MARRIAGE AND WEDDINGS IN KAZAKHSTAN | Facts and Details
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According to many people of Kazakhstan, during the Soviet years they wanted for very little. Everyone had jobs, everyone had a house or an apartment, and food was abundant. The Kazakhs were part of a powerful union that challenged the United States and the other powers of the world. They lived in a socialist system that based its success on the hard work of its people. But to say that everything was equal and that there were no underlying tensions, especially between Russians and Kazakhs, would be untrue.
Since the very days of Russian influence in Central Asia, many Kazakhs have met their presence with contempt and skepticism. This was furthered during the Soviet years when Russian language, Russian culture, and the power in Moscow took very prominent places in Kazakhstan.
While tensions between the two groups were often subtle and barely visible, they erupted violently during the 16 December, riots over Russian control of the Kazakh Communist Party. The day of 16 December is a very important and proud one in recent Kazakh history, as evidence of their nationalism and unity as a people inwhen independence was declared, 16 December was symbolically chosen as Independence Day.
Interior of a yurt, a mobile dwelling used by nomadic Kazakhs. The latent tensions of years of Russian influence in Kazakhstan, coupled with the increasingly more visible disapproval by Kazakhs of Russian domination, set the stage for the difficult first years of post-Soviet life. Kazakh nationalism has been unpopular with many non-Kazakhs, especially the Russians, and thousands have left as a result. Streets and schools have been renamed, statues of Lenin taken down, the national anthem and flag changed, old Soviet holidays forgotten, and new Kazakh holidays promoted.
Ethnic tensions have been further strained by an economy and a political system that has produced extreme haves and have-nots. The guarantee of work, an apartment, free health care, and higher education that kept tensions low for seventy years have been replaced by unemployment, decaying health care, and expensive higher education. Urbanism, Architecture, and the Use of Space The yurt is the main architectural remnant from the Kazakh nomadic years.
The yurt is a round, transportable dwelling not unlike the Native American tepee the yurt being shorter and flatter than the tepee.
The yurt was very useful to the nomadic Kazakhs, who needed a sturdy dwelling to protect them from the elements of the harsh plains, and its inhabitants would sit and sleep in them on thick mats on the floor. Very few Kazakhs live in yurts today, but sitting on the floor is still very common in many Kazakh homes, many preferring it to sitting in chairs or at a regular table.
Yurts are widely used in national celebrations and in Kazakh arts and poetry as reminders of the Kazakhs' nomadic past. Russian settlers in Kazakhstan also had an effect on Kazakhstani architecture. Small A-frame houses, Russian orthodox churches, and many new wooden buildings went up as Russians settled the area in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.
Very few of these building have survived the times besides some churches, which have been restored and protected. The twentieth century and the Soviet Union brought many architectural changes to Kazakhstan. Hard work and unity were two central themes of the socialist years in Kazakhstan, and the architecture from this period is a large reflection of that. Most of the buildings built during this period were big and utilitarian.
Hospitals, schools, post offices, banks, and government buildings went up from Moscow to Almaty in basically the same shape, size, and color. The materials used were usually just as rough, with concrete and brick being the most common. Large Soviet apartment blocks went up in all of the cities across Kazakhstan. Arranged in small microdistricts, these buildings were usually five or six stories high and had three to four apartments of one, two, or three bedrooms each per floor.
The villages and collective farms of Kazakhstan were of a different kind of Soviet architecture. Small two- to three-room, one-story houses, usually painted white and light blue the light blue is thought to keep away evil spiritsadorn the countryside in Kazakhstan.
The government built all houses, and there was no individualizing, excessive decorating, or architectural innovation. Very few, if any, houses were allowed to be more than one story high. A big house or an elaborate apartment was thought to be gaudy and very bourgeois. While work and utilitarianism had definite effects on Kazakhstan's architecture, so did the belief in unity and the rights of the people. Public space was very important to the Soviets; in fact, nothing was privately owned, including one's home.
Large collective farms were formed, transforming small villages into working communities, all with the same goal. Large squares and parks were built in almost every town and city.
