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Old 11-01-2007, 08:09 AM
 
Location: Bike to Surf!
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You mention tension between nationalities. Is there a problem with racism in Kazakhstan? Is there a large gap between low income and high income people? These two factors seem like the biggest barriers to a free and open society.
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Old 11-01-2007, 09:20 AM
 
Location: Ireland
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Om Bee, thank you for being so open and honest. Reading your posts is like a breath of fresh air.

Kazakhstan and my country (Ireland) seems to be so alike in many ways except for the geography. We too had to struggle to build our seperate identity after gaining our independence from a great power. From what you say our people are very alike too. Here you will often see people 'discuss' in a heated way, sometimes a stranger might think there's gonna be a fight, but that's just our way sometimes. We are also openminded about sexually explicit art and literature.

I was smiling as you spoke about the sheep's head on a plate. It used to be like that here too but less so nowadays. Sometimes you would even see a pigs head on a plate and pigs cheeks were very popular, and even now you can buy pigs feet (we call them crubeen) which are quite popular with the older folk.

I urge your people to be patient, in my experience it takes a long time to come out with your own unique identity.

You will have noticed that we Irish talk too much too. So I will ask my questions now;

1. What is Kazakhstan education system like?
2. Does Kazakhstan have a welfare system so that you don't need private insurance for medical/surgical treatment?
3. Are families large (how many kids on average for a couple)?
4. Is there a class system where there is a big gap in lifestyle between rich and poor?

I have so many questions because I'm very interested in Kazakhstan (I've been to many other nations as a UN soldier) but I better not overload you with all of my questions and allow others to get a word in too.

My very best wishes to you.

Last edited by northsider; 11-01-2007 at 09:21 AM.. Reason: Spelling error
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Old 11-01-2007, 09:21 AM
 
Location: In The Outland
6,023 posts, read 11,909,801 times
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Hi Om Bee, While reading your description of your country's population I noticed an error.
You stated that the population is 16,000. It is not. The population is listed at well over 15,000,000.
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Old 11-01-2007, 09:43 AM
 
Location: Zagreb, Croatia
295 posts, read 756,977 times
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Very interesting thread!

A friend was in Almaty on a business trip a year ago and liked the place, especially the fact that there is a huge mountain with skiing resorts just outside the city.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Om Bee View Post
Film itself was filmed in, I believe, in Hungary, or some other eastern european country.
Actually, think it was Romania, some Gypsy settlements there.
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Old 11-01-2007, 02:11 PM
 
Location: in my imagination
11,401 posts, read 18,609,271 times
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Very interesting thread Om Bee,it's captivated me.I like you,you come across as very friendly.

Welcome to the forum.Ok I have one question,how is the live band rock n roll scene there?
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Old 11-01-2007, 06:10 PM
 
31 posts, read 127,132 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sponger42 View Post
You mention tension between nationalities. Is there a problem with racism in Kazakhstan? Is there a large gap between low income and high income people? These two factors seem like the biggest barriers to a free and open society.
Hi, Sponger42.

1. No, problems with the racism absent there. It's more nationality problems. Kazakh people pissed off on russians, because of Soviet system was promoting russian language and native kazakh language almost was lost. Now it is like "hidden revenge". So many debats on that going on inside the country. All official documentation on russian language, people talking on russian, but government pushing reforms to change all official documentation on kazakh language... So... What it does - puting people who doesn't know kazakh language kind of out of bisuness, esspecially in the government system. Younger generation start to learn kazakh language at schools, but for older people it is very difficult. Then constant battle over topic, that Russia invited Kazakhstan and push locals out of their normal traditional life. Again, very questionable, because Kazakhstan on its own wished to join the Russia to fight Chyngiz Khan. At the time of Soviet a lot of people of different nationalities were sent to Kazakhstan to build industry and develop agriculture and educational institutions there. But after Soviet collapse all of a suden all russians and many other nationalities who lived there generation after generation became the "enemies" of kazakhs.
Not all people like that. You can see a lot of people who is very internationally open minded and don't care if you are russian, uygur, tatar, armenian or the elephant and can talk and act like normal polite and friendly human, but some groups going into extrems. Another factor of this tense relationship - that goverment and big companies run by kazakh people and sometimes even very good professional, but not kazakh will not receive good position at the work place. It is very "hidden" and everywhere in the media you can see that there is no preference because of nationality, but it is not always the truth. So sad, because at the time of Soviet there wasn't such a bad situation. They trying to overcome it, still very tense "hidden" conflict, but no violence over it, which is good.

2. I would say, there is a large gap between low income people and high income people if you'd consider that country. To say that gaps close to americans "standarts" - no. Big question about "Kazakhgate" and to who monney belongs, but I heard about it about 2 years ago and not aware about it right now. Some scandal about bribes to the kazakh officials from american oil corporations. Maybe I'm wrong - so, don't "panish" me for that, but number I heard was around $ 80 mln. So, if low income people receiving their monthly salary about $250 "+" or "-" $50, I would consider it is a big gap.

3. I wouldn't say that I agree or disagree with you on your opinion about these factors. I think, if you are a human and have some wits in your head - it shouldn't matter. You'll understand both sides and won't flip out over color of skin, or different form of eyes. Or if somebody rich and somebody poor. I think that respect to each other is important, like a patience. But at the same time one should understand humor and not take it amog self, but laugh together. I'm not telling that everybody could do so, but than more than better life for everybody. More understanding and acceptance. If you'd look back in the history of humans, there always were somebody more lucky than the other. Don't be jeolous over it. Today is his time for luck, tommorow is yours. Maybe yesterday he had bad time - you don't know that.
Again, not telling, that all have to close the eyes on everything and do not to try to change something for the better, but maybe use the different ways for such a changes?

Regards.
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Old 11-01-2007, 07:21 PM
 
31 posts, read 127,132 times
Reputation: 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by northsider View Post
Om Bee, thank you for being so open and honest. Reading your posts is like a breath of fresh air.

Kazakhstan and my country (Ireland) seems to be so alike in many ways except for the geography. We too had to struggle to build our seperate identity after gaining our independence from a great power. From what you say our people are very alike too. Here you will often see people 'discuss' in a heated way, sometimes a stranger might think there's gonna be a fight, but that's just our way sometimes. We are also openminded about sexually explicit art and literature.

I was smiling as you spoke about the sheep's head on a plate. It used to be like that here too but less so nowadays. Sometimes you would even see a pigs head on a plate and pigs cheeks were very popular, and even now you can buy pigs feet (we call them crubeen) which are quite popular with the older folk.

I urge your people to be patient, in my experience it takes a long time to come out with your own unique identity.

You will have noticed that we Irish talk too much too. So I will ask my questions now;

1. What is Kazakhstan education system like?
2. Does Kazakhstan have a welfare system so that you don't need private insurance for medical/surgical treatment?
3. Are families large (how many kids on average for a couple)?
4. Is there a class system where there is a big gap in lifestyle between rich and poor?

I have so many questions because I'm very interested in Kazakhstan (I've been to many other nations as a UN soldier) but I better not overload you with all of my questions and allow others to get a word in too.

My very best wishes to you.
Hi, Northsider.

Thank you for your warm replay.
I'm going straight to your questions and won't give you possibility talk to much (I'm jocking - any words are welcome from you)

Anyway:

1. Education, hah? Well... Right now it is leading to the american way of education. People inside the country not very happy about it. It is hard to tell me to you how it is working exactly right now. The time when I was recevieng education it was like that:
a) 8 or 10 years in general school - in one building, don't have to move around between elementary school to the middle school, etc. Whole 8 or 10 years in one class together with the same classmates. First 3 years - one teacher. From 4 to 8 or 10 grade - different teachers with different course (history, physics, chemistry, etc.)

b) after finishing 8 years of school - you have the option go to receive extra 2 years of general education or go straight to collage (4 yers) or proffecional courses (from 1 to 3 years).

c) after finishing 10 years of general education you have choice go to the collage (4 years) or straight up to the university (5-6 years).

d) after that - it is your choice - to receive another education in different collage or university or go to work.

All education was free - but it was time of Soviet, right now I supose there are some private educational places and some government. As far as I know - if you are not in the private place, then you don't have to pay for the general education. When you go to the proffecional educational institutions, I think even government places start to accept payments (but not sure about that 100%). Private - they are accepting payments.

2. Yes, there is some welfare for the people, but not enough to pay for the surgery. Some work places started to insure people with medical casualities, if happens. Some don't. Still you can receive free medical attention if needed from the doctors, but have to pay for medication. Again, not 100% sure, but I guess right now there also two types of medical service. One - free, and another one - you have to pay. Prices compare to US very low. So, technical envirment poor compare to US, but working so far. As I wrote before - people prefer natural resources for healing like herbs. When it is impossible to heal some sickness with the herbs and folk medicine, then they go to the doctor for the chemistry.
Just for fun one of the folk recepies:
sometimes you have puffy, itchy or red eyes (especially when you didn't have enough sleep or very tired from the work), - just take some clean piece of material or paper towel, put it in the strong black tea (without sugar of course) and put that piece of material on your eyes for 10 - 15 minutes. Your problem will gone, if not completely, then about 60-75%, just refresh paper towel with new black tea (sqeeze it just enough, that liquid will not run all over the face) and put again for another 5-10 minutes. That's it. No monney spending on visit to the doctor or on spescial medication. Tryied on my "old man" - he was satisfied with the resolt.

3. Size of families could be very different, from one child, to 13 and more. But usually it is from 2 to 5 children in family.

4. Well, I wrote about it in my previous post, but, yea, it started to became into poor-rich system. I wouldn't tell that it is a big gap compare to US, but depence on different factors. I would say there more classes "city intellegence" and "uneducated country men", both of those could be and rich and poor. Very volnarable part of people who is retaired and youth. So less local social organizations, still very depended from the government. Sad.

Very welcome to ask me more question, I'll try my best to tell my honest opinion.

Wish you the best.
Regards.
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Old 11-01-2007, 07:24 PM
 
31 posts, read 127,132 times
Reputation: 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by rickers View Post
Hi Om Bee, While reading your description of your country's population I noticed an error.
You stated that the population is 16,000. It is not. The population is listed at well over 15,000,000.
You are absolutely right! I forgot a lot of zeros.
Your number a bit low, so. My last info - 15,300,000.
Thank you for the correction and my appologies for misleading...

My best regards.
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Old 11-01-2007, 07:36 PM
 
31 posts, read 127,132 times
Reputation: 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by CroatWebWanderer View Post
Very interesting thread!

A friend was in Almaty on a business trip a year ago and liked the place, especially the fact that there is a huge mountain with skiing resorts just outside the city.



Actually, think it was Romania, some Gypsy settlements there.

Hi, CroatWebWanderer! (May I ask you to shorten your nick? - just jocking, good practice for me to write in English)

I'm glad your friend enjoed the skiing resort and I'm sure he'd enjoed the mountains too. Ask him what cultural shok he received while attending the country. But I hope he had a good time there.

About "Borat" I won't arguie with you about in what exactly country it was filmed. It wasn't in Kazakhstan for sure. And film is hystericaly shocking and funny. Not the softest sense of humor, so... I impressed with Cohen just because he has the courage to do such a things. Talk about "moral" in the entertainment industry.

My regards.
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Old 11-01-2007, 07:58 PM
 
31 posts, read 127,132 times
Reputation: 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by lionking View Post
Very interesting thread Om Bee,it's captivated me.I like you,you come across as very friendly.

Welcome to the forum.Ok I have one question,how is the live band rock n roll scene there?
Well, hello Lionking!

Thank you for welcoming.

My answer: "nohow"

Hey, people love rock-n-roll there, but they don't have their own good rock bands. Maybe you would like to hear some russian rock group "Gorky Park".
Keith (being an american) told me they are pretty good. And they actually singing in English. I like some of their works, not all. If you are interested, go to the youtube.com and type "Gorky Park".
In Kazakhstan - nope... at least I don't know any good one in this style.
If you want have some fun - type in youtube.com "kazakhstan rock" - you'll see.
But there is one group that I like "ALA-TAOO" or "ALA-TAU" or "ALAUTAU"
you'll find it in the list on youtube under "kazakhstan rock".
I wouldn't consider them rock group, but I think they are very good with their concept and preformance. I trully enjoyed - guitar, violin and dombra (traditional kazakh instrument which has only two strings).

My regards to you.

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