Posts tagged Turkmen

Buddy Bear is “Bear”back

What is with this Buddy Bear exhibit? What does this have to do with Kazakhstan?  Well, I believe it has a LOT to do with this culturally rich country.  As many bears that are out on display, 125 close to the Baiterek tower, that’s how many different nationalities co-exist in this lightly populated country of 16 million people. This land is the size of 3 or 4 state of Texas and has an eastern border with China, a country that has over 1 billion Chinese.  There used to be many more Germans and Russians in Kazakhstan and there are also Uighurs, Tatars, Korean, Turks, Kyrgyz, Mongols, Turkmen, Uzbek, etc.  Where China has many more people and a great variety of different Chinese, Kazakhstan has fewer people but many nationalities.  With different cultures, you will have diverse languages and religions.

I believe Kazakhstan prides itself in being able to handle the steady mix of people groups.  I know when I lived in Almaty for two years I was surrounded by different nationalities and enjoyed it. But then again, I’m an ESL/EFL teacher, my job is to teach English to those people who want to learn it.  I’ve studied or tried to learn eight different languages and am a master of none.  The Kazakh people by law have a mandate to know three languages: Kazakh, Russian and English.  Will that work, can they do it?  As I’ve written before, it is a do or die proposition because another alternative could be Chinese.  If I were Kazakh or Kazakhstani, I would try to learn all three languages simultaneously too.  I’ve studied Chinese, I’ve written its calligraphy, I know just how difficult it is to speak in the four tones.  What is so very interesting to me is that among all the nationalities represented in Kazakhstan, China has a very low profile.  Enjoy my photos of more Buddy Bears, especially Vietnam’s quote: “Who doesn’t love, doesn’t live.”

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Iliyas’ Grandfather was a Gold Miner in East Kazakhstan

Every Kazakh family has a rich history, that begins from the far past this is because everyone in Kazakh traditional society must know about his ancestors seven generations back. Using this knowledge Kazakhs may find a lot of relatives (this fact is very important and can be helpful to prevent incest when people get married). So our family is no exception. But now I want to tell about my grandparents, my grandfather Adilgazin Kadyr and my grandmother Sadykova Kulash.

My grandpa was born in Boke village, where people mined gold, in 1940. This settlement is situated in East Kazakhstan, in the mountains. His father was gold miner, but the Second World War had taken him to the front as many other Soviet men. Many people like my grandpa starved. People who didn’t withstand difficulties became food for worms. But little Kadyr-ata survived. He was very smart and wanted to read, to study, to be happy. But his childhood is unhappier than ours. When my grandfather was 18 he went studying in the Pedagogical University in Uskemen. I’m proud of my grandpa, because he is hard worker. He ended studying in the university with good marks and had bearing arms in Turkmen for three years (he often tells me long stories about his military service).

Then he became teacher of history in Boke School. History is his favorite science, because he wants to know what events happened be in the past. In Boke he met my granny, teacher of biology and they got married. My grandma is great mother and a wonderful housewife. She brought my grandpa three boys. One of them is my father.

My grandpa’s hobbies are body-building and reading. Every day he and granny do some exercises, that help for their health, although Kadyr-ata went for boxing and took part in many different championships. My grandfather has a rich library, where you can find books with various topics and tastes.

The years went. By after teaching for ten years Kadyr-ata became headmaster of his school. He is very a good leader. His school won a lot of regional competitions, the graduates showed good results on exams and everybody didn’t forget my grandfather’s merits. But now he and my granny are retired and live with us in Astana. They are happy to see their grandsons everyday.

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