Posts tagged Russian Empire

Nurlan’s Grand-grandfather was from the famous Adai tribe

     My grand-grand father’s name is Zhalgaspai. He was born in 1837 in the village in south-western Kazakhstan region, which is now called Mangistau oblast. At those times, people kept nomadic way of life and were ruled by the khan. So they often traveled from south-western Kazakh lands to up north by Russian Empire’s territory Orenburgskaya gubernya.

     Zhalgaspai was a very rich man. He was born in the aristocratic family and belonged to the famous tribe called Adai of the Smaller Zhuz. The Adai tribe is famous for its bravery during the massive attacks of Mongols and other enemies of Kazakh people in the medieval. During the Soviet times they also contributed to the gaining of the independence of Kazakh land from Soviet power.

     Zhalgaspai’s father was a head of the village and owned an enormous number of horses. He died early during Zhalgaspai’s childhood. Even though Zhalgaspai was too young to take care of all the cattle and the village, he became engaged in politics of the village and other regions in the age of sixteen. Later on he was elected as a head of the village. Zhalgaspai was well-known and respected in that area for being very generous man who helps poor people and for his ability to wisely solve conflicts concerning pasture lands between villages. Unfortunately, during the crisis time in Soviet Union most of the Zhalgaspai’s fortune was seized by Bolsheviks. Later he was killed by Bolsheviks under the massive killing of all rich and educated people of Kazakhstan during the early 1900’s.

     I’m very proud of my grand-grand father, as he was a good son of his people and contributed to the development of his community. People were telling legends about the greatness of the number of his horses. According to one of the legends, the sound of the running horses of Zhalgaspai could be heard several miles away in the neighboring villages.

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Two Very Different Lives, Arman’s Grandparents

          I only know the parents of my mother because my father left us when I was six month. I know just a little about him and his parents that’s why I’m regarding my mom’s parents like my grandparents! They are very strong people! Morally and physically too. They had never used to drink an alcohol or smoke a cigarette.


         My grandfather – Baizhan ata (means “Rich Soul”) was born in 1917 in a big and rich family. He had more than ten brothers and sisters. Almost all boys in the family except my grandfather were educated in medrese (Islamic school). My great-grandfather did not let him study in medrese because they had a farm with a huge amount of animals like horses, sheep and even camels. They were shot of workforce, so my grandfather worked in farm while his brothers were studying in medrese. But he was telling me that he wanted to study too. Once, he wanted to escape his family and he did so! He came to the medrese to be educated person but his father returned him back by biting [?] and telling him that there is no need to go to medrese while his brothers doing so. Also he said that there is enough people in medrese from their family and someone should work in farm. That is why my grandfather can not read and write. He can only write first 3 letters of his surname when he need to sign a document. But it is another story of my grandfather related to his surname because he does not belong to “Zhanpeissov” family!


 My grandmother’s past was quite a bit better than her husband’s. Her name is Kunbope (means “Sun baby”) and she was born in 1926 in a big and well known family. Her mother died when she was a child, so she had stepmother. Her father Tursyn ata was well known and respected person in the Ulytau of Saryarka region. He was very wise person! He was counted as a “peacekeeper” within the region. My grandmother’s past life is the opposite of my grandfather’s past life. In contrast to my grandfather, she studied in school five years and can read and write. They did not meet and did not know each other before their wedding. Their parents decided to marry them.


         There were many terrible things in our land in the XX century! “Rulers” started to industrialize the vast area of the Russian Empire. It led to the death of millions of its inhabitants! In the 1930s my grandfather was sold or exchanged for two sacks of wheat. Causes of this kind of action was collectivization that was started in the end of 1920s. Many Kazakh families became poor and lack of food caused an unusual action like my great-grandparents did. This is the only story that he told me about his past but it is good enough to understand that he lived in very dark times. It was so hard to live in that time and almost impossible to survive in famine when you are poor and do not have a family that could support you! He survived only because of his strength of mind!


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Too Young to Die, Too Hard to Live

Too young to die, but too hard to live, by Alexandr B.

Throughout time everyone in our world can say that he/she had bad times and good times. Now, I would like to know what good time is and what bad time is? These are relative terms and everyone evaluates them differently. The story that I write happened, as I evaluate it, during really bad times for my great-grandmother (Elena) and great-grandfather (Vladimir).


I do not know much about my great-grandfather, especially his childhood, and later you will realize why. My great-grandmother was seventh and youngest child in her family. She was born on May 20-th of 1913. Her family was rich and they lived in a huge house. They had plenty of all, but later the year of 1917 came. The year of The February revolution in Russian Empire, when crowd of people with guns penetrated the house of Tsar Family and killed everyone, including youngest prince of 5 years old. As you probably know, it was just beginning of the story. Those people were all from poor families and their next goal was to kill every rich family and take their goods. So one day father of my great-grandmother was warned by his friend that there are soldiers heading towards their house. This is probably where the “bad time” starts.


 The whole family had to leave as soon as possible, and they could not take anything with them in order to move fast. It was such a tough moment that everyone was on his/her own. My great-grandmother was 4 year old at that time, therefore no one took her. They were afraid to slowdown, so her mother told her to run somewhere as fast as she could, and the whole family left. A 4 year old girl was left alone on the streets during the time when average family was short on food. She had to eat anything, no matter if it was eatable or not. She tried to survive and as the time was passing, she was getting used to it. Everyday had been becoming more and more normal in her eyes. At the age of 10 she went to work on factory for food and her life had been moving in a better way. Later she went to school, where she tried to study, but the fact that she had to work in order to eat something was distracting her. She did not have enough time. Finally a man appeared in her life. She was only 14 years old, while he was about 22. He was a military man. Yes, it was my great-grandfather. Not a long time later they got married and my great-grandmother and great-grandfather had to falsify her passport, because she was very young to marry. They lived together and were happy, even though it was not the best time yet.

(To be continued in tomorrow’s blog)

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