Posts tagged Eagilik

Wikipedia and my students’ other reflections after two weeks

Last Friday I had my 10 students do a S.W.O.T. analysis but this Friday I had them answer several questions about their last two weeks.  The following are their reflections of what we did so far:

What do you want to contribute in a Wikipedia article?

D: traditions of serving guests in Kazakh families

L: child’s birth or the strange Kazakh traditions connected with a child’s birth

A: I’d like to write about Kazakh traditions if not about weddings then about “Shildekhana” or “Tusay Kesu” These themes are related to family traditions.

N: Nauryz, weddings, national games

What was the best part of these last two weeks?

Opportunity to get information knowledge is everything.  If you have information, you can rule the world!


What was the difference between Eagilik and IRC at U.S. embassy?

A: The difference between them can be seen, no sorry, can be smelt as soon as you come in.  There is a strong and wonderful semll of coffee in Eagilik that wakes and cheers you up so that you can enjoy your being there.

Second, in IRC you don’t need to register (at least we didn’t do it) to get the books. You just write down your contact information and can get books for a certain period of time.  While in Eagilik you are to sign up and pay monety (though not much – 800 per year) and borrow books and DVD disks.

Third, there are a very few books about English grammar in Eagilik.  Even if there are some, they are not modern or up-to-date.

The last, but not the least difference between them is in the fact that you can move about Eagilik as you wish, whereas in IRC you have to be escorted – even if you want to go to the canteen.”


D: The process of entering the place.  Zhanar is the only one willing to share information with you whil there are several people at Books and Coffee.  IRC is rather academic while Eagilik is more popular place.  Martha did a big job at Eagilik.  I never knew fiction had so many subdivisions.  I liked how the tradition to put over your shoes at home is there!  Kazakh people have so many useful habits!


What is the most important thing you learned from your classmates?

S: My classmates are individuals and they taught me to be myself.  I think it helps me much in my future work.


How have you taught reading in the past?

L: It is not comparable because in the past without such rich equipment was not available to anyone.

A: We just read some 30 pages and translate and retell (;(

How have you taught writing in the past?

L: In the past, I didn’t understand what writing was.  Just now I understood how important writing is for everyone.  I never taught writing in Russian, tried to teach it as I knew.  Unfortunately, I knew nothing, especially I didn’t know ways to encourage the students to write.

A: we wrote reproductions and very seldom essays ;(

N: to my mind, teaching writing is very hard. I want to know more information how to find easy way of teaching writing.

S: I think writing skills is a weak point in Kazakh schools.  The best way of reaching writing is to complete 2 tasks:

1)   read much

2)   use strategies of writing process



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Meaning of the Kazakh word “Eagilik”

What does “Eagilik” mean? That’s what I asked my nine teachers who came to “Books and Coffee” yesterday in the area of Kennasary and Valihanov streets in the old part of Astana.  The following is what my students wrote in answer to this difficult to define word.  Read beyond and see what they REALLY liked about Eagilik. Who says we don’t have anything to do in Astana, Kazakhstan?  Just go to Eagilik, Books and Coffee and find out that this is a “happening” place or a “watering hole” for expats and locals alike.

“Everything good is meant by this word.  When you want to wish goodness and want to show our good attention to somebody we say “I wish you eagilik.”  But it is a rare word, even an archaism.”

“The word “Eagilik” carries a good, positive meaning.  I think, there is no one word equivalent in English for this word, somehow, it means “luck” “good wish” “good things”; it combines all positive adjectives: happy, lucky, humane, rich, also it means wealth.”

“Doing people good”

“It means all happiness, wealth, etc.”

“I think that the Eagilik has a positive meaning when we say “Eagilikke bolsyn” we mean “Let it be for good luck!”

“Eagilik means, to my mind, a good thing or property or maybe good action”

“It means happiness, wealth, getting all people together in peaceful way, peace and so forth.”

“Urinik – it is good work for God; blessing”

What is your favorite thing about Eagilik?

