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Old 10-31-2007, 02:05 AM
 
31 posts, read 127,106 times
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Hi, everyone!

I'll be Om Bee. Was born in Kazakhstan. Migrated to US about 8 years ago.

After Soviet collapsed there are so many independent republics. So, Kazakhstan -one of them.

In US was movie "Borat" , where, probably so many americans heard the name of the country for the very first time.

Just curious, what is opinions of people about Kazakhstan, its culture, politics, nature, etc.

Maybe somebody was there?

I'm open minded person and understand the humor, so if you have something to say or to ask (don't forget, I wasn't there about 8 years, so data could be not accurate at the present moment), please very welcome.

My regards to all,
Om Bee.
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Old 10-31-2007, 09:36 AM
 
31 posts, read 127,106 times
Reputation: 36
Hi again.

I think, maybe I did wrong to gave this name to this topic.

Pretty much, I don't want to hear opinions about movie, I'm sure you all understood that it wasn't true.

I just want to talk about cultural differences between the countries.

A bit about Kazakhstan. Post-Soviet Republic. Vast territory, mostly steppes.
Geographical place - between Russia and China. Since 1993 trying to build democracy, but has it difficalties with it. First of all - mentality is different, second - too short historical period from authority of Moscow to receiving independance. Population - around 16 000. Multinational and multireligious state.
Beatiful mountains in the south, next to Almaty.
Lately there was discovered oil in the Caspian sea. State has the launch facility "Baykonur" on its territory, but it belongs to Russia.

Unfortunately, state run just by one party "Nur-Otan", even so it has other political parties.

People are different. Some like democracy, some missing USSR, some propose that Kazakhstan for kazakh people only, so I guess - difference of opinions it is first step to democracy (just joking).

The most safe and friendly for the turists place is Almaty.
Capital - Astana. A lot of constractions going on around the state.

I guess there is a corruption has a high rate, but a lot of reforms emerging into places.

Cultural shock for americans could be - bad service (some places getting better, and some - much better), traditional food of the kazakh people. If you are don't like experiments with your stomac, better go to some restaurant. At least you can find some italian and chineese cousine. Sure - language barrier. But more and more people becaming knowlegable of English. Spoken languages - Russian and Kazakh. People mostly friendly and helpful. They just sometimes could be suspicious. At some level there is antiamerican propaganda is still in existance. I guess because is time of "cold war" is still in the memory and they sure dislike millitary actions at all. Doesn't matter what countries involved. A lot of population are muslims, but I'm not sure that they are strictly religious, even they try to be good muslims. You can meet people like that in any religion.

Difficulties with the freedom of speech. Authority of the President above Parlament. I already mention corruption. Social institutions are poor and relaying on the government.

But even so, if you are visiting this country, go to the mountains!!! The best place ever. Esspecially at the late spring, summer and early fall. Winter also fun - there is the ski resort, who likes that kind of activity. Calls "Chimbulak"
Open skate ring "Medeu".
National museum would be interesting for the people who interested in turks history (don't mistake with Turkish). There is also some nice parks, which very different from americans community parks. You can visit the circus or some of the theatres. Another great place is Kok-Tube. When at evening or at night, you can see whole city under you. I'm giving all this info about Almaty.

Sorry for my English, my native language is Russian.

So, if you have any questions or opinions, please feel free to write it.
I'll try my best to answer.

By the way, my opinion about USA: Groovy country, very contrasting in so many different areas. Love your tech, your nature, your care about people and animals. Absolutely exciting about rock 60-s, 70-s, some of the 80-s.
Love your passion about choppers and designing them. Don't like the corporations, so... Not what their mission, but just couldn't understand them, I guess. Very plain to the people. Maybe I'm wrong. Do love a choices of different cuisine. I always like to try some new and exotic food.
I do have a family here. Me, my son (both of us kazakhstanians) and my "old man" (who was born in Florida and whom I met already here after 2 years of my arrival to the States.).

My best regards to all.
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Old 10-31-2007, 11:54 AM
 
Location: Bike to Surf!
3,080 posts, read 9,942,974 times
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Kazakhstan! Exporter of potassium!
All other nations have inferior potassium!


Sorry, I couldn't resist.

Like most of the former soviet republics, I--and the general american public--don't have much of an opinion on Kazakhstan. There are a few liberal organizations here who track the progress of democracy in Eurasian dictatorships, but they are more preoccupied with countries actively supressing public through military means.

