Posts tagged Kryzlorda

Dreams Realized by my Kazakh Students

The following are quotes from my Listening and Notetaking students answering the question: “Have you ever had a dream that was almost unattainable, almost impossible to master? If not, do you know someone in your family or friends who realized their dream?”

 Dreams Realized by Kazakh students

Abylaikhan – I had a dream which was almost unbelievable to make since I was 5.  I wanted to go to NYC and live in the U.S.  But the problem was that I didn’t know nothing in English except for a word “Please.” When I moved to Kryzlorda, I went to a special English language school.  Till ninth grade I was studying hard, and I won a FLEX program.  I got hosted by a wonderful family from ….New York!!! I can’t even express that moment when the organization called me to inform me that! I was so happy and still remember the day! August 16, 2007. (;-)

Nurlan A. One of my friends has always dreamed about studying in the UK.  Particularly he wanted to study economics at one of the top schools in England.  It took him two years to master his English to the level needed and practice subject tests which he needed to pass in order to get admitted.  But good effort and chasing down a dream gave positive results.

Daniya – My cousin wanted to study in London School of Economics.  But it is difficult to enter this university and also her parents didn’t let her go there.  They wanted her to stay in Kazakhstan.  She is studying in KBTU at the International School of Economics.  After she graduates she will have 2 diplomas: diploma of KBTU and diploma of LSE.  This summer she went to London for 3 weeks, for studying at LSE.  She was sent there from her university at the best student.  And she says that her dreams came true.  She studied at LSE even if it was a small time.

 Galimzhan – When I was 18 years old I was dreaming about studying abroad, but had financial problems.  So I started saving money, a year later I won a lottery and spent all that money to go to the U.S.  I passed a few courses of self-esteem and managing money.

 Gaukhar N. – one of my friends is living and studying in Canada now, actually it was his dream many years and finally this dream came true.

 Raushan – I had a dream but I’m not sure that it was so unattainable. I wanted to graduate from school with Altin Belgi” but everybody, beginning with a headmaster ending with other people, except my class master and friends, didn’t believe that I could do that and they did everything that could help me NOT get “Altin Belgi.”  I think it was like a Rudy’s case.  In spite of these obstacles, I achieved my goal and everybody should go to their dream chasing it.

Aigerim M.  I love dreaming and thinking about my future.  I have many dreams.  In Kazakhstan, after graduating at school, we have a National Test to enter a university.  In school, all my lessons were very good.  I was “5” student, so I had a chance to get “Gold Medal” I don’t know exactly how to say in English.  So, my first dream was to prove my skills in this test and get “Gold Medal” then with our university with a grant.  So, my dream came true.  I’ve realized them.  My National Test score was perfect.  Now I’m studying at our university with Nazarbayev’s scholarship.  My teachers and parents were proud of me.  I was happy, too.  My second dream is to enter Cambridge University for a master.  Third one is to make my parents happy and proud of me. So, I hope that my dreams will be realized.  Of course, it is difficult.  The person should be tolerable for everything despite failures in our difficult life.

Amina – Yes, I had such dream, which I was crazy about.  Actually I had lots of them in my life.  Fortunately I’ve made them reality.  It was VERY HARD, BUT WORTH IT.  The last one was to prepare one totally, not-prepared student for union test.  He got 100/100 in math and 100/100 in physics.  He wanted to have full [ride scholarship?], but his knowledges wasn’t quite enough.

Anar K. Two years ago, I listened about our university and I really wanted to enter in this university.  And I realized my dream, I am so happy!

Aigerim K. – When I studied at school (15 or 16 years old) I really dreamed about returning to my relative’s town of Almaty.  But we lived in Astana.  I thought that it would never happen again that I would live again in Almaty.  But when I passed all exams and entered our university in Almaty, I realized that my parents allowed me to return to Almaty and to live here.

Madiyar – My father had a dream. First of all, I want to tell pre-history.  Ten years ago, my father worked in the theater and his payment was low.  We lived in a small flat. And his dream was to build a big house with a big garden, open his own shop.  Before, he always wanted to be boss.  And his dream was realized maybe because he really wanted it.

Indira – I have never had a dream that was almost unattainable or impossible because I am a realist and I don’t like to dream.  But of course, I know that my sister likes to dream very much and she always realizes her dreams.  She is very clever and self-confident person.  For example, when she was a school girl, she dreamt about studying abroad, and in future work as a translator, she was really interested in Italy.  And now, she really works in Italy as a translator and five years she studied abroad in Russia.

Julia – I don’t think there is anything unattainable.  My aunt finished her school in a small town in Russia (Batagay) then she went to Moscow and started studying in MSU for free.  Those times it was almost impossible (as well as now).  Now she’s an editor in one of Russian magazines.  Her hard working character helped her achieve success.

Elbar – My mother when she was a teenager dreamed to live in a city, (she lived in a village near Almaty), to have a car, own flat, etc.  She didn’t work like all Soviet teenagers, instead of this she studied.  So she went to university, finished, found a good job, by that time she developed in her career and realized her dreams.

Tolegen – To have a dream that I cannot realize, is not me.  I always think realistically, whatever the subject is.  I have a friend who had such a dream; he wanted to leave to Japan and continue his education there, but it was almost impossible, because of lack of money, however, he realized it with an international program for students

Serikzhan – I’ve never had unattainable dreams.  But I have a friend who was eager to be a football player of a professional team. (He ha) It was impossible task.  We all thought that he wouldn’t be able to reach his goals.  But he did!