Everything belonged to the people, through the Communist apparatus in Moscow. Times have certainly changed, as has the architecture in these post-Soviet days of independence. The old buildings, and the people who designed and built them, still exist. Some parts of Kazakhstan are in good repair and upkeep, while other parts look like an old amusement park that hasn't been used in years. In some cases cranes and forklifts stand in the exact places they were in when independence was declared and government money ran out.
Rusted and covered in weeds and grass, much of the Soviet architecture and the people occupying it are in desperate need of help. This picture is further complicated and contrasted by the introduction of new buildings and new wealth by some people in Kazakhstan. Oil money, foreign investments, and a new management style have created a whole new style in Kazakhstan. Almaty and Astana both have five-star high-rise hotels.
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The big cities have casinos, Turkish fast food restaurants, and American steak houses; modern bowling alleys and movie theaters are opening up amid old and decaying Soviet buildings. Private homes are also changing; sometimes next to or between old Soviet-style one-story austere houses, new two- and three-story houses with two-car garages and large, fenced-in yards are being built.American In Kazakhstan: What THEY Think Of BLACK?? - Street Attraction
Food and Economy Food in Kazakh culture is a very big part of their heritage, a way of respecting guests and of celebrating. When sitting down to eat with a Kazakh family one can be sure of two things: There will be more than enough food to eat, and there will be meat, possibly of different types.
Food in Daily Life. In daily life Kazakhs eat some of their own national dishes, but have borrowed some from the Russians, Ukrainians, Uzbeks, and Turks that they live among. Daily meals for Kazakhs usually are very hearty, always including bread and usually another starch such as noodles or potatoes and then a meat. One common dish is pilaf, which is often associated with the Uzbeks.
It is a rice dish usually made with carrots, mutton, and a lot of oil. Soups, including Russian borscht, also are very common. Soups in Kazakhstan can be made of almost anything.
Borscht is usually red beet-based or brown meat-basedwith cabbage, meat, sometimes potatoes, and usually a large dollop of sour cream. Pelimnin, a Russian dish that is made by filling small dough pockets with meat and onions, is very popular with all nationalities in Kazakhstan and is served quite often as a daily meal.
A more traditional Central Asian dish, although not conclusively Kazakh, is manti, a large dough pocket filled with meat, onions, and sometimes pumpkin. Bread commonly loaves or a flat, round bread called leipioskka and seasonal fruits and vegetables are served with almost every meal.
Kazakhstan is known for its apples, and the Soviets are known for their love of potatoes for both eating and making vodka. Shashlik, marinated meat roasted over a small flame and served on a stick, is of great popularity in this region. High quality shashlik in large quantities is served at home on special occasions or if an animal is slaughtered.
With their daily meals, Kazakhs drink fruit juices, milk, soft drinks, beer, water, and tea. Tea is an integral part of life in Kazakhstan. Many people sit down and drink tea at least six or seven times a day.
Every guest is always offered tea, if not forced to stay and drink some. Tea is almost always consumed hot, as people in Kazakhstan think that drinking cold beverages will make one sick. Soft drinks, beer, and other drinks are drunk cold but never too cold, for fear of sickness.
Two children peruse movies advertisements in Alma Ata. Tea drinking habits vary between Russians and Kazakhs. Russians drink their tea in teacups filled to the brim with hot tea. Kazakhs drink their tea in small wide-mouthed saucers called kasirs that they never fill more than halfway usually only a quarter full.
The intent is that the tea should never get cold, and the passing of the empty cup by a guest or a family member to the woman pouring tea serves as a way to keep them interacting, a way of showing respect. Kazakhs take tea drinking very seriously, and the ritualistic brewing, drinking, passing, and refilling of teacups take on a real rhythm and beauty when observed. Kazakhs are both very traditional and superstitious and thus have a multitude of food and drink taboos.
As Muslims, Kazakhs do not eat pork. This is a general rule, followed much more closely in the villages than in the more secular cities. Kazakhs also have great respect for bread. It should never be wasted or thrown away and should always be placed on the table right side up.
Kazakhs will often forbid you to leave their house unless you have eaten at least some of their bread, even if it is just a small crumb. A national habit is eating with one's hands. This is naturally more common in the villages, where traditions are more evident, but it is not uncommon to see Kazakhs in cities eat with their hands. In fact, the Kazakh national dish beshbarmak means "five fingers" in Kazakh.