It seems that the region is rich in natural resources, but poor in arable land. I (in general) hope that the countries there will be able to maintain control of--and exploit--their own natural resources for the benefit of their people, rather than fall under the influence of a resurgent Russian imperialism, opportunistic Chinese "free-market" communism, or US-based corporatism. I would like to see this "forgotten" region emerge as a collection of democratic, peaceful, and prosperous nations. However, it seems like there are many forces both internal (dictatorships, soviet nostalgia, cultural attitudes), and external (powerful nations/corporations seeking to claim the area's resources) that must be overcome.

I don't plan to visit Kazakhstan, though I will be travelling around the world soon. I am not particularily interested in landlocked countries and I perceive travelling there as being more trouble than it's worth. I would like to see the mountains, though.
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Old 10-31-2007, 05:52 PM
 
Location: St. Louis, MO
63 posts, read 181,383 times
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Om Bee...

Could you tell us a little bit about Kazak food?

I think thats often a fun way to learn about an unfamiliar country.
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Old 10-31-2007, 07:48 PM
 
31 posts, read 127,106 times
Reputation: 36
Thank you for your replay and your honest opinion.

That is true, that Kazakhstan is VERY rich with the natural resources. All chemistry elements you could find on its territory.

I would like to see Kazakhstan also like country which is using its goods for their own people... But, oh , well. At this time maybe some part of it going for the better life of its own people.

Go back in the history - Kazakhstan was very like life stock oriented country and it wasn't any industry, until after Soviet formed. Too bad, in about 70 years, Kazakhstan was used like the poligon for Russia. Along with that it turns into agricultural country. Then were founded a few natural resources sites.

My honest opinion - it is impossible for this country to build democracy and everything else on its own.

So much fear in people after "communist" era to go against sometimes not smart decisions of the government. So less knowledge about "far away" countries. I'm talking about mass. Intellegence - very much aware about world and perhaps very well educated.

Another thing - it is very uncomfortable confrontation (thank God - not violent) between kazakh people and russians, who are living there.
At the same time they trying to find compromise, still very tense.

By writing about it, I don't have the goal neither tell bad about this country, or good.

Just wanted to hear opinions from different people about Kazakhstan.

Again, thank you for your replay. Wish you good travel time!

Best regards.
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Old 10-31-2007, 08:23 PM
 
31 posts, read 127,106 times
Reputation: 36
About traditional FOOD...

Oh, yea! I could tell... When I told about it to my "old man", he run away on the balcony and smoked couple sigarettes in the row.

Well, for the most people it could be cultural shock.

Very in use - it is lamb meat. Not that presious parts which you could find sometimes in the market. All its parts including head!

Imagine that - you are at the table with the locals and they bringing big plate and putting at the center of the table. What you see? Bueatiful pieses of the thin boiled dow, some potato, rings of onion and above all that... lamb head that looking straight in your eyes and "asking" you - eat me! eat me!

But it is not always, the same dish could be prepared with regular beef meat and without using its head. Perhaps - very tasty. I did that version for the Keith and he loved it.

Another thing, that you never will find in America and I supose in Europe, that could be shocking - horse milk (kumys) or camel milk (shubat).

Even so sound is shocking, but both of those very healthy. I couldn't tell if somebody will like it taste. Horse milk - sour, and if you'll drink too much could give you effect of alcogol. Camel milk - very thick, not sour...
Sound shocking for you, but for me was shock, when I saw goat milk here.

Very often you can find food prepared from the horse meat - and it is also very shocking for americans and europeans... But, perhaps, it is not bad taste at all. Sometimes too much fat, so.

That is a few describtions of the traditional kazakh food. Usually it is prepared inside the family, but possible to find on the market.

Very popular fish dishes. A lot of vegetables. And mushrooms - not that kind which you see in the store here, but wild mushrooms that were pickled - m-m-m... I do like them.

So, even sound is so "shocking", but turists will not be expose to the "torture" to see it everywhere or eat or drink it everytime.

Sure - you have your choise what to eat and drink and there are a lot of places where you'd never see shocking dishes in front of your face.

You always will find something that you used to.

