ASHGABAT, Turkmenistan — Turkmenistan’s autocratic leader has established a national holiday to honour the local dog breed, media reports said Tuesday.
ASHGABAT, Turkmenistan — Turkmenistan’s autocratic leader has established a national holiday to
President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov ordered the holiday praising the Alabai, the Central Asian shepherd dog, to be celebrated on the last Sunday of April when the ex-Soviet nation also marks the day of the local horse breed, according to the daily Neutral Turkmenistan.
The Central Asian nation of 6 million prides itself in horses and dogs,
Berdymukhamedov has ruled the gas-rich desert country since 2006 through an all-encompassing personality cult that styles him as Turkmenistan’s “arkadaq,” or protector.
The Turkmen leader has extolled the Alabai for years. He published a book and wrote a song about the breed and presented Russian President Vladimir Putin with a puppy in 2017. In 2019, Berdymukhamedov also handed an Alabai puppy to then Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.
Last year, Berdymukhamedov inaugurated a 15-meter (nearly 50-feet) gilded statue
Berdymukhamedov’s son, Serdar, who heads the international Alabai association, reported to the president that the holiday will feature a beauty contest and agility competitions.
The Associated Press