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February 19 2014

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October 24 2013

Singing Presidents and Singing Against Presidents in Central Asia

Presidents of the post-Soviet Central Asian countries like to be regarded as strong, paternalistic leaders. They look down on their populations from millions of portraits and instruct them from TV screens and newspaper pages. Some of them are immortalized in statues and monuments. Yet sometimes these ”fathers” and “leaders” of their nations like to remind their populations that they, too, are human. They dance and sing.

Tajikistan

In Tajikistan, a video of the country's president Emomali Rahmon dancing at his son's wedding went viral in May 2013. While some netizens criticized their leader for his joyful behavior at the wedding, others thought the video showed that the president was “a real, normal man” after all. 

One segment of the controversial video shows Rahmon singing with a popular Tajik singer. They sing in Tajik, praising the beauty of their country, while several senior officials dance to the song:

Commenting on this video, one person writes [tj]:

зур месарояд неки. хаккатан зур. агар президент намебуд, ситораи эстрада мешуд, дар туйхо баромад мекард.

He sings well. Really well. If he wasn't president, he could have become a pop star and sing at weddings.

Kazakhstan

Kazakhstan's “leader of the nation” Nursultan Nazarbayev not only sings, but also plays a musical instrument.

Netizens reacting to the video apparently like the way Nazarbayev sings. Under the video, Farida Salmenova comments [ru]:

Ya priyatno udıvlena!!! ne znala, 4to on tak klassno poyet!!!

I am pleasantly surprised!!! I didn't know he was such a good singer!!!

Uzbekistan

Islam Katimov, the veteran leader of Uzbekistan prefers not to sing in public. He does dance, however:

Yet his dancing apparently fails to impress the country's netizens as most comments under the video are very critical. For example, Kate Malayev writes [ru]:

Urod. Vsyu stranu iskalechil. Narod v nishete sidit a on plyashet.

Freak. He has crippled the whole country. Yet he dances while people are in poverty.

While Karimov does not sing in public, people who disapprove of his regime sing against him. An English-language song that was recently uploaded on YouTube urges the “king of kings in the cotton land” to leave the office:

October 03 2012

Italian Singer Encourages Kazakhs to Speak Mother Tongue

Italian by nationality, singer-songwriter Son Pascal is making musical waves in Kazakhstan. Pascal, who arrived in Kazakhstan from London less than a year ago, made his name in the country with a humorous adaptation of singer Sting's “Englishman in New York.” His “Englishman in Shymkent” - Shymkent is a town in the southern Kazakhstan -  gathered more than 200,000 views on YouTube and became the most searched-for music clip on google.kz.

This summer, his celebrity in the Central Asian state exploded when he followed up that hit with a the feel-good jam “You Should Speak Kazaksha”. Produced by Alen Niyazbekov, the song was an instant hit on video-sharing platforms and has been lapped up by the Kazakh media. By imploring Kazakhs and others to speak the state language, Pascal has also won friends in high places. The country's politicians, including President Nursultan Nazarbayev, frequently complain of the corrosive influence of Russian-language pop culture and speak of the need to do more in order to promote the use of Kazakh in the public domain.

Last week Global Voices Online caught up with Son Pascal and asked him a few questions about his love for all things Kazakh.

Global Voices Online: Along with “You should speak Kazakhsha” you also have the “Паскальжан”(Paskaljan) series of homemade videos where you learn Kazakh with netizens in a fun and casual setting. How did you come to learn Kazakh? Is it easy or difficult compared to other languages?

Son Pascal: I didn't really learn Kazakh yet, I just speak a bit, it's not that difficult compared to Russian but the fact that not everyone speaks this language on a daily basis [Russian is widely spoken as a first languague in Kazakhstan] makes it longer to learn for me.

GVO: When did you decide that you want to stay and write music in Kazakhstan?

Son Pascal: I decided to stay as I understood myself to have some chances in your market, and I really love living in Almaty [biggest eastern city in Kazakhstan].

