Turkmenistan’s president performs self-penned musical ode to his favourite horse

29 April 2019

Whether its horse-racing, weightlifting, or systematically choking human rights in a small, post-Soviet nation, Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov is not known for doing things by half.

Which is why, while other world leaders might be known for a few notes on the piano, Berdimuhamedov is already building his name as a Turkmen music sensation — with a self-penned pop ode to his favourite horse.

The strongman and former dentist performed the musical number alongside his grandson, Kerimguly, to mark Turkmenistan’s Day of the Horse.

More mellow than his previous works, the song lists the many attributes of Berdimuhamedov’s foal, Rovach — a name which means prosperity in Turkmen. Born on 1 January, the Akhal-Teke foal was a New Year’s Gift and a supposed harbinger of good fortune for 2019, designated by the president as the year of “Turkmenistan: Land of Prosperity”.

The lyrics were already well-known by dignitaries, who had assembled at Turkmenistan’s hippodrome for the special occasion. The words were taken from a poem of the same name written by Berdimuhamedov himself and printed in national newspapers.

Roughly translated, the chorus reads:

You are like the wind at dawn
Like a vow that has been sworn
Both seen and without form
You are an inspiration, Rovach

Celebrated each year, the 2019 iteration of Turkmenistan’s Day of the Horse was subjected to a glowing, 1500-word write-up from the Turkmen State News Agency, Turkmenistan Today.

Alongside the president’s performance, the celebration encompassed horse-themed events, including traditional crafts, stunt-riding, and shows.

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