Happy Victory Day and Isa’s Grandparents

Today is the day that all the billboards around Astana have been leading up to, the 65 year anniversary when WWII ended.  Quite a celebration among those still living who fought in the Great Patriotic War.  I was pleased to find on my bike ride yesterday a billboard showing at least 65 of those older veterans who are featured on big billboards perhaps throughout Kazakhstan.  All I know is that they are bigger than life here in Astana.  Also, I have another story from a former student that rings true of a story I read before.  I think this student from Astana might be related to another student I had in my class in Almaty.  A Kazakh leader in an army had to convince his troops to go through the river even though it was cold and icy.  He soon died afterwards from hypothermia. I need to find the similar story from the other student about this same war hero because these two people are probably related and don’t know it.  One last poem dedicated to the heroes who are still living:

“Human strength and human greatness
Spring not from life’s sunny side,
Heroes must be more than driftwood
Floating on a waveless tide.”

The following essay is from Isa’s family.  All my students have amazing stories about their ancestors.  I’m proud of all who write to let me in on their families’ greatness.

“Do you know that in Kazakhstan relatives from father’s side more intimate than from mother’s? So, I will start about my grandparents from father side.  I know that my ancestry from father’s line were Arabs. My clan like royal family in Britain, but with another predestination, they came from Arabia hundreds years ago for the purpose of propagation of Islam. Clan’s name is Kozha. It’s very respected family. Members of the family were always involved to regime.

At home we have a sword which descends from father to son. And in the future father will give me this family relic, because I am his first son. Sometimes the whole of clan assemble together at grave of common ancestor. I have been at this gathering once. I didn’t see my grandfather, because he died before my birth. He was well-educated. He was first mechanical-engineer in our village. Also he taught young people how to repair engines. People who have known him say that he was good in every respect. His death was heroic. Father said that people from our village had to cross river. It was winter. Somebody had to test ice for strength, and my grandfather said that he would do it. At the middle of the river he came down to water. But he came up. He fell sick. He had supercooling. He died after that. But people say about his heroism every time. It wasn’t only once. People remember him as the hero. Both of my grandfathers were sturdily-built .

Clan from mother’s side was very warlike. It was very trustworthy clan. A lot of famous Kazakh warriors were from this kin. The name of kin is Argyn. They were well-known as good riders.  My grandfather from mother side lived near coal mine. Once when he were child he found dynamite, he didn’t know what was it. He played with it, and it exploded. He lost three fingers and one eye. But it wasn’t end for him. He finished school and university. He was popular veterinary. He very liked horses. Horses were something for him. He had horses for race-meeting. My grandmother was brilliant mathematician. She could do difficult problems mentally. She finished only school, but she was very clever.”

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