Kazakh Nomadic Way of Life

I was just informed by an American teaching colleague that there are still yurts to go to and stay in as tourists close to Turgen, Kazakhstan.  (several hours away from Almaty) He thought these “tourist yurts” only existed in Kyrgyzstan but he himself experienced staying in a yurt near Turgen  just this past week and on top of that there was a HUGE celebration with a newly built mosque in this summer pasture land.

One of my students wrote about his “grand, grandfather whose name is Zhalgaspai.  He was born in Mangystau region which is in the southwestern region of Kazakhstan in 1835. In those times, people in Central Asia still have been keeping nomadic way of life.  Zhalgaspai was from a very rich aristocratic family, which belonged to a well-known tribe Adai of Smaller Zhuz.  Adai tribe used to fight against the southern invaders from Iran and Uzbekistan.  From a very young age, Zhalgaspai was involved in politics of the aul (village).  He also helped his father to take care of enormous number of horses which they kept on the wide steppes of southwestern Kazakhstan.  He was respected among local people as he helped poor and contributed to the development of the region.  But by the 1900s, most of his fortune was taken away by the Bolsheviks…”

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