Posts tagged Turgen

Kazakh Nomadic Way of Life

I was just informed by an American teaching colleague that there are still yurts to go to and stay in as tourists close to Turgen, Kazakhstan.  (several hours away from Almaty) He thought these “tourist yurts” only existed in Kyrgyzstan but he himself experienced staying in a yurt near Turgen  just this past week and on top of that there was a HUGE celebration with a newly built mosque in this summer pasture land.

One of my students wrote about his “grand, grandfather whose name is Zhalgaspai.  He was born in Mangystau region which is in the southwestern region of Kazakhstan in 1835. In those times, people in Central Asia still have been keeping nomadic way of life.  Zhalgaspai was from a very rich aristocratic family, which belonged to a well-known tribe Adai of Smaller Zhuz.  Adai tribe used to fight against the southern invaders from Iran and Uzbekistan.  From a very young age, Zhalgaspai was involved in politics of the aul (village).  He also helped his father to take care of enormous number of horses which they kept on the wide steppes of southwestern Kazakhstan.  He was respected among local people as he helped poor and contributed to the development of the region.  But by the 1900s, most of his fortune was taken away by the Bolsheviks…”

Leave a comment »

Kazakh Faces at Astana, Alatau Sanatorium and Turgen

Just as I was about to put this in my blog, one of my blog readers asked about the Alatau Sanatorium I stayed at for a CATEC (Central Asia Teachers of English) conference this past June.  I presented at CATEC with a colleague friend of mine and will do something of the same next week in Astana and Karaganda for another conference.  The title for both presentations is “Kazakhstan’s Orality vs. Info Literacy.”  It will be fun to travel with another new friend of mine within our Language Center who will be presenting her own paper.

During our mid-semester break, it was GREAT to travel to Astana to visit some of my husband’s Kazakh friends from his agricultural past working for USDA of 16-17 years ago.  We were served a very Kazakh meal of Beshbarmak (Five Fingers) by our gracious hostess Cholpan.  Her husband and Ken friend, Kanat gave us a tour of the Farming Institute which used to be THEE place for the former Soviet Union. 

Kazakhs are known to be very generous and hospitable but I’m also learning that some can be very spiteful and vengeful too.  I think there are those who would LOVE to go to this upcoming conference but are mired down with committee meetings and trying frantically to keep up with the pace of our university.  Perhaps they would rather be dancing like these Kazakh girls above who were at the Alatau sanatorium or on horseback similar to photo below when we went last spring to Turgen to do some trout fishing.  In any case, for every happy and kind Kazakh face, there are those who are showing a happy face which is trying to cover up a very vengeful and mean spirit inside.  Human nature is basically sinful no matter what country you are living in.

Comments (1) »

Adventures in Fishing for Trout, the Royal Fish

Yelena and ToyotaKris and Ken at Fish farmKen in streamKen and cooked trout

Yelena’s Toyota took us to Turgen, the fish farm so we could catch some trout, the “royal fish.”  She caught half of the ten we had brought to our campfire further up in the mountains.  The scenery along the way was untouched and inspiring, no way to capture it adequately on film.  We cooked up the fish after she had marinated it in spices and mayonnaise. We kept our drinks in the stream nearby to cool off. Too cold for bare feet in that stream as Ken found out.  The place we picked for our picnic was PERFECT as the sun set prematurely behind a steep green “hill” that soared above us.  Yelena drove us on a very nice adventure which will stay in our memories forever.  A good time was certainly had by all three of us!!!

Leave a comment »