Kazakhstan: An Ancient yet Modern Civilisation
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.