Posts tagged Kokshetau

Photos from Borovoye outing (Part II)

Saturday was a refreshing day for many of us from the university in Astana as we traveled north to Borovoye. We each paid 2,500 tenge to travel by bus to the area close to the small city of Kokshetau. This tourist attraction is known as the little Switzerland of Kazakhstan.  Emphasis on the word “little.” Sadly, there are many brightly lit up, small casinos here that are outlawed everywhere else in Kazakhstan. But seeing forests and small mountains is most welcome to the eyes if you live in Astana for any length of time.  Flat, flat, flat and cold!  Temperatures have been unmerciful in Astana this past week and last Wednesday there was a brutal wind that reminded some of us how tough life must have been for the early Kazakh nomads who travelled these parts.  But going to Borovoye, our spirits seemed to lift with seeing a different kind of geography, seeing beautiful pine and birch trees and drinking in the pure mountain air once we got out of the bus.  Here are more photos of the activities we enjoyed.

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Two Kazakh Teachers Write Divergent Views about Past (Part V)

Two Kazakh teachers from Kokshetau, Kazakhstan answered the second of two questions for me in just a half hour.  They wrote divergent responses based on their grandparents’ past lives.  For now, this is the last installment from the teachers and their grandparents’ past that I’ll post.  Some of these teachers did very well putting together in words what they remember about their grandparents’ past in such a short time.  Would you, as a native speaker of English, do any better?  What do YOU know about your grandparents’ and great grandparents’ past?

Teacher #1 – “My grandparents’ past is not known to be clearly. My grandparents died many years before I was born, that’s why I don’t know much about them.  My grandfather died during the Second World War, but I can tell you about my parents’ life was difficult, but full of events, I believe.  Their life is closely connected with the history of our country.  I think that it is truly supposed that each man is a part of history.  They endured with our country all difficulties and always were devoted to their Motherland.  Most of their life, they lived in the former Soviet Union and they said it was great for they never worried about the future of their children, their children could be sent to the countries of the USSR and it was always a pleasure, firstly.  Secondly, each year they were sent to resorts in summer but I believe they regret about it because they were young at that time.  

To sum it up, I want to say that now it is obvious that our country is one of the prosperous countries and my parents’ live has greatly changed to the better.  Taking into consideration that now they have a good cottage to live in and they don’t worry about anything.”

Teacher #2 – “Our grandparents live in difficult time when the government was ruled by Communists and where there were definite rules and taboos.  They told us that the politics of that time demands its rules:  Firstly, they couldn’t allow the things they wanted.  For example, they had enough money, but they couldn’t buy clothes or furniture they needed.  Next, they couldn’t have a great deal of cattle if they live in the countryside.  Moreover, they couldn’t say anything bad about their country, politics and government.  It was forbidden to them.  They obeyed the rules given by the government.

Finally, we can say that the politics of Soviet Union is not acceptable and suitable for people because people want freedom: Freedom in words and in actions. And the last, it should be said that we live in happy time, for we live in freedom. Our government gives us all the opportunities to work and study.  And we must be grateful for that to our government and president.”

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Kazakh Teachers Write about Grandparents’ past (Part III)

Answering the question: “Write about your grandparents’ past…what did they do, what were their thoughts about the Soviet Union?” Here is an answer by another teacher from Kokshetau:

“Unfortunately, I do not know my grand grandparents.  But taking into consideration the words of my parents, the films and the books about the former Soviet Union, I can imagine their thoughts and actions.  

First, they thought about their country and their people.  It was believed that in the period of the Soviet Union there was no selfish men.  Everybody thought and cared about one another and, most of all, about the country, the Soviet Union.

Second, they didn’t think about their future because the government thought about it instead of them.  It was convenient for my grand grandparents and for many people.  No responsibilities, no worries.  

Third, our grand, grandparents loved the Soviet Union.  They fought for it and they could do everything for its sake.  They believe that it was the best country in the world and we should respect their opinion.

The last, but not least point is the fact that our grand, grandparents were the first to make our country flourish.   There were opened new schools, universities and hospitals in the period of the Soviet Union.  That was what my and others’ grand grandparents did.

Finally, it should be said that nowadays many people say that the Soviet Union was not so good as it was believed.  But we should remember that the period of the Soviet Union was one of the steps of our country to flourish and success.”

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Kazakh Teachers Write about Grandparents’ Past (Part II)

Continuing with the theme of answering the following question:  “Write about your grandparents’ past…what did they do and what are/were their thoughts about the former Soviet Union?” a teacher from Kokshetau wrote this:

“First of all, I’d like to begin my essay with a short information about myself.  I’m the youngest daughter in the family.  My parents are old enough.  I don’t remember my grandparents because I was only two, when my mother’s parents dies.  As for my father’s parents, even my father, himself, hardly remembers them.  Because they died long before his adulthood.  From their short and sometimes funny stories, I can tell you that my father’s parents were common workers.  My grandfather was a blacksmith.  It was too hard work.  He worked from morning till night. Perhaps that’s why he died early, at the age of 35.  They had nine children, my father was the sixth.  My father’s mother also died early.  She was a housekeeper, she looked after children.

As for my mother’s parents, my grandfather died at the age of 92 and my grandmother at the age of 75.  They also were common workers.  All their life they had nothing to do but work.  They brought up six children.  I don’t remember them.  But I think that they were very hardworking, kind and honest people, because even living in such a severe circumstance of life, they brought up their children very well.

As for the former Soviet Union, it seems to me, that it was really a “grey time.”  Everybody seemed alike.  During this period they tried to make equal all people.  I think that people had no stimulation to reach something more.  They hadn’t such opportunities as we have.  It seems to me that my grandparents just hadn’t seen another life.  That’s why they even didn’t think was is good or bad to live during this time.  They just live and that’s all.

But I can say frankly that people at that period were more kinder, even they had no conveniences, such as electricity, gas, running water, etc.  Now we have much more, so we should use our chance and be more educated, more advanced and of course don’t forget that we are people!

In conclusion, I want to say that we should live here and now and don’t forget our past!”

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