Kaza­khstan: An An­cient yet Mod­ern Civil­i­sa­tion

Beijing (English) - - CONTENTS -

The Repub­lic of Kaza­khstan is a transcon­ti­nen­tal coun­try largely lo­cated in Asia with most of its west­ern parts in Eu­rope. As a hub on the Silk Road, the coun­try shares a bor­der with China. Kaza­khstan is the world's largest land­locked coun­try and the ninth largest coun­try in the world. It boasts beau­ti­ful nat­u­ral scenery and cul­tural mon­u­ments, in­clud­ing the world-fa­mous Charyn Canyon; the world's sec­ond low­est point, the Karagiye De­pres­sion; the at­trac­tive Caspian Sea and the beau­ti­ful Lake Balkhash. Kaza­khstan's land­forms vary from de­pres­sions of dozens of me­tres be­low sea level to per­ma­nently snow-capped moun­tains, and from deserts and semideserts to hu­mid coastal re­gions.

“The an­cient Silk Road is a unique his­tor­i­cal mon­u­ment which used to bridge the gaps be­tween dif­fer­ent cul­tures, reli­gions and lan­guages. Kaza­khstan en­cour­ages all peo­ple to re­visit the Silk Road to re­live the an­cient mul­ti­ple cul­tures,” said Ma­nar­bek Kabaziyev, coun­sel­lor head of the Po­lit­i­cal Sec­tion of the Em­bassy of the Repub­lic of Kaza­khstan. “The ‘West­ern Eu­rope–west­ern China' in­ter­na­tional trans­porta­tion cor­ri­dor in Kaza­khstan con­nects all an­cient ci­ties along the Silk Road, fa­cil­i­tat­ing vis­its to his­tor­i­cal sites along the road.”

Kaza­khstan's well-known tourist ci­ties in­clude Al­maty, Kara­ganda and Oral and its cap­i­tal city is As­tana with a pop­u­la­tion of over one mil­lion. As­tana, lo­cated slightly north of Kaza­khstan's cen­tre, sits on the bound­ary of the coun­try's Rus­sian-ma­jor­ity north and Kazakh-ma­jor­ity south and is about 1,300 km from the for­mer cap­i­tal Al­maty. The cap­i­tal city is close to the Ishim River. It serves as the main in­dus­trial and agri­cul­tural pro­duc­tion base and the na­tional rail­way hub. It was awarded the ti­tle of World City by UN­ESCO in 1999. As­tana is also a city blend­ing Eastern tra­di­tion and West­ern moder­nity.

As tulips are peren­ni­ally in bloom in the coun­try, the tulip is crowned the na­tional flower of Kaza­khstan. The coun­try's na­tional bird—golden Ea­gle— ap­pears on its na­tional flag, sym­bol­is­ing Kaza­khs' free­dom and gen­eros­ity.

At the Colour­ful World event, Kaza­khstan's booth was con­spic­u­ous be­cause of its roller ban­ners de­pict­ing the coun­try's old royal fig­ures in tra­di­tional cos­tumes. The booth also fea­tured a ban­ner with the words “Wel­come to Kaza­khstan,” which re­flected Kaza­khs' friend­li­ness and hos­pi­tal­ity.

Dis­cussing their cul­ture, a staff mem­ber in the booth said that Kaza­khs like to con­sume beef and mut­ton in their daily lives and that boiled mut­ton is a pop­u­lar dish amongst them. In the Kazakh lan­guage, the boiled mut­ton dish is given a name mean­ing “five fin­gers” be­cause din­ers use their hands to grab the meat rather than us­ing chop­sticks or other uten­sils. Ad­di­tion­ally, Kaza­khs love dairy prod­ucts and make milk tea daily. The booth of­fered other lo­cal foods to try, with their spe­cialty choco­late and wine at­tract­ing many vis­i­tors to have a taste. A vis­i­tor said the choco­late tasted good, and that know­ing the culi­nary cul­ture could help peo­ple fur­ther un­der­stand the coun­try. Kaza­khstan's booth also en­chanted vis­i­tors with ex­otic posters, photo al­bums and beau­ti­ful hand­i­crafts. A staff mem­ber de­scribed their cos­tumes as a spe­cial cul­tural fea­ture and noted they were mainly made of wool, leather and felt and could re­flect no­mads' liv­ing char­ac­ter­is­tics.

Kaza­khstan is also a good des­ti­na­tion to en­joy win­ter sports. The coun­try pos­sesses many snow-cov­ered moun­tains which are mostly equipped with so­phis­ti­cated ski­ing fa­cil­i­ties. For ex­am­ple, the Shym­bu­lak ski re­sort fea­tures a 1,500-m-long ski lift which is able to bring vis­i­tors to an alpine ski­ing site over 3,000 m above sea level. Those who are in­spired to par­tic­i­pate in win­ter sports by an­tic­i­pat­ing the 2022 Olympic and Par­a­lympic Win­ter Games in Bei­jing can travel to Kaza­khstan to be­gin their sport ad­ven­tures.

At the Colour­ful World event, a staff mem­ber from the Kaza­khstan em­bassy said the event was a good plat­form for ex­changes and ex­hi­bi­tion, and ex­pressed his grat­i­tude to the event's spon­sors and or­gan­is­ers. The staff mem­ber hoped that the event could al­low more peo­ple to un­der­stand Kaza­khstan.

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