Karlygash – I had an experience when I really wanted to participate in the science project competition and I really wanted to take a place there.  I dreamt about this and one day my director said that I was chosen to this competition and then I was ready to tell about my project.  At the end, I took third place on Republic competition.

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No TRUE Kazakh wants to be a “Shala Kazakh”

I learned from Aigerim about the term of “Shala Kazakh” which is true of her husband’s family who are from the north of Kazakhstan Shala means that you are “poor in your own Kazakh culture” because you don’t know the language or many of the Kazakh traditions.

Aigerim’s parents, on the other hand, are from the rural areas of Kazakhstan and hung on to their Kazakh language.  However, during the Soviet past they met with problems in not knowing Russian.  Aigerim’s parents wanted to reverse that trend so they made sure their children did well in Russian but now they have become Shala Kazakh. Aigerim woefully admits to being a Shala Kazakh but she will make sure her son is not. Most Kazakhs now believe it is shameful not to know your own country’s language.  I was told that you will find better speakers of Kazakh among those people from the south of Kazakhstan like Taras, Kryzlorda and Shymkent and also to the east close to China

It seems that during the Soviet purges in the 1930s and 1940 there were those Kazakhs who fled to China. Now some of the children and grandchildren have returned to Kazakhstan to become citizens.  Their Kazakh language is very good but they have problems filling out forms at banks and other official documents which are still in Russian.  Not knowing the Russian language but only Kazakh (and Chinese), they are at a disadvantage.  Their documents and passports say they are Kazakh yet they need their children to help them translate from Russian to Kazakh. 

Of course now, the employers throughout Kazakhstan are trying to attract Kazakh speakers who know the Kazakh language (also Russian AND English).  Dilyara claimed she watched a movie of Americans who were speaking the Kazakh language fluently.  She said she would show it to me because  I’m convinced it is probably excellent dubbing of voices going on. I know that in China, Chinese dubbing voices are famous for speaking in Chinese to go along with the lip movements of the actors in American Hollywood films. 

 

For those Russians who remain living and working in Kazakhstan, they are supposedly shamed into learning Kazakh.  Especially true when those foreigners, such as Japanese or Americans come to Kazakhstan and learn Kazakh in a short time.  The question is asked: “What about the Russians who have always lived in Kazakhstan?”  They have a wide assortment of many Kazakhs to help them practice speaking Kazakh.  Aigerim pointed out that when she wants to practice her English, she has a difficult time finding a native speaker of English except when I’m available for her to talk to.  I’m hoping to get her connected with a researcher from Sweden so she can further practice her English speaking skills next fall when she arrives to Almaty.

 

Fun day learning more from Dilyara and Aigerim about their Kazakh culture while I’m supposedly helping them improve their English skills.

 

 

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Irina’s Korean Grandmother

I’d like to tell a story about a woman I’ve never seen. She was a usual person, one of millions in the world, but she is unusual for me. She is my grandma. All I know about her is from my father’s memoirs.  

She was born in the Far East and was deported to Kazakhstan in 1937 like thousands of her age. I know almost nothing about her childhood, just general and several unrelated facts. I think her young years were not so happy, because of starvation, a new, unfriendly place and the World War II. Her father had been executed before the deportation. Her mother was very overbearing and had three daughters (one of them is my grandma) from two husbands. My great grandma’s second husband was a teacher, a Principal of a local secondary school in Kazakhstan and had magnetic eyes of yellow color that was strange for Asians, so lots of people still remember him. And those are the scarce facts I’ve heard.            

During student life grandma met my grandpa, they studied in Kryzylorda Training College together. That time she was a future Russian Language and Literature teacher and my grandpa was a future teacher of Mathematics and Physics. After graduation they got an order to go to Kalpe village in Almaty District, near to my grandma’s parents.

Here their married life started. All the time after College my grandparents worked for a secondary school in the village teaching Russian language, Literature, Mathematics and Physics accordingly. They had three sons; my father is the middle son. Every summer they took a field and grew onions for additional profit. It was a traditional business for many Korean families (for plenty of families the onion growing was a main business and it brought much more money than teaching or other work). As my grandma was the only woman in the family she had to do or at least to manage all the related routines at home from cooking to farming and combine all these with her professional activity. An interesting fact that takes place in this story is that my grandpa had chronic stomach and intestinal tract aches, so he never took part in home activities. Besides, he went to Caucasus and other Soviet health resorts every summer, while his wife and sons repaired the house.

I wonder how my grandma dealt with so many things, but still there are lots of her students who remember her as a brilliant teacher. And their words affirm books, greeting cards, photos with thankful notes. One surprising fact which my father told me is that grandma while being in a hospital learned by heart a poem “Yevgeniy Onegin” by Pushkin! It is unbelievable! She collected a big home library including rare books and editions and made many-many other things we still use at home.

Unfortunately, she died at the age of 48 because of cancer. It is pity, but my father even doesn’t remember her date of birthday because they never celebrated it or may be because a birthday was changed every solar year (grandparents used to celebrate birthdays according to lunar calendar). Two years later after the death my grandpa got married again. But last summer he said: “I’ve never met and I will never meet a woman similar to her. She was a real wife and woman”. And I think he was right.        

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