Kazakhstan

KAZAKHSTAN

Gloucester High School writers: Aamena Khodayar, Daniel Le, Nader Mufti

GENERAL

Kazakhstan is a country located in Central Asia and it is actually the largest country in Central Asia. Not only that, it’s actually the 9th biggest country in the world! Kazakhstan has several beautiful cities, its capital city being Astana (now known as Nursultan) and is known for many of its futuristic buildings, such as the pyramid-shaped Palace of Peace! Strange but pretty cool huh? The country’s geographical size is about 2,724,800 sq. km while Canada’s is about 9,984,670 sq. km. This means Canada is about 4 times bigger than Kazakhstan! Kazakhstan is actually considered a pretty empty country compared to its large size as its population density is at less than 6 people per sq km and Canada’s population density, on the other hand, is about 4 people per sq km. Both of these country’s population density is on the lower end of the spectrum. Kazakhstan’s country leader is Kassym-Jomart Tokayev who actually got elected only 11 days ago! He is part of the “Nur Otan” party which is the Democratic People’s Party and it is the ruling political party in Kazakhstan with over 762 thousand members! The Kazakh Language is the official state language in Kazakhstan however Russian is also widely used as the language of interethnic communication or the country’s “business language.” Kazakhstan’s currency is called “Kazakhstani Tenge” (KZT) and it has a very unique symbol:₸ that looks like the letter T with an extra line on top. As you may know, Kazakhstan actually has the largest economy in Central Asia. The country’s main industries include; the mining of ore, manganese, chromite, lead, and zinc. As well as the petroleum industry as the country relies greatly on the exportation of oil.

TRAVEL

The 4 major highways in Kazakhstan are; M-36 highway, M-38 highway, M-51 highway, and M-32 highway. These international routes pass through Kazakhstan. Kazakhstan’s road conditions range from poor to great depending on where the location for the road is and whether it has been completed. In rural areas, for example, the roads are terrible but luckily Kazakhstan’s Minister of Transport has stated that by 2020 more than 80% of the roads in Kazakhstan (the main intercity roads) will improve in quality! Speed limits are generally important in almost every country if not literally every country and Kazakhstan’s speed limits depend on the area like for example, in urban areas the speed limit is 20-60 kph, in rural areas the speed limit is 90 kph and in Motorways the speed limit is 110 kph. Fun fact is Kazakhstan doesn’t have speed cameras! But sometimes police officer(s) hide and watch in order to catch people that are speeding which is quite risky for those speeders out there! There are dangers when it comes to the danger levels of the roads in Kazakhstan due to the quality of some of the roads but it is not severe according to statistics, there are 3983 road fatalities per year on average and over 30,000 injuries which is not as bad when there are certain countries that have it worse but it is still pretty significant. Hopefully by 2020 when the road conditions get better these numbers will significantly decrease..The government of Canada’s travel advisory for this country is to exercise a high degree of caution as a result of crimes since crimes occur against foreigners such as robbery, therefore carrying small amounts of money is ideal in public areas to avoid robbery.. Terrorism can occur at any time in Kazakhstan making it a threat in the country to be aware of, some of the targeted areas of terrorist attacks are usually populated areas such as government buildings, place of worship, airports, public areas such as tourist attractions, restaurants, shops etc. Spiked food/drinks are also frequent in Kazakhstan therefore, never ingesting anything you leave unattended is the ideal thing to do.

