5/24/10

young girls in Kazakhstan

According to a sociological research carried out by commission of UN OODCP, not less than 170,000 people in the republic regularly use drugs, two thirds of them being hard drugs (opium and heroin). The majority of the users are young people in the age up to 35. The primary way of drug application is intravenous. The significant growth of the number of drug users causes alarm. One of its main causes is availability of drugs as a result of transparency of borders and their proximity to Afghanistan, the largest drug producer. The yield of raw opium this year there is predicted to be up to the level of 5000 tons.

5/21/10

Girls and Women in Kazakhstan

As we in Kazakhstan celebrate the New Year, both Catholic and Russian Orthodox Christmases and even Hanukkah, we look back at the year 2006 and see that our ties with the peoples of the world, including the Americans, have become stronger. We now
know that millions of Americans became aware of Kazakhstan and the way we the Kazakhs live. While this may sound gratifying, one of the biggest reasons for this greater knowledge is the movie “Borat” by a British comedian released inNovember, which misrepresented my country as a country of backward misogynists.

This, of course, has nothing to do with the real Kazakhstan. While this truth sounds obvious, it seems that in America few people know of the role women play in the real Kazakhstan, or any other “stan,” for that matter. What is more, this lack of
knowledge may now be reinforced by a misrepresentation in “Borat.” So I want to share
my side of the story with the Americans because I believe there are reasons why they can benefit from knowing it.

I am a Kazakh professional woman living in today’s independent and progressive Kazakhstan. Women in Kazakhstan are active in all fields and enjoy full privileges in a society that values our talents and ambitions. My own life as a Ph.D. (the first in my family) in philology and as an associate professor of foreign languages at Kyzylorda State University is a good example.

In the past, women were typically removed from Kazakh public life. Girls were not admitted to schools, women were refused medical assistance and employers preferred men.

The discrimination had its roots in the distant past and in an old view that a woman’s duty was to stay at home, keep hearth, bring up kids and be a good wife. Relatives historically celebrated the birth of a son, not so much of a daughter. This was a source of great frustration for all women. Today, such a problem no longer exists. A Kazakh woman now needs only to believe in herself and build on her high level of education in order to be able to move mountains.

Kazakhstan’s independence in 1991 brought new opportunities for us. The time when women were just cooks and kept away from running the country are long gone. In our secular and dynamic Muslim country, Kazakh men have learned to value the brainpower and ambitions of their female partners.

In reality, the “Kazakh” woman is hard to define. She could be an ethnic Kazakh or come from one of more than 100 ethnic groups of our nation, including Russians, Germans, Poles, Koreans and Tartars. She could be Muslim, like myself; Christian; Jewish; or even a Buddhist. We all live and work together.

Kazakh women are involved in both running the country and running their households. It is not rare to meet Kazakh female government ministers, members of parliament, akims (mayors), professors, judges and prosecutors, and executives at leading companies, including such industries as oil, construction, retail, real estate and banking.

The role of women in Kazakh homes has also changed drastically. We share with men responsibilities for our families’ well-being, and are often the breadwinners. Half of the families’ budgets are often provided by women who have to balance running their affairs outside the home with taking care of their elderly parents and children. That is my daily to-do list. I think most American women understand what I mean.

Having a paying job is not only a necessity for a modern Kazakh woman, but one of the main values in her life. Many women feel happy and independent only when they do productive work. Many of our women also enjoy spending their own money on themselves in the ever increasing number of boutiques. Today, we have our own Kazakh designers and there is even a fashion week in the capital. Women wearing concealing burkhas have never been widespread in a mostly nomadic Kazakhstan, and are now a thing of a very, very distant, almost forgotten past.

A Kazakh woman understands that her career is not the main thing. Our families, homes and children still come first. I, along with many other women, believe the family is the core of our society, and it is our responsibility to bring up our children as good citizens. They will continue our work of building a better Kazakhstan. A lot will depend on their education, and we are proud that there are thousands of young Kazakh men and women who study abroad under the presidential scholarship, including hundreds in the United States.

If there is no tradition for education within a family, however, no university can help. Both at home and at my university I do my best to nurture a thirst for knowledge.

My life and the lives of many other Kazakh women show how vibrant a role we play in Kazakhstan. Many of our friends in Arvada, Colo., the twin city of Kyzylorda, already know that. I would like many more Americans to visit Kazakhstan, and see for themselves what we, the Kazakh women, can do and achieve in our country. Most American women will feel very comfortable in Kazakhstan. Come visit us in the new year. Until then, may your new year be peaceful and prosperous

By Salima I. Sadybekova

4/29/10

kazakhstan dating

Many men stay away from kazakhstan dating due to the distance of the ladies involved. But thanks to the modern technology, today’s long distance lovers can chat and see each another on camera every day. Gone are the days of handwritten letters that took days, weeks, and even months to arrive, email, instant chat, and live video help dating your dream kazakhstan woman. And moreover, flying to Kazakhstan is in fact not much further than flying to Russia. Kazakhstan is a beautiful country
with many single women whose beauty is exquisite, warm and loving personalities can win a heart of any man.

10/1/09

Kazakh Customs and Etiquette

Meeting People

* Greetings are rather formal due to the hierarchical nature of society.
* The common greeting is the handshake, often done with both hands and a smile. Since many Kazakhs are Muslim, some men will not shake hands with women, so be sensitive to these religious differences.
* Once you have developed a personal relationship, close friends of the same sex may prefer to hug rather than shake hands.
* Most Kazakhs have a first and patronymic name (the father’s name followed by a suffix -ich or –ovich for son of or daughter of, respectively).
* Wait until invited before using someone’s first name, although the invitation generally comes early in the relationship.

