Posts tagged May Day

April’s Astana Shapes and Sizes

If you are going to have a capital in the northern part of Kazakhstan, you might as well have some remarkable features about it in the architecture. The buildings all over Astana have names attached to them according to what they look like, they serve as landmarks because street names are too confounding. (Why? Because some streets have old Russian names, others have new Kazakh names)  Best to tell the taxi driver the name of the landmark instead of a street address.  With no mountains and no trees to speak of (except those young, newly planted ones that are finally showing neon green leaves), you must put your money and energy into shapes and different sizes of buildings.  I’ll focus on photos I’ve taken in the last month or so.  Tomorrow will be the GRAND May day celebration that is a holiday all over the former Soviet Union.  I may have photos from how the different places around Astana are festooned.

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Sundry Photos and Sunday Morning Thoughts

view-of-mtnsNotice lately all the photos I have on this blog? Seems I have more to show than to tell. Must be the end of the semester because all I can think about now is figure out final grades and submit those grades the students have earned and finish up other odds and ends projects. I’ll have more time later to think and write, but for now these photos will capture why I like it here so much in Almaty. I have some various sundry photos of artwork from my excursion to the crafts fair last Sunday. See below the hunters and the hunted, the traditional nomad and how he lived off the land without the help of industrialization and the accompanying pollution that attends it here and now in Almaty. Because of our recent rains, I’ve been seeing the stars and crescent moon lately in the cleaned up sky. I also saw the big fireworks display just south of the Kazakhstan hotel to celebrate May Day.

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Victory Day is coming up next week, I want to really enjoy this celebration by going to the festivities unhindered by teacher duties. I plan to see the remaining, white haired war veterans parade around with a chest full of medals on their suit and to see all the tanks and missiles drone through the streets. Tanks vs. bow and arrows, quite a contrast the world of Kazakhstan used to be to what it is today.

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May Day Celebration in Almaty

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The highly esteemed leader of Kazakhstan is in Almaty this weekend celebrating May Day. I know that because the usual four guards are staked out at the two entrances on Furmanova Ave. Astana’s capital building was the backdrop at one of the festivities that were all around the city of Almaty, the former capital. People were roaming evastana-in-backgrounderywhere with loudspeakers blaring music and throbbing beat of drums. Flowers, sun, smiling faces all were a part of yesterday’s event. Meanwhile, I sat in my office with headphones on listening to my own music as I worked on my students grades for the semester. I’ve been told that May 9th is an even BIGGER celebration, it is Victory Day. I’ll feel a major victory if I can get all this work done so I can actually relax a bit after this chaotic semester. It’s been a good one but I’m ready for a quiet celebration!

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