“The favorite thing about Eagilik is the smell, gorgeous!”

“Eagilik is a place where you can have a course at English, read whatever you want, and even borrow it for some time, find famous DVDs in Kazakh, Russian and English or just entertain drinking coffee and making some research on the Internet if you have a laptop.  Really wonderful place. And what I like is here you can see some Kazakh authentic handworks (e.g. carpets), what you can’t find everywhere in this city.”

“More information about Kazakh traditions and customs for the foreigners.”

“I liked a lot of things here!

1)   Atmosphere is friendly, warm.

2)   Funny thing to put over your shoes – I like it!

3)   Books! Books! Books!

4)   I found “Walk the Line” and there are other good films!

5)   Coffee just like in Black and Brown coffee in Aktobe which really feels like home!

6)   Day was good

7)   Design is cool, a picture of an Old Man hanging on the wall

8)   Prices are much more modest than anywhere else I’ve seen in Astana”


“Books!  The atmosphere is amazing!!! I want to live here!


Coffee! Especially the smell of it, and the films and the atmosphere!


“The atmosphere and opportunities to combine going out and drinking coffee with ability to read or watch films.  That it is traditional Kazakh, pictures, photos are perfect and wonderful.”


“Atmosphere of the library! It is rather relaxive, comfortable and informative. ON my part, I felt as if I entered the world of fantasy.”



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Final Photos of Kazakhstan

The following photos are in no special category, no theme that I could put together.  These are the last of the photos that I really like which were taken by photographer Martin Lee.  These same photos can be found in calendars that are being sold at Eagilik in old part of Astana, I’m not sure if they can be found in Almaty or elsewhere.  You must get the permission to use these photos from Martin Lee, I’m glad I did.  I love showing off his talent in capturing the essence of Kazakhstan!

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Photos of Kazakh Yurts (Part VIII)

The yurt is a home base for the nomadic Kazakh who travels by camel or horse along the steppes. Notice what the top of the yurt looks like.  Notice this great photographer, Martin Lee and next time you are looking for a 2011 calendar for KZ, they are being sold at Eagilik in old town Astana.

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Photos of Kazakh Places and Relics from the Past (Part VII)

The following are photos from Kazakhstan that show their potential for tourism, the surrounding area is beautiful.  The photos are taken from Martin Lee and are included in a calendar that is for sale at Eagilik book store and coffee shop, in the old part of downtown of Astana.

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Photos of Kazakh Faces (Part V)

The following photos are from Martin Lee’s camera and are featured in a calendar sold at Eagilik in old town Astana.  I like how Martin gets his shots, whether of people or places, he is an expert.  Enjoy along with me the great faces in Kazakhstan!  These are little children ready for September 1st, the start of a school year.  That is coming right up, soon enough!

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Photos of Kazakh Faces (Part IV)

More photos taken by Martin Lee, you can get your own calendar at Eagilik in old town Astana which features all of photos the last three years.  Enjoy these faces of beautiful people in Kazakhstan, some are of other nationalities and not Kazakh. They are called Kazakhstani if they were born in Kazakhstan.

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Photos of Kazakh Faces (Part III)

The past two days I have been showing some GREAT calendar photos taken by Martin Lee.  I have his permission to show these copyrighted photos and want to promote the calendar that is on sale at Eagilik in the old part of town in Astana.  This place is like a library, bookstore, coffee shop all rolled into one, like a watering hole for many expats but also Kazakhs and others taken in their services.  Enjoy these colorful shots:

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Photos of Kazakh Costumes (Part II)

Yesterday I showed colorful photos taken by photographer Martin Lee.  If you want to purchase a calendar of all his amazing photographs, please go to the Eaglik website ( You will need permission to use these photos as they are copyrighted.  I happen to know Martin and he granted me this favor to use his photos on my blog.  I LOVE his artistry in capturing the moment.  Keep in mind these are national costumes used only on special occasions.

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