GVO: “You Should Speak Kazaksha” has been very popular among internet users. What was the idea of the song?

Son Pascal: This song came to life really easily - I was having shashlik [kebab on a metal skewer] with my friend Gallardo [Kazakh rapper featured on the video] and we were jamming with my ukulele [Kazakh national instrument]. I think it's important for a country not to forget its culture and its roots, as I feel proud to be Italian so you guys should be proud to be Kazakh.

Son Pascal playing yhe dombra [Kazakh national instrument].”I cannot sing the Kazakh anthem, but I can whistle it,” the young artist told Global Voices Online. Personal photo used with author's permission.

GVO: How important do you think music is to the preservation of a language?

Son Pascal: Music in the form of a song or an opera work is literature, which is one of the main things to help protect and divulgate a language. It might be classical, like a poem of Abay [Abay Qunanbaiuli is a celebrated Kazakh poet of the 19th century] and it can be pop, like a song by Beibit Korgan [local pop singer] or even Son Pascal!

 

This post is part of the GV Central Asia Interns Project at the American University of Central Asia in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan.

August 22 2012

Kazakhstan: Trial of Opposition Leaders Draws Pussy Riot Comparisons

“A Pussy Riot of our own” is how Kazakhstani netizens are referring to the judicial drama involving three opposition leaders accused of active participation in the Zhanaozen oil-strike in December 2011. The trials of Vladimir Kozlov, Aizhanat Aminov and Serik Sapargaly started on August 16, and are expected to end within the next two weeks. On Twitter, Kazakhstan's political opposition has been sending out tweets with the hashtag #Kozlov from the court room in Kazakh, Russian and English.

As Joanna Lillis of Eurasianet.org informs, the leader of the unregistered Alga! opposition party, Kozlov, a former oil worker from Zhanaozen, Aminov, and Sapargaly, an activist from the People’s Front political alliance, are all charged with “fomenting social unrest” and “calling for the forcible overthrow of the constitutional order”. Kozlov and Aminov face an additional charge of “setting up a criminal group”. According to Lillis, the trial is “expected to show where authorities in Astana demarcate the border between legitimate political expression and criminal behavior.” Moreover, Kazakh officials have suggested that the three activists were influenced by “third forces”. She continues:

An official investigation concluded that the Zhanaozen unrest was fomented by “third forces” from outside Kazakhstan and perpetrated by activists on the ground. Investigators have accused exiled oligarch Mukhtar Ablyazov of masterminding the violence for political ends with a UK-based accomplice from Kazakhstan, Muratbek Ketebayev. Ablyazov, who is currently on the run from British justice in a fraud case, is a political foe of [Kazakhstani President] Nazarbayev.

While Human Rights Watch and the US Assistant Secretary of State Robert Blake have both expressed their hope for a fair trial, Kazakh netizens have little doubt that the court in the western town of Aktau will follow the example of its Russian counterpart in the recent trial of Pussy Riot [see Global Voices post for background] and hand down draconian sentences to the defendants. As Twitter user Astanchanin tweeted [ru]:

Судебная система Казахстана это зеркалка Российской системы. Посмотрим результаты по #Козлов.

Kazakhstan’s judicial system is a mirror of Russian system. We will wait for the results of #Kozlov.

 

Supporters of political oppositionist Vladimir Kozlov await a verdict in a courtroom in Aktau, western Kazakhstan. The case of the three defendants is the most high profile in a series of judgements on the events of December 2011 that saw 16 people die when an oil strike burst into violence. (Screen capture from a video uploaded  on August 16, 2012 by YouTube user ladakz).

On online forums, discussion mostly centres on the perceived politicization of proceedings and the decision to admit the trio to trial in the first place. Sammitkhan [Саммитхан] comments [ru] underneath an article on RFE/RL's Kazakh service, Azzatyk.org:

Жалко марионеток, участвующих в этом спектакле под названием суд. За свои поступки конечно отвечать надо. Но в первую очередь за Жанаозен должна ответить власть, не решившая этот конфликт и расстрелявшая безоружных людей. Власть и ее приспешники в бессильной злобе готовы навешать на Козлова и других все, даже Арканкерген..Это уже паранойя.

I feel sorry for the puppets taking part in this spectacle called a court. Obviously, one has to be responsible for one's deeds. But first and foremost it is the authorities, who did not solve the [oil strike] and opened fire on unarmed people, that should be be blamed for Zhanaozen. The authorities and their associates, in their impotent rage, are ready to blame Kozlov and others for everything, even Arankergen [see Global Voices post for background]. This is just paranoia now.

Nevertheless, while few domestic observers believe the country's courts enjoy any sort of independence from Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev, the latter is broadly admired for ensuring the sort of poltical stability enjoyed by the Central Asian republic prior to 2011, an admiration reinforced by state-controlled media. Prizing security over democracy, the view expressed [kz] by another Azzatyk commenter, Sarsenbekov, is typical to many Kazakhstanis:

Оз басым Елбасы устанган саясатты колдаймын, озимиздин ортамыздагы шіріктерден сактанайык. Немесе шетелден келген шириктердин колдаумен журе берсек барлыгымыз кырылып калармыз. Мумкин Алгалыктар артылык кыламыз деп тыртык жасаганшыгар,онын тубири кай жерден екенин барлыгымыз тусинип отырмызгой.

I support the politics of Elbasy [the Head of the Nation - President Nazarbayev], let us save ourselves from instability. If we keep following putrid foreign trends, it will hurt us all. Possibly instead of healing the wound, the opposition will make it worse; we all know where it comes from.

“We all know where it comes from” is a likely reference to Mukhtar Ablyazov, a billionaire Nazarbayev rival-in-exile wanted on banking fraud charges in both Kazakhstan and Russia. Having ignored an arrest warrant by a court in Great Britain, where he was initially offered assylum, Ablyazov is now believed by some to have fled to France.  In a thinly disguised piece of PR for state prosecutors, an article on the Kazakh embassy website makes the connection between Ablyazov, the defendants on trial, and December 2011's fatal oil strike.

But while Astana  scrambles to sugarcoat whatever verdicts the Aktau court reaches in order to preserve its international reputation, the Zhanozen events and their aftermath appear to have encouraged newfound introspection and far-sightedness among Kazakh netizens. Their septuagenarian president has been in power for 22 years now, and as the country enters a new era, semingly marked by instability and political discord, debate is brewing over what course Kazakhstan should take when he eventually dies. Tolegen Jukeev posted [Kz] his opinion on Janaozen.net:

Ал Назарбаевтан кейін кім келеді дегенге келер болсақ, бұл өте қиын мәселе. Екі таңдау бар, бірі ашық қоғам құру, екіншісі дәл қазіргі олигархиялық режимді сақтау. Бірақ, барлығына қарамастан мен бізде парламенттік республика орнағанын қаламаймын. Себебі, біз оған дайын емеспіз. Көп саяси институттар әлі де қалыптаспаған. Сондықтан, парламенттік республика бізді бар мәселеден құтқарады деген дұрыс емес. Олай дейтіндер мемлекеттің құрылымын, оның іргетасының қалануы дегеніміз не екенін түсінбейтіндер. Әлсіз саяси институттар ұлттық мемлекеттің, қазақ мемлекетінің жойылуына алып келуі мүмкін.

What will come after Nazarbaev is a big issue. There are two choices: to build a free society or to preserve the current oligarchy. Nevertheless, I do not wish to have a parliamentary republic. The reason being that we are not ready for it yet. A lot of social institutions are not even formed yet. Therefore, a parliamentary republic will not solve all of our problems. Those who want to change the government don’t understand implications of their wish. Weak social institutions might destroy the Kazakh Republic.

