to part II - Nature
of Kazakhstan. A vast desert?
Vast in size, the terrain of Kazakhstan ranges
from flatlands, steppes, taigas, rock-canyons, hills, deltas,
and snow-capped mountains to deserts.
Travelers of various times and from various countries had often described
Kazakhstan as a land of deserts and vast
semi-desert steppes. However, this is not so. Most foreign travelers
saw only the southern part of Kazakhstan land that
borders on the great deserts of Central Asia, across which lay the
old caravan routes linking the trading centers in the
West and the Orient.
Despite the large size of Kazakhstans population, its distribution
is extremely uneven: thickly populated foothills neighbor
upon nearly completely uninhabited mountainous regions, and big towns
are situated next to thinly peopled deserts.
Kazakhstan people population density is the highest in the field-farming
districts of the northern steppes and in the irrigated
lands in the south. In some southern oases there are as many as
50 to 100 people per square kilometer. On the other
hand, some desert regions used as seasonal pastures have almost
no permanent residents.
Photo: Hilde Haab, Courtesy:
The Kazakhs (also spelled Kazaks, Qazaqs;
the English name is transliterated from Russian) are a Turkic
of the northern parts of Central Asia (largely Kazakhstan,
but also found in parts of Uzbekistan, China, Russia,
Kazakhs are descendants of Turkic tribes (Argyns,
Dughlat, Khazars, Kipchaks and Qarluqs),Turko-Mongol
groups (Naimans, Nogais, Kiyat, Kerait, Onggirat,, Manghud,
Jalayir) and Turkic tribes of Iranian origin
(Kankalis, Wusun, Sarmatians, Saka, Scythians) and ancient
Huns which populated the territory between
Siberia and the Black Sea and remained in Central Asia when
the Turkic and Turko-Mongolic groups started
to invade and conquer the area between the 5th and 13th centuries
Kazakhs are the indigenous inhabitants of the land. However, quite
a few Uzbeks, Kirghiz, Uigurs and Dungans had
lived here since olden times. In the 20th century Russians, Ukrainians,
Byelorussians, Mordvinians, Tatars and Koreans
began migrating to Kazakhstan.
A large number of migrants came here in the years of the World
War II (1939-1945) when the population of the
western parts of Russia temporarily occupied by the enemy was evacuated
There are people of German nationality living in the north and south
They appeared in these parts for the first time at the turn of the
20th century, but most of them migrated here in the
1930s and in the period of the World War II..
Most Koreans live in the south of Kazakhstan, particularly, in
the lower reaches of the river Syr Darya, where they
started rice growing at one time. There are quite a number of Tatars
in such old towns as Petropavlovsk, Semipalatinsk
and Uralsk in the northern half of Kazakhstan.
Over a million people, mostly young people, came to Kazakhstan
in the 1950s when the development of virgin lands
was launched. Kazakhs, like many other Asian people, have always
had large families. Families with as many as
10 to 15 children are not uncommon here in Kazakhstan. However,
this is explained not only by a high rate of natural
growth of the population
was taken July 26, 2008 in Mongolia, Bayan-Olgiy province,
at a Kazak festival
A video with the music is available on YouTube. Click
Many are also skilled in the performance of Kazakh traditional
songs. One of the most commonly used traditional
musical instruments of the Kazakhs is the dombra, a plucked
lute with two strings. It is often used to accompany
solo or group singing. Another popular instrument is kobyz,
a bow instrument played on the knees.
Along with other instruments, these two instruments play a
key role in the traditional Kazakh orchestra.
The main meal of every dastarkhan and one of the most delicious
for Kazakh people was Kazakh style cooked meat.
Boiled meat was served in large uncut pieces. The host was cutting
the meat himself and treat every guest: pelvic bones
and shank for honourable old people, brisket for son-in-law or daughter-in-law,
neck-bone for girls and so on.
food - Besbarmak
The term Besh barmak means "five fingers",
because the dish is eaten with one's hands. Besh barmak consists
boiled horse or mutton meat with small pieces of pastry boiled
in broth and sprinkled with parsley and coriander.
The meat is usually diced with knives and often mixed with
boiled noodles. It is usually served in a big oval dish.
Treating to besbarmak is accompanied with an original ritual.
The meat itself is served in large pieces. Besbarmak
is usually served with ak-nanspecial flat bread baked
with onion, and sorpamutton broth in bowls called kese.
people placed high emphasis on long-term storage of foodstuff. A
huge part of meat was prepared for future use
being salted, dried. Delicatessen was cooked mainly from horse meat
- kazi, shuzhuk, zhal, zhaya, karta and others.
Milk and milk products were widely spread. The preference was for
the sour milk products because it was easier to
save it during nomadic life. Bread was usually made like cookies.
The most popular baked dish is baursaki.
food - Palau
Pilaf, also called polo, palau, polao,
pilau, pilav, pilaff, plov or pulao in their adopted languages
(Turkish, Azerbaijani, Kazakh, Kyrgyz, Marathi, Uzbek, Turkmen,
Urdu, Bengali, Hindi, Pashto, Persian, Armenian etc.) and
in Greek (Pilafi), is a dish in which a grain, such as rice
or cracked wheat, is browned in oil, and then
cooked in a seasoned broth. In some cases, the rice may also
attain its brown color by being stirred with bits
of burned onion, as well as a large mix of spices.
Kazakh meal is something different from the old one but still it
is imbued with ancient laws of hospitability.
On the contrary the hospitability is larger then ever for now because
not only Kazakhs but people of various nations
(Kazakhstan is a multinational country) have a meal around the dastarkhan:
Russians, Tatars, Ukrainians, Uzbeks,
Germans, Uigurs, Koreans and more. All these nations made their
contribution on Kazakhs cookery.
even if some people in Kazakhstan er different from other people
children will allways be the same wherever you are on this small
Dame Gunar, Courtesy of OrexCA.com
to part II - Nature
All info on this page, except where
otherwise stated, Courtesy: