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what-expats-think-about-kazakh-traditions

WHAT EXPATS THINK ABOUT KAZAKH TRADITIONS?
2734

01.06.2017

WHAT EXPATS THINK ABOUT KAZAKH TRADITIONS?

Most of the people recognize Kazakhstan as a part of Russian Federation, or by some movies, or by nomadic lifestyle, but Kazakhstan is much more than these. There are so many customs and traditions which can be even different in different regions of this huge country. WE asked expats what they think about different Kazakh traditions.


Jean-Philippe Gaume


39 years old, hometown — Lille, Marcq-en-Baroeul, Director cum Owner of the restaurant “Le Petit Paris”

I have visited a lot of traditional weddings in Kazakhstan and I understood that I don’t prefer very huge weddings with more than 200 guests because family members might not know relatives and in most cases, they start showing off.

I like when there is a very good tamada (guiding of the venue) which, from my point of view, reflects the level of the wedding.

This is a very big plus of such events

I like traditional dances, and when people play Kazakh Dombra, it reminds me the guitar. When they play and sing in question answer format, it is like a rap battle and I love it.

I don’t like a “toast” (blessing words) from the elder family members because it can be a very long speech, but I understand that it is the part of respecting older generations and Kazakh people take it very seriously.

Another part I didn’t like before I became “Kyuieubala” (Son-in-law) is to get the eyes or the ear of animals on my plate which is also considered as a privilege. Moreover, now I can prepare a good beshbarmak by myself. The only thing I don’t like about traditional Kazakh food is kyurt because I don’t like salt products, for example, I hate strongly salted cheese.


Elizabeth Blackburn


26 years old, English Teaching Assistant

What I like the most is how kind and hospitable people are. No other place in the world have I been to that people are so welcoming into their homes to feed you, to have tea with you, and to learn about your life and what you did for the day. I think that here in Kazakhstan there is an importance to put togetherness and family. I really like it. I like talking to my friends and families here about their life and about my life.

I don’t eat a lot of meat when I am living in the US, so coming here it has been a little bit of a shock because everyone’s primarily diet is meat and dairy. I do try a lot of things and everything is always delicious

Something that I really like is baursak. I am a teacher at a local school, and for one of the days all of the different parents came to school and made shashliks, salads, baursak.

I enjoy trying the different food. Even though, it is something that I don’t eat a lot in the United States.

It is always fun to see what different people eat

I think that it is really surprising to me about how hospitable everybody is. I think it is shocking that when there is a holiday, everyone goes and sees all of their family, and you give gifts to all of your family, it is for every single holiday. In America, we have different holidays but we tend to give gifts on one or two major holidays.

One of my students told that every Kazakh family has a book. In this book they keep your generation for seven generations back and I thought that it was fascinating because they were saying you can’t marry anyone that is in this generation book.

I have been here in a two months and it hasn’t been very long. I haven’t experienced too much but overall I have really enjoyed being here in Kazakhstan.


Mohamad Aref El Haj


24 years old, hometown — Zarqa, Supervisor of welding department

I remember when I tried beshbarmak for the first time in a traditional Kazakh wedding. My friends said that this dish is the most important meal in Kazakhstan and one of the most delicious one. So, I had to try it. When waiters served this dish, I was surprised with its size and with the number of meat on it. For me, this dish, sadly, wasn’t as tasty as I was told.


Rajib Dahal


33 years old, Siliguri, India

I love foods made of flour

So, I love “Bourshaki” and “Shilpek”. I am fond of “Shilpek” because it reminds me similar Indian foods.

I am mostly vegetarian and occasionally eat only Chicken or mutton. In mutton too, we use only young goats in India and not really the big Sheep. I am not too happy with mutton that I can buy in Kazakhstan because I am habituated to different taste.

I don’t eat horse meat and beef (meat from cows, buffalo, bulls), I sometimes, find difficult to get a food of my choice.

In India, we shake hands by using only a hand/palm. I was told that I should use both my hands to wrap over other person’s hands. It was a new tradition to me.

There is nothing in particular that I don’t like except rash and speedy driving and I hope it is not really part of Kazakh culture.


Most of the people recognize Kazakhstan as a part of Russian Federation, or by some movies, or by nomadic lifestyle, but Kazakhstan is much more than these. There are so many customs and traditions which can be even different in different regions of this huge country. WE asked expats what they think about different Kazakh traditions.