Best regards.
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Old 11-01-2007, 02:37 AM
 
Location: In exile, plotting my coup
2,408 posts, read 13,362,494 times
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I'm interested in Kazakhstan and that general region of the world because I know so little about it and as such, it just seems very mysterious and exotic to me. What I do know about Kazakhstan is that it's blessed with many natural resources and the economy is growing quite rapidly, and the population is fairly diverse as there's a confluence of Asian, Middle Eastern and European influences on society and on the people as a whole, and well, that's about it.

A few questions...

What have you found to be big differences between the general personalities of people in Kazakhstan vs. people in the U.S.? Are people in one country louder, more polite, etc.?

Kazakhstan seems to have a good future ahead of it. Do most people look forward to the future in Kazakhstan or is there a large number of people who are seeking to leave the country for elsewhere instead of "waiting it out"? If so, what country do most people seem most interested in going to?

When people in Kazakhstan vacation, where do they usually go?

And lastly, I'd hate to ask such a stereotypical question, but I'm seriously interested, and you seem like you have a good sense of humor on the subject. Firstly, was Borat the film released in Kazakhstan and if so, what was the general reaction of the people? When it came out here in the U.S., there were many stories about how irritated the Kazakh government was and speculation that the film would be banned in the country.
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Old 11-01-2007, 04:45 AM
 
Location: Oxford, England
13,036 posts, read 22,021,475 times
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I was in Kazakhstan in the late 80s and thought it was a beautiful country with lovely people. I was lucky enough to be invited to a wedding and it was wonderful , I had never seen so much food !
The people were so hospitable and had a true sense of fun too .

I love the steppes, it reminded me a bit of Mongolia and the food was in some ways similar too. The mountains were gorgeous and as an archaeologist I was fascinated by the rich Turkic history and the relationship with the Persian speaking neighbouring nations too, and nomadic archaeology ( which is quite rare to find in all nomadic cultures). I went to some horsemanship displays ( I love Polo) and boy can the Kazakhs ride ! Like the Mongols in fact !

I would love to go back and hope that a full democracy will one day be a reality for your beautiful country.
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Old 11-01-2007, 04:49 AM
 
31 posts, read 127,106 times
Reputation: 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by dullnboring View Post
I'm interested in Kazakhstan and that general region of the world because I know so little about it and as such, it just seems very mysterious and exotic to me. What I do know about Kazakhstan is that it's blessed with many natural resources and the economy is growing quite rapidly, and the population is fairly diverse as there's a confluence of Asian, Middle Eastern and European influences on society and on the people as a whole, and well, that's about it.

A few questions...

What have you found to be big differences between the general personalities of people in Kazakhstan vs. people in the U.S.? Are people in one country louder, more polite, etc.?

Kazakhstan seems to have a good future ahead of it. Do most people look forward to the future in Kazakhstan or is there a large number of people who are seeking to leave the country for elsewhere instead of "waiting it out"? If so, what country do most people seem most interested in going to?

When people in Kazakhstan vacation, where do they usually go?

And lastly, I'd hate to ask such a stereotypical question, but I'm seriously interested, and you seem like you have a good sense of humor on the subject. Firstly, was Borat the film released in Kazakhstan and if so, what was the general reaction of the people? When it came out here in the U.S., there were many stories about how irritated the Kazakh government was and speculation that the film would be banned in the country.
Thank you for your replay and I do love to answer your questions.

The bigger differences between people of Kazakhstan and USA;
1. Emotional expressions - people in US seems to be more rational how to express their emotions and hold them sometimes very well.
In Kazakhstan - emotions sometimes dominating more than logic.
2. Another difference that I would like to point out - that people in Kazakhstan more close to the natural healing (herbs), than chemistry.
Very popular folk medicine, but sure there is hospitals and clinics like everywhere else. Poor tech, so...
3. More open minded about nudity in art (Kazakhstan), in US - seems to be so many people appretiate it, but not always it is accepted in the public.
4. Less religious (Kazakhstan), even lately, after Soviet collapse seems to be different churches became more popular. Here in US - church you can find in every block of every city (which is nothing wrong with that - you believe in what you believe)
5. Less independance of individuality (Kazakhstan), US - you can turn your hair in the "polka dot" and nobody will point at you (well maybe - benind your back).
6. Different types of activities prefered. If here very popular golf, Kazakhstan more into soccer (I'm not talking about proffesionals).
7. People in Kazakhstan consider americans unemotional, but I guess their mass opinion was formed through very little truthful info about life in US. They know americans through politics, and corporate representetitives, who is working there. Even so, they like american music, some movies, some authors, sure Disney. US in its mass - practicly doesn't know that such a country like Kazakhstan exist.
8. US - people more polite between each other, and in Kazakhstan - they sure very loud, when they are arguing.
9. US - people have more abilities and courage run their own business, Kazakhstan - more relaynig on the government (but I think it is because of post memory about Soviet system)
10. Different attitude toward foreigners. US - mostly doesn't care, if foreigners coming, it is too much of them here already, Kazakhstan - if you are not in big city like Almaty or Astana, then you are the biggest event for the locals.