Gift Giving Etiquette

* There is not a great deal of protocol in gift giving.
* When invited to someone’s house for dinner, it is polite to bring something for the hostess such as pastries.
* Practising Muslims do not touch alcohol, so do not give alcoholic beverages unless you know your host drinks.
* Gifts are usually opened when received.

Dining Etiquette

* Kazakh’s are very hospitable people and enjoy hosting dinners at their homes.
* You will be served tea and bread, even if you are not invited to a meal. Since Kazakhs consider bread to be sacred, serving bread is a sign of respect.
* When served tea, your cup will often only be filled halfway. To fill the cup would mean that your host wanted you to leave.
* It is not imperative that you arrive on time, although you should not arrive more than 30 minutes late without telephoning first.
* Dress conservatively in clothing you might wear to the office. Kazakhs value dressing well over comfort. To dress too informally might insult your hosts.
* Table manners are not terribly formal in Kazakhstan.
* Table manners are Continental -- the fork is held in the left hand and the knife in the right while eating.
* Some foods are meant to be eaten by hand.
* Your host or another guest may serve you.
* In more rural settings, you may sit on the floor.
* You will be given a bowl to drink broth or tea. When you do not want any more, turn your bowl upside-down as an indication.
* If alcoholic beverages are served, expect a fair amount of toasting.
* Meals are social events. As such, they may take a great deal of time.
* Leave something on your plate when you have finished eating. This demonstrates that you have had enough, whereas if you finish everything it means you are still hungry and you will be served more food.
* Expect to be served second helpings.

A Sheep’s Head

* In rural settings it is a sign of respect to offer the most honoured guest a boiled sheep's head on a beautiful plate.
* The guest then divides the food among the guests in the following fashion:
* The ear is given to the smallest child so that he or she will listen to and obey the elders.
* The eyes are given to the two closest friends so that they will take care of the guest.
* The upper palate is given to the daughter-in-law and the tongue to the host’s daughter so both women will hold their tongues.
* The pelvic bones go to the second most respected guest.
* The brisket is given to the son-in-law.

9/28/09

history and culture

The Kazakh people are rich in traditions. From birth through old age and death, every step of their lives has historically been marked with celebration. Even their funeral ceremonies have their own special symbolism.



Unfortunately, many rich and interesting traditions and customs of the Kazakh people have been forgotten throughout the past century. Real sovereignty is just now being reestablished in Kazakhstan due to the process of democratization. These abandoned traditions are just now being rediscovered by the Kazakh people. These traditions include being respectful to old people; being patriotic to the motherland; being honest; and learning to love mankind.

Kazakh yurts. Kazakhstan photos Traditionally every guest is offered Kazakh cuisine at the dastarkhan (the low table) in a yurt.

The yurt is one of the most sensible types of movable house. It is a comfortable and practical home, ideally suited to local conditions and ways of life - one of the greatest inventions of the Eurasian nomads.

It is easily taken apart (it is said that a Kazakh woman can do it in half an hour) and carried by horses and camels. The yurt consists of three main elements: an extensible trellis base (the kerege), a dome made of poles (the uyk) and a round top (the shanyrak).

Kazakhstan jewellery In ancient times Turks were reputed as the most skillful felt-makers. These days the Kazakhs use felt to cover the yurt and for its internal decoration, as well as to make carpets, dresses and shoes. The Kazakhs live surrounded by ornaments. They richly decorate their yurts with wall carpets and multi-colored embroideries.

Handicrafts - harnesses, felt mats (tekemets), and articles made of wood, bone and metal - are lavishly decorated. Headdresses, dresses, bags and saddle-cloths are beautifully embroidered. They use traditional designs and carvings to make and decorate the wooden cups, large bowls and ladles used to serve kumis (fermented mare's milk).

Kazakhstan women's traditional dress The horns of mountain rams and goats are used to decorate beds and caskets. Leather is used to make quivers, belts, harnesses and flasks (torsyks) for water and kumis. Kazakh artisans are also very skillful jewelers.

Steppe zergers (jewelers) favor white silver. Traditional Kazakh bell-shaped earrings, original bracelets (blezics), or the traditional bracelet linked to three rings with fine chains will certainly impress you.

Kazakh national dress varies by regions. Men wear chapans, a kind of dressing gown with a belt, made of velvet and richly embroidered. They cover their heads with a soft skullcap (tobetai), a tall felt cap (kalpak) or a fox-fur hat with earflaps (malakai).

The women's national costume consists of a white cotton or colored silk dress, a velvet waistcoat with embroidery and a cap or a silk scarf. Elderly women wear a hood made of white cloth with a hole for the face (the kimeshek). Brides wear a tall pointed, richly decorated hat, topped with feathers (saukele).

Kazakhstan music instrumentsKazakh music and musical instruments: The Kazakhs love the art of wordplay and their akyns (poets), who improvise at public competitions (aitys) accompanied by Kazakh stringed musical instruments: the dombra or the kobyz.

Nauryz (Islamic New Year) is one of the biggest holidays in Central Asia. In Kazakhstan it is celebrated on the day of the spring equinox, March 22. On that day, the streets of villages and towns are transformed. Guests are hosted in beautiful yurts with the traditional Nauryz kozhe dish made of seven traditional ingredients. People respecting this nearly month-long holiday forgive each others' debts and offences.

Kazakh national games National games: these are usually performed on horseback and are an opportunity to witness the Kazakhs' outstanding riding skills. Kazaksha kures (Kazakh wrestling), baiga (horse racing over 25, 50 or 100 km), kokpar (a sort of polo game played with a dead goat), kyz-kuu (catch the girl) and alty bakan (six-pole swing).