Historical tragedy ‘Bopai Khanym’ premieres in Nur-Sultan

Abulkhair Khan’s wife Bopai is known in the history of the Kazakh nation as an incredibly wise woman. Kazakh playwrights for the first time revived the historical image, the name of which is written with golden letters in the chronicles of the country of the Great Steppe. The premiere of the ‘Bopai Khanym’ play took place in the Kazakh capital. As stage directors say, this bright woman managed to become the right hand of the great Khan.

“Legends of a strong, true love between Bopai and Abulkhair Khan have reached our times. It was as beautiful as that of Kozy Korpesh and Bayan Sulu. I was interested in their feelings, but I also paid special attention to the topic of raising children – what were future sultans and batyrs taught. Bopai is a great figure among the famous female personalities of the Great Steppe. There are many things to learn from her,” said stage director Zhuldyzbek Zhumanbai.

Bopai Khanym along with her sons repeatedly participated in numerous campaigns and battles. The script for the play was written on the basis of numerous archival materials and chronicles that have survived to the present day. The play describes a period after the death of Abulkhair Khan, when the nation’s fate remained on the shoulders of a fragile woman. That is, the coming to power of Nuraly Khan, negotiations with the Russian Empress and the death of Barak Sultan.

“Writing about this woman was not easy. First, she is a famous historical figure, the wife of the great Khan. Secondly, we wanted to portray her as more than just a woman and a mother, but also an ally. Alongside Abulkhair Khan, she stood up for the people accompanying him everywhere. She had a huge influence not only on her husband, but on the entire Khanate. We wanted to show her courage, heroism and love for the homeland. All of this helped us reveal the main idea, which is that when the people and the ruler are united, the country becomes great,” added author and playwright Roza Mukanova.

The Kazakh nation treated Bopai Khanym with respect and endlessly valued her contribution to the development of the state. The figure of Bopai is a symbol and representation of all women and mothers of that historical era.


Translation by Assem Zhanmukhanova

Editing by Galiya Khassenkhanova