Archive for November 30, 2010

Billboards of Traditional Kazakhs and Christmas Trees

Today’s blog will feature some photos I’ve taken in the last month.  I don’t seem to get my camera in my purse when the HUGE tree outside of our campus is all lit up.  Sunday when I was there at work, it wasn’t all BLUE with white decorations shining brightly, last night it was all lit up.  Of course, I didn’t have my camera then. (sigh)  It took the workers about a week to put the finishing touches of bows, balls and lights up on this 45-50 foot tree while using three cherry pickers.  I just wish I had the photo showing the blue lights.  Well, the other three photos are billboards in my neighborhood that I’ve been meaning to take for some time.  One is a Kazakh dancer, another a dombra player and the third is a man who trains birds to hunt small game. All very Kazakh.  Next time I’ll show the beautifully lit Christmas tree at our university which is referred to by the locals as a “New Years” tree. Of course, they don’t celebrate Christmas here in this Muslim land.

You have to know, the Astana city streets are all “dressed to the nines,” as they say.  Lights everywhere, decorated trees everywhere, especially in the new part of the city where we live.  This area of strange architectural wonders is now known as the RED ZONE, but I call it the colorful zone! Yes we have some very important heads of state representing 55 countries who are here in Astana for a two day summit conference.  The likes of Hillary, Sarkozy, Merkel and many others will no doubt see the tree in front of our university along with all the other lights and buildings.  Astana is spectacular yet what was blowing from the west was a very cold wind chill.  I almost felt sorry for the police who are standing along all the routes about 100 feet apart making sure that nothing happens that would diminish the glory of Astana’s preparation for the summit.  All of us residents will be glad when everything is back to “normal” as we know it.

Please note my little Christmas tree that Ken and I set up a week or so ago.  I love this little tree made in Poland but with Chinese twinkling lights and ornaments added with each passing year. 

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