Yea, Kazakhstan could have a good future, but I wouldn't be so sure it will happened very soon. Well, who khows, who knows... Because tense relationship between kazakh people and other nationalities (russians, ujgur, turkish, etc.) - some people looking forward to leave the country. There were a few examples so, that people live the country, but returned back, couldn't handle cultural shock. Country that they mostly looking for to live - Canada, US, Russia, New Zeland, Sweess (don't know if I spelled it right). Others going to the neigborhood republics like Kyrgyzstan or Uzbekistan.

So many people don't want to leave the country and prefer to stay in hope that everything is going to be better. Well, some day - it will.

When people on vacation in Kazakhstan, they usualy will spend their time in Almaty. There a lot of different places where you could go. And atmosphere of greetings more friendly. A lot of shops, a lot of nightlife, theatres, museums, parks. But I reccomend go to the mountains, there is a place calls "Almarasan" - that it a fantasy in real. Another place I would reccomend - skate ring "Medeu" or ski resort "Chimbulak". All those places in the mountains where you can go just by the bus - it very close from the city.

Another cool place - "Borovoe", near Astana. But it is cool if only you prefer spend your vacation with nature. City itself very poor and not too much service for the turists. Not bad place to spend time - Astana. Activities very like in Almaty, but no mountains. And "Borovoe" about 3-4 hours by the train from the city.


Oh! "Borat"!!!

Nope. It wasn't released and it is censored film in the Kazakhstan.
Well I could understand why... So, probably you.
Yes, entertainment went on the level of political issiues from official figures in Kazakhstan. They were furious and threatening Cohen to sue his ass (sorry for my french)
But when they "cool out", all of a sudden they start to sent invitations to the Cohen to visit the country.

Film itself was filmed in, I believe, in Hungary, or some other eastern european country. I didn't watch it in the movie theaters, but saw a lot of different episods from youtube.com By the way, they even suspended Cohen's website borat.kz. from internet in Kazakhstan.

I wrote some topic on that in kazakhstanian forum and told them, that they lost a lot of "greens". But national proudness was stronger. Even so, younger generation was OK with Cohen and his preformance on MTV with the traditional dance of the government. Farther than that they couldn't watch. Taboo.

So, I guess and hope that people will not make their opinions about kazakhstanians by viewing this movie.

Cohen is talanted entertainer, but not everybody could accept his way of humor.

Best regards, and hope I answer your questions. If not, just drop a sentence.
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Old 11-01-2007, 04:56 AM
 
31 posts, read 127,106 times
Reputation: 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mooseketeer View Post
I was in Kazakhstan in the late 80s and thought it was a beautiful country with lovely people. I was lucky enough to be invited to a wedding and it was wonderful , I had never seen so much food !
The people were so hospitable and had a true sense of fun too .

I love the steppes, it reminded me a bit of Mongolia and the food was in some ways similar too. The mountains were gorgeous and as an archaeologist I was fascinated by the rich Turkic history and the relationship with the Persian speaking neighbouring nations too, and nomadic archaeology ( which is quite rare to find in all nomadic cultures). I went to some horsemanship displays ( I love Polo) and boy can the Kazakhs ride ! Like the Mongols in fact !

I would love to go back and hope that a full democracy will one day be a reality for your beautiful country.

Thank you for your post.
Lately more attention given to archeological sites in Kazakhstan. And I'm very happy about it. I'm sure there is a lot to find - because of Chingyz Khan was there a long time. Have you seen the "Golden Man"? That is one of the most important historical foundings in Kazakhstan.

Wish you the best in your researches.

Regards.
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