Customs and traditions
The ethnic Kazakhs were formerly a nomadic people and many of their customs and customs relate to nomadic life. Muslim symbols also have an important place. Other ethnic groups in the country have their own traditions. The Russian people follow customs that are common in Russia. This chapter primarily describes the culture of the Ethiopians.
The horse is still a central symbol of Kazakh culture and plays an important role in poetry. The word “kazak” is said to mean “free and independent nomad”. Kazakhs like to ride and often own horses. Riding is still the best way to get to the pathless sections of the steppe. Horse meat was and is a party food in the countryside. There are also horse races and rider games in the traditional style to celebrate different events.
- Countryaah: Overview of the capital city of Kazakhstan, including information about its population, economy, geography, history and map.
Another important symbol is the herb, the traditional tent. The herb is no longer used as a home anymore, but is often used as a decoration of public premises. A yurt can easily be packed – it says a Kazakh woman takes half an hour – and moved on a horse or camel’s back.
According to Abbreviationfinder, Kazakhstan has a tradition of word games, and poets (akyn) often improvise in competitions (aity), accompanied by string instruments such as dumb or kobyz (see also Culture).
Know and label
Kazakhs usually greet by shaking hands, at least if they are two people of the same sex. As Muslims, some men do not want to shake hands with a woman. The handshake is often done with both hands and a smile, and with eye contact. People who know each other well and are of the same sex can greet with a hug.
In a business context it is important to dress properly, as if you are invited to someone’s home. Overly informal attire can be perceived as nonchalant.
Meals and upholstery
Kazakhs traditionally like to offer tea and bread as soon as the opportunity arises. The bread is considered sacred and served as a sign of respect. The tea cup is often half full: a full cup is considered to mean that the host wants you to give up.
At a dinner party, the table is not too formal. You eat with the fork in the left hand and the knife in the right, just like in Sweden. When you are satisfied, you should leave some food on the plate, otherwise you are assumed to want more. If alcohol is present, it is common with frequent scolding.
In the countryside, meals may be consumed sitting on the floor. Tradition invites a guest to sit down at dastarkhan, a low table, in the herb.
A traditional men’s costume is a chapan, a richly embroidered velvet scarf worn with a waist belt. The woman has a white dress in cotton or silk, a velvet vest with embroidery and a silk scarf or cap on her head.
An important holiday is nauroz (or nauryz), the New Year’s celebration that is celebrated in much of western and central Asia. In Kazakhstan, the Nauroz celebration culminates in the spring equinox in March. You gather in herbs and eat kozhe, a dish prepared with seven ingredients. The ingredients may vary, but they should symbolize seven important virtues.
According to Countryaah, May 1 is celebrated as the solidarity day of the Kazakh people while on May 7 is a holiday celebrating the defense of the homeland. In addition, the victory day in World War II is celebrated on May 9.
The capital’s day on July 6 is celebrated in memory of when Astana (renamed Nursultan) in 2019 became the capital in 1994. Furthermore, Constitution Day is celebrated on August 30 (in memory of when the Constitution was adopted in 1995), President’s Day on December 1 (after the first presidential election was held in 1991) and Independence Day on December 16 (after the independence of the Soviet Union in 1991).
The Muslim sacrificial holiday id al-adha – which in Kazakhstan is called kurban ait – is celebrated on different dates as Islam follows the lunar calendar.
Other holidays are New Year’s Day on January 1st, Russian Orthodox Christmas January 7th and International Women’s Day on March 8th.
Calls for the President to remain in office until 2020;
Parliament decides to extend President Nazarbayev’s term of office to 2020, subject to the approval of the amendment in a referendum. However, the Constitutional Court finds that such an amendment is contrary to the Constitution.
Ex-Soviet Customs Union comes into force
A customs union between Kazakhstan, Russia and Belarus comes into force. Russia, in particular, has the ambition to expand the Union with as many former Soviet republics as possible.
More power to the president
Parliament adopts a law that extends the president’s power and guarantees him prosecutorial immunity. He is also given the honorary title “the nation’s leader”.
The president’s son-in-law may be criticized
A court is tearing up a previous ban on the country’s media to publish criticism of President Nazarbayev’s son-in-law Timur Kulibayev, one of the country’s richest men with a number of top posts in business, not least government big companies.
Kazakhstan leads the OSCE
As the first former Soviet state, Kazakhstan becomes the chair of the OSCE for a year. This is despite the OSCE’s criticism of the 2007 elections and international attention in general to human rights violations in the country.