Kazakhstan is an unusual country with a special, original culture, which was formed on the basis of ancient traditions, customs and rituals, and gradually began to take on a number of forms of Western culture.
One of the main features of the Kazakh national character is extreme hospitality, and these are not just words. Any owner considers himself obliged to receive any guest, even unexpected, as the greatest joy given to the house by God. It is a law that no one dares to break. The guest is supposed to be fed with the most delicious food that is in the house, and everything should be done to make him feel safe and comfortable. It is not for nothing that in Kazakhstan there is a custom to give a guest any thing he likes.
An important place in the upbringing of a young Kazakh is occupied by teaching him the principles of respect and respect for his family, his ancestors and just for his elders. It is significant that almost every Kazakh family values the genealogical records of their family tree, which often spans at least 30 generations. It is supposed to carefully store family heirlooms, items belonging to ancestors (such as clothes, saddles, jewelry).
Most often, the Kazakhs do not show aggression, their main guidelines are peace and tolerance. Perhaps it is this national feature that explains the absence of significant clashes on national or religious grounds in Kazakh history.
Residents of Kazakhstan pay great attention to relationships with the people around them, do not feel the desire for individualism. For example, it is customary to invite new neighbors to visit in order to establish good relations. The opinion of other people matters to a Kazakh. And those who occupy leading positions in society should be especially attentive to the people’s point of view. Any leader must first of all think about the well-being of his subordinates, respect them.
According to Countryaah, the population of Kazakhstan is approaching 16.5 million people. Among them are representatives of about 30 different national groups. The most numerous nationality in the country are Kazakhs (about 60%), Russians are in second place (about 25% of the population). At the same time, almost entirely the Russian population lives in Northern Kazakhstan e (Kostanay, Petropavlovsk, Pavlodar), but in such cities as Chimkent, Taraz, Kzyl-Orda, Turkestan, ethnic Kazakhs live entirely.
There are much fewer Ukrainians (4%), Uzbeks (3% of the population), Germans (3%) in the country. The rest consists of Uighurs, Belarusians, Tatars and other peoples.
The state language of the Republic of Kazakhstan is the Kazakh language. At the same time, with rare exceptions, almost every inhabitant of the country understands spoken Russian, and also knows how to write and read in Russian. Most of all, the Russian language is spoken in those areas where the predominant population is Russian. In the Russian language, communication is conducted in the political sphere, although the transition to Kazakh is gradually beginning in official office work.
The overwhelming majority of the population of Kazakhstan professes Islam, Sunni Muslims in the country are about 70%. There are quite a few representatives of Orthodox Christianity in the country (about 26% of the population). The rest of the population of Kazakhstan either adheres to other religions or prefers atheistic ideas.
The most “Islamic” region of Kazakhstan is the southern regions, where traditions and conservative principles are strongest. Here, the organization of radical Islamic movements such as Hizbut Tahrir or the Islamic Party of East Turkestan began, which were declared illegal by the authorities, because in Kazakhstan, the existence of political movements based on religious beliefs is prohibited by law. Check agooddir for recent history of Kazakhstan.
In Kazakhstan, there are quite a few rules of conduct (in general, they are called “adet”) that tourists should remember in order not to lose face when communicating with the local population.
Kazakhs are very attentive to the greeting that opens any communication. A guest who has come from a long trip should greet the elders and other respected people of this settlement. It is considered bad form when entering a room to greet only a familiar person, and ignore everyone else.
The Kazakh greeting itself is made by shaking hands with two hands. In the east of the country, in some places it is supposed to greet only with the right hand, while the left is pressed against the chest. But more common at a meeting is a hug, accompanied by pressing the chest to each other. A woman usually does not greet a man by the hand, at most lightly touches his guest’s hand.
A very large number of rules are associated with staying at a party and eating. Entering the Kazakh house, you need to take off your shoes immediately in the hallway and put your shoes somewhere to the side. It is worth remembering that, going even for a short time into the house of a Kazakh, one cannot refuse at least minimal food. In this case, the guest must sit down, eating while standing is considered disrespectful to the house. If you eat a treat in someone else’s house, you can not do it with a gloomy face, such a look can be regarded as dissatisfaction with food or the hosts themselves.
The principles of seniority have a great influence on Kazakh etiquette. For example, the younger one should not cross the road of the older one. It is the elders who determine the seating of guests at the table, the order of toasting, the distribution of dishes, etc. Younger people at the table (dastarkhan) never sit higher than the elderly, only if they have special merits. The most respected and oldest person sits at the head of the table (such a place is called “tor”). Senior people should also not be interrupted, and all questions should be given calm, sedate answers.
When yawning, the back of your hand should cover your mouth. Dirty clothes, like a naked torso, are not approved at a feast. Husband and wife should not sit at the table separately. When leaving, you need to say goodbye not only to the owners, but also to the neighbors.
National holidays of Kazakhstan
January 1-2 – New Year;
January 7 – Christmas;
March 8 – International Women’s Day;
March 16 – Day of the Republican Guard;
March 22 – Nauryz holiday;
May 1 – Holiday of unity of the people of Kazakhstan a;
May 7 – Defender of the Fatherland Day;
May 9 – Victory Day;
May 31 – Day of Remembrance of Victims of Political Repressions;
July 6 – Capital Day;
August 30 – Constitution Day;
October 25 – Republic Day;
November-January – Eid al-Adha (Eid al-Adha);
December 16 – Independence Day.