Food Customs at Ceremonial Occasions. Kazakhs have always held guests in high regard. Certain traditional Kazakh foods are usually served only on special occasions such as parties, holidays, weddings, and funerals. The most notable of these is beshbarmak, most traditionally made of horse meat.
It is essentially boiled meat on the bone served over noodles and covered in a meat broth called souppa. The host, usually a man, takes the various pieces of meat and gives them out in an order of respect usually based on seniority or distance traveled.
MARRIAGE AND WEDDINGS IN KAZAKHSTAN
Each different piece of the horse or goat, sheep or cow, never chicken or pig symbolizes a different attribute such as wisdom, youth, or strength. Beshbarmak is always served in large quantities and usually piping hot. When beshbarmak is made of sheep, the head of the sheep also will be boiled, fully intact, and served to the most honored guest. That guest then takes a bit of meat for himself or herself and distributes other parts of the head to other people at the table.
Another national food that is present at all celebrations is bausak, a deep-fried bread with nothing in the middle and usually in the shape of a triangle or a circle. The bread is eaten with the meal, not as dessert, and is usually strewn all over the traditional Kazakh table, which is called destrakan the word refers more to a table full of traditional food than to an actual table.
Bausak is strewn all over the table so that no part of the table is showing. Kazakhs like to have every inch of service area covered with food, sometimes with more food than will fit on the table, as a way of showing respect and prosperity.
A fermented horse's milk called kumis in Kazakh is also occasionally drunk at ceremonial occasions. This traditional milk dates back to the nomadic days, and many people in Central Asia think that the intoxicating beverage is therapeutic. Vodka is consumed at all ceremonies.
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It is usually consumed in large quantities, and can be homemade or bought from a store although usually only Russians make it at home. Toasts almost always precede a drink of vodka, and are given not only at special events but also at small, informal gatherings.
Vodka permeates Kazakh and non-Kazakh culture and is central to all important meals and functions. Because of the richness of its land and resourcefulness of its people, the Kazakh basic economy is not very dependent on foreign trade and imports. The degree to which this is true varies greatly between the cities and towns, and the villages of the countryside. Almost every rural Kazakh has a garden, sheep and chickens, and some have horses.
There are many meals in rural Kazakhstan where everything people eat and drink is homemade and from the person's garden or livestock. People in this region have been taught to be very resourceful and careful with what little they have.
Most men can fix their own cars, houses, and farm equipment; women can cultivate, cook, sew, or mend almost everything they use in daily life. In fact, many rural dwellers make a living of growing foods or handmaking goods for sale in the local markets or in the cities.
For other goods, Kazakhs rely on a local market, where they buy clothes, electronics or other goods, mostly from Russia, Turkey, China, and South Korea. Urban Kazakhs rely much on grocery stores and now even big shopping malls in some cities for their goods and services. Land Tenure and Property. Most people in Kazakhstan now own a house or an apartment for which they paid very little. Houses and property built and subsidized by the former Soviet government were very cheap and available to all during the Soviet years.
New houses have been built and new property developed, and these are bought and sold in much the same way property is in any Western country. Most apartments are bought outright, but slowly the concept of developing an area and renting out the apartments and stores is becoming more popular. The area may face a real crisis as the houses and apartments that remain from the Soviet era need to be torn down or rebuilt, as people do not have much money for property or building supplies.
Seventy years of living in a land without imports or major foreign trade made the people of Kazakhstan rely heavily on their Soviet neighbors and on producing for themselves. In local markets, all types of goods and services are for sale, from produce to clothes, cars, and livestock. Kazakh carpets and handicrafts are probably some of the most famous exports from Kazakhstan. In addition, mineral and oil exports bring in much-needed revenue.
The major industries of Kazakhstan are oil, coal, ore, lead, zinc, gold, silver, metals, construction materials, and small motors. Kazakhstan produces 40 percent of the world's chrome ore, second only to South Africa. Besides the major fossil fuels and important minerals extraction, which is being supported by both foreign investment and the Kazakh government, much of the major industrial production in Kazakhstan has slowed or stopped.
