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30 Jun, 2007 02:28

Kazakhs seek to improve image abroad

Kazakhstan hasn't had a good press in recent months. The movie character Borat dealt a comic blow to the central Asian republic. Now it's fighting back with a cultural offensive of its own.

The concert called “East meets west” is a chance for a British audience to experience the sights and sounds of Kazakhstan. It is part of a programme to raise the profile of the country in the west.

“British public is unfamiliar with the cultural heritage of Kazakhstan. We are glad that there is an opportunity to showcase the treasure of our cultural heritage. It is a folk music concert and the best thing is that it is performed by solo artists representing different regions of Kazakhstan,” says Erlan Idrissov, Kazakh ambassador to UK.

The music from the central Asian country may seem strange to some people. The instruments are unique, and experts say it is more orchestral in its form.

“Every nation, every country has its own traditional music, but for other countries it will seem unusual and interesting. That is why I think that our traditional music, which is so different, will excite the English public,” says musician Nurjan Janpeisov

Although it's the first time Kazakh musicians have put on a concert in London, the project already has its fans.

The concert is an attempt to show another side of Kazakhstan, a country whose true image has been overshadowed by comedian Sasha Baron Cohen's character Borat.