Archive for August 30, 2007

Kazakh holidays

We will be celebrating Labor Day weekend in the U.S.  Thankfully there is also a long holiday at the university so my husband, “Kazakhnomad,” can get some rest before he starts up again next week with his heavy teaching load.  I’m not sure the name of this holiday, if in fact it is an old Soviet one, new Kazakh one or Muslim in nature.  [It is called Constitution Day] All I know is that T.G.I.F. applies tomorrow for professsors and students alike.  I wrote the following from something I gathered about Central Asian holidays from my Kyrgyz students’ assignments 14 years ago. 

Kazak Holidays

What struck me as I read my students’ writings was their religious holidays such as Ramadan and Kurbun-ayt.  The Kazaks are nominally Muslim and several said that Orozo Ait was the “Muslim Easter.”  I am not sure how they are able to equate Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection from the cross to their “fasting, praying and reading the Koran.” They also celebrate Nooruz which is a spring holiday for Muslims.  “The men get up and go to the mosque to do namaz. After that, they go home and slaughter a sheep.  On these days every man puts on new clothes and pays a visit to others.  People want to show their love and faithfulness to Allah.”  One writer readily admitted that “People who call themselves ‘Muslim’ don’t really practice Islam…similar to Americans who also consider themselves Christians but are not true “followers of Jesus Christ.” 

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