with two Akens exchanging lyrics in an antiphonic style. To have the best performance, an Aken must have a rich knowledge of culture and history. Most importantly, they must react quickly and outsmart the opponent until they are at a loss for words. During CGTN’s “Into Xinjiang” trip, we sing together in a Kazakh yurt with several Akens and express our joy and happiness through lyrics and rhymes.

Aken Aytes was added to the National List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in China in 2006. Xinjiang, home to many ethnic Kazakhs, holds various competitions every year to help preserve and promote traditional art. #TheChatRoom #IntoXinjiang

CGTN YouTube channel

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