The press has been allowed access to all trials relating to the Zhanaozen events. On a YouTube video uploaded by ladakz on August 16, 2012, Vladimir Kozlov, the best known defendant in the current trial, can be seen pumping his arms in defiance from the defendant's box (0.59):

Below is an amateur video of December 16, 2012 protest by oil workers in Zhanaozen, a key oil town in Kazakhstan. The video was uploaded by YouTube user chamberlinp.

This post is part of the GV Central Asia Interns Project at the American University of Central Asia in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan.

August 09 2012

Kazakhstan: ‘Imported' Olympic Champions Cause Controversy

This post is part of our special coverage London 2012 Olympics.

The 2012 Olympic Games in London are already a huge success for Kazakhstan. Its athletes have so far won six gold medals, with four golds taken by the country's weightlifters.

Two golds for Kazakhstan have been claimed by Chinese-born female athletes, Zulfia Chinshanlo and Maiya Maneza. Both athletes are ethnically Dungan, a group that originates from northwestern China, many of whom fled to Central Asia after converting to Islam in the 19th century.

The Olympic success of Kazakhstan's “imported” weightlifters has stirred a lot of controversy in mainstream and social media. Before the Olympics, Kazakh officials were reluctant to acknowledge the Chinese roots of Chinshanlo and Maneza.

Chinshanlo's profile on the London 2012 Olympics website states that she was born in Almaty. As for Maneza, the website says she was born in Bishkek, the capital of neighboring Kyrgyzstan.

Zulfia Chinshanlo surrounded by fans of the Kazakhstan team after claiming a gold medal in weightlifting. Screenshot from video "Chinshanlo delights in Olympic gold' uploaded July 30, 2012, by YouTube user SNTVonline.

Zulfia Chinshanlo surrounded by fans of the Kazakhstan team after claiming a gold medal in weightlifting. Screenshot from video “Chinshanlo delights in Olympic gold' uploaded July 30, 2012, by YouTube user SNTVonline.

Chinese state media agency Xinhua was the first to claim [zh] that Kazakhstan had changed the names of the two athletes and misinformed the Olympic Committee about their countries of origin.

According to Xinhua, Chinshanlo was born and raised in Yongzhou, Hunan province, under the Chinese name Zhao Changling. Maneza was also reportedly born in China, although there are less details about her background.

Maiya Maneza, another "imported' athlete who has claimed an Olympic gold for Kazakhstan. Screenshot from video "Maiya Maneza Kazakhstan' uploaded May 18, 2012, by YouTube user Andre Neka.

Maiya Maneza, another “imported' athlete who has claimed an Olympic gold for Kazakhstan. Screenshot from video “Maiya Maneza Kazakhstan' uploaded May 18, 2012, by YouTube user Andre Neka.

Doubts about the weightlifters' origins emerged after it became clear that neither Chinshanlo nor Meneza could freely converse in Kazakh, the official language in Kazakhstan, or Russian, which serves as a lingua franca in the ethnically diverse country.

Matthew Kupfer of Registan.net was one of the first bloggers to investigate the scandal, writing:

I hoped to find a video of Chinshanlo speaking voluble Russian with no accent. Instead, I found that Chinshanlo’s Russian wasn’t that good and she did, indeed, seem to have a Chinese accent. It wasn’t necessarily proof that she had come from China, but it seemed to suggest that, if she truly was from Kazakhstan, she had grown up speaking only Dungan.

Journalist Richard Orange confirmed Kupfer's linguistic assessment. Writing on Eurasianet.org's Inside the Cocoon blog, he noted:

When photographer Ikuru Kuwajima and I visited Kazakhstan's Olympic weightlifting training camp in July 2011, it was difficult to get much out of Zulfiya Chinshanlo, the 19-year-old weightlifter who on July 29 brought Kazakhstan its second gold at the London games. Neither Chinshanlo, nor her friend Maiya Maneza, could manage more than a few fragments of Russian. And they spoke no Kazakh.

The scandal continued to sizzle in mainstream media. The Chinese Daily suggested that Beijing and Astana had struck a deal back in 2007, under which Kazakhstan was allowed to lease Chinshanlo for five years. So, next year, when the lease ends, the athlete would have to return to China. However, according to BBC, both Chinshanlo and Maneza adopted Kazakhstani citizenship shortly after leaving China.

Amid accusations of foul play, Alexei Kryuchkov, a senior Kazakh sports official, has argued that the two athletes were “underestimated” in China before Kazakh coaches found them and trained for the Olympics. Kryuchkov said [ru]:

А что они [китайцы] их [Чиншанло и Менезу] не воспитывали?.. Кто не давал им готовить их? Они же отпустили их спокойно. Без всяких возражений, когда они уходили. А по истечении шести лет, когда они достигли высоких результатов, начинает кого-то жаба есть.

Why didn't [the Chinese] train [Chinshanlo and Meneza]?.. Who did not let them do so? They let [the athletes] go easily. There were no objections when they left. And after six years, when the two have achieved remarkable success, somebody feels envy.

This sentiment is shared by many Kazakh netizens. Commenting under the above article, an anonymous user wrote[ru]:

Что за претензии? Если так сложилось бы что она не выиграла бы золото, китайцы молча сидели бы кушаю свою лапшу.

What kind of complaints are these? If [Chinshanlo] hadn't won gold, the Chinese would have eaten their noodles quietly.

On Twitter, Anuar Dossybi basked [ru] in Kazakhstan's multicultural glory:

Манеза, Чиншанло, Винокуров… Так держать, казахи! Эм… Ну или кто-там…

Maneza, Chinshanlo, Vinokurov [an ethnically Russian athlete who won another gold for Kazakhstan]… Keep it up, Kazakhs! Erm, or whoever you are…

While Aibek Baineshov tweeted [kz] triumphantly:

Бола берсiн, бола берсiн коп мейлi, “Алтын алка” бiзге коптiк етпейдi)!!!

Let it be, let it be, the more medals, the better. There are never enough gold medals)!!!

Voicing a rare criticism of the foreign-born athletes, IamAzamat wrote [ru] ironically on Twitter:

Чиншанло такая казахская фамилия.

Chinshanlo is such a typical Kazakh surname.

Another Kazakh Twitter user, Ardabek, responded [ru]:

Это не казахская фамилия, она не казашка! Она китаянка, ее имени придумали тренеры. Манеза тоже, ее имена озночает как мой майонез

[Chinshanlo] is not a Kazakh surname, she isn't Kazakh! She is Chinese, the coaches made up this name for her. Same with Maneza, whose last name sounds like “mayonnaise”.

Yet, the domestic reaction to Kazakhstan's Olympic medals has mostly been one of pride. Most netizens do not care much about the nationality and previous citizenship of athletes winning medals for Kazakhstan. Moreover, because “importing” Chinese-born athletes has proven so successful, some netizens suggest that the strategy should have been taken up earlier. Kenzhe Adenov wrote [ru] ironically on Twitter:

… После побед Чиншанло и Манезы ..То что Китай на первом месте, не его заслуга, а наша недоработка! )))

…After the victories of Chinshanlo and Maneza, the fact that China has won more gold medals than any other country is not its achievement but an omission on our part! )))

This post is part of our special coverage London 2012 Olympics.

This post is part of the GV Central Asia Interns Project at the American University of Central Asia in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan

January 04 2011

Kazakhstan: Bloggers discuss religion

By Askhat Yerkimbay

Because Kazakhstan does not have a clear religious policy, it has become the norm that everyone is entitled to his or her own perspective on faith. As it was twenty years ago, no one is really bothered by this multitude of views, which is evidenced by the debate on religion and traditions, which recently spilled over into the blogosphere.

The discussion was sparked by the Kara Zhorga dance, which has become popular in the country in the last few years.

Urimtal writes [kaz]: “I think Kara Zhorga is not just a dance, but a whole phenomenon that has united the nation. Even Kazakhs who live abroad are taking part. When our government describes the expatriates in not-so-flattering