An industrial growth rate of Kazakhstan trades oil, ferrous and non-ferrous metals, chemicals, grains, wool, meat, and coal on the international market mostly with Russia, the United Kingdom, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, the Netherlands, China, Italy, and Germany. For the years between28 percent of working males were active in agriculture; 37 percent in industry; and 35 percent in services.
During that same time period, 15 percent of working women were engaged in agriculture; 25 percent in industry; and 60 percent in services. Liberal arts colleges have only existed in Kazakhstan since independence in Until that time all institutes of higher education trained workers for a specific skill and to fill a specific role in the economy. This is still very much the case with high school seniors deciding among careers such as banking, engineering, computer science, or teaching.
A system of education, qualifications, work experience, and job performance is for the most part in place once a graduate enters the workforce. In recent years there have been widespread complaints of nepotism and other unfair hiring and promotion practices, often involving positions of importance. This has lead to cynicism and pessimism regarding fairness in the job market. Social Stratification Class and Castes. Some would argue that there is no bigger problem in Kazakhstan than rising social stratification at all levels.
Kazakh capitalism has been a free-for-all, with a few people grabbing almost all of the power regardless of who suffers. The terms "New Kazakh" or "New Russian" have been used to describe the nouveau riche in Kazakhstan, who often flaunt their wealth. This is in contrast to the vast number of unemployed or underpaid. A culture of haves and have-nots is dangerous for a country composed of many different ethnic groups used to having basic needs met regardless of who they were or where they came from.
Poverty and accusations of unfair treatment have raised the stakes in tensions between Kazakhs and non-Kazakhs, whose interactions until recently have been peaceful. Symbols of Social Stratification. The symbols of stratification in Kazakhstan are much like they are in many developing countries.
The rich drive expensive cars, dress in fashionable clothes, and throw lavish parties. The poor drive old Soviet cars or take a bus, wear cheap clothes imported from China or Turkey, and save for months just to afford a birthday party or a wedding. American legal and constitutional experts helped the Kazakhstani government write their constitution and form their government in The system is a strong presidential one, with the president having the power to dissolve the parliament if his prime minister is rejected twice or if there is a vote of no confidence.
The president also is the only person who can suggest constitutional amendments and make political appointments. A big festival to which all the relatives and friends are invited is organized after this.
On the occasion of Sundetke otyrgyzu guests usually make generous gifts to the hero of the occasion and his parents. Traditions and customs related to marriage One of unique Kazakh traditions related to marriages is that the marriage between relatives up to the seventh generation is prohibited.
Such taboo helps to prevent blood mixing and, consequently, benefit to the health of future offspring. Traditionally, sequence of the ceremonies and rituals related to a marriage is the following. Any wedding ceremony in the Kazakh society is anticipated by kudalyk matchmaking. Before the wedding, matchmakers come to bride's house. Their task is to agree with the closest relatives of a girl on her marriage. During courtship, father of the bride receives gifts from the guests that serve as a deposit.
If negotiations are successful, the father, in turn, presents a coat to the main matchmaker. Preparation of "kuyruk bauyr" - a delicious dish from the liver and broad tail fat also testifies to the successful completion of courtship. The next stage of the ceremony is sendoff of the bride Kyz uzatu. In the evening before the Kyz uzatu matchmakers come to the bride's house again. Number of visitors should not be even Early in the morning, the bride with matchmakers is sent to the groom's house.
According to the tradition, the first threshold of the yurt was to be crossed by the bride, and be sure to do it with the right foot. Also during the wedding ceremony, the couple must drink together a bowl of water with dissolved sugar and salt.
This ritual is considered as a guarantor of a happy family life.
The most ancient traditions of Kazakh people Ashamayga mingizu is a ritual whereby a years-old boy was supposed to be given a horse and whip. Such a ritual is a kind of "initiation", having proclaimed that the child is a jigit. On this day, elders blessed the young rider and parents organized a small celebration in honour of their son. Bastangy is an ancient analog of contemporary youth parties.
Traditionally, these celebrations are conducted immediately after departure of adults. During Bastangy, guests express only one wish that the travel of the adults would be accompanied by luck. Ukrainian etiquette, just like as dude, user information.
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