SPORTS AND LEISURES

Football, Wrestling, Weightlifting, Boxing and Cycling are some of Kazakhstan’s most popular sports ever! They also have many great females and male athletes who perform incredibly in these sports even though they may not be well known by people outside of Kazakhstan but they certainly are well known and loved by Kazakhs! Some of Kazakhstan’s best female athletes include; Zulfiya Chinshanlo, a weightlifter literally known for setting records and Marina Volnova, an amateur boxer known for winning the bronze medal in the 2012 Summer Olympics for women’s boxing! Some of the best male athletes include; Asset Mambetov, a wrestler who won a bronze medal at the 2008 Summer Olympics, Alexander Vinokourov who is a former professional cyclist, winning multiple medals. Kazakhstan also has many great underrated popstars that many may not have heard of, as they’re not really worldwide famous which is quite sad since they’re so good. Some of Kazakhstan’s best-known pop stars include; Zhanar Dugalova who is best known for her song “Izin Korem” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aQDbHKFbK0M

And Dilnaz Akhmadieva https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8tYd3TEDEqM. These female artists are admired both for their visuals and their music by many Kazakhs. There is barely any information on Kazakh actors/actresses since they’re not internationally recognized but they are still just as talented as many well known internationally loved actors such as Jennifer Lawrence and Fan Bing Bing. Some of Kazakh’s famous actors/actresses are Samal Yeslyamova best known for her leading role in the movie “Ayka” https://www.imdb.com/title/tt8305116/?ref_=nm_ov_bio_lk1, and Karlygash Mukhamedzhanova known for her role as “Zhanna” in the movie the Liquidator https://www.imdb.com/title/tt2072268/?ref_=nm_ov_bio_lk1. Kazakhstan doesn’t quite have any national jokes available online, however, Sacha Baron Cohen, who is an English actor/comedian played “Borat” in the movie “Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan” The character had misogynistic/racist views and basically Kazakhstan was chosen as the country for Borat’s jokes because of the corruption going on there. Some cool souvenirs from Kazakhstan are the “Bal-Bala” Toys which can dance, sing, and speak in Kazakh, Chocolate that is literally named Kazakhstan which is pretty odd but it’s pretty cool since its wrapped in paper for gifts and it is loved by many foreigners, it is also bought by foreigners for their loved ones as gifts and a souvenir to bring.

Food and Dining

Kazakhstan’s famous markets have very basic names like for example “Green Bazaar/Green Market” as some people call it. It’s a very popular market in Almaty with this name because initially, it was a place where people sold/bought local produce such as vegetables. It sells the widest range of goods since it is central. Other markets include; Khan Shatyr, Zelyony Bazaar etc. Kazakh people eat horses! In fact, several of their national dishes include horse which is taboo in some countries and not quite popular in others. Kazakh’s top 3 national dishes are; Beshbarmak https://arbuz.com/recipes/beshbarmak/, Kazy https://recipes.fandom.com/wiki/Kazy, and Kuyrdak https://www.geniuskitchen.com/recipe/kuyrdak-from-kazakhstan-160815. Guess what all 3 of these national dishes have in common..horse meat! Horse meat is VERY popular in Kazakhstan. Dining Etiquette is incredibly important to Kazakhs and some of many includes, to wash your hands before and after the meal, since Kazakhs use both utensils and their hands, in some circumstances when you’re required to use your hands you must use your right hand when eating. Also, leaving a bit of food on the plate after eating is respectful as an empty plate indicates that you’re still hungry. So if you’re still hungry don’t clean your plate squeaky clean with your mouth, instead, ask for more food it is much more respectful than leaving your plate clean.

Restaurant Sample menus with prices;

Sources:

http://www.almaty-kazakhstan.net/attractions/entertainment/green-bazaar/

https://e-history.kz/en/publications/view/1141

http://www.safaritheglobe.com/kazakhstan/culture/food-drinks/

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-kazakhstan-astana-factbox/factbox-key-facts-about-kazakh-capital-astana-idUSL0335587720080704

https://www.worldatlas.com/articles/the-economy-of-kazakhstan.html

Driving in Kazakhstan

https://www.rhinocarhire.com/Drive-Smart-Blog/Drive-Smart-Kazakhstan.aspx#/searchcars

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transport_in_Kazakhstan

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-borat/kazakhstan-deserves-borats-jokes-politician-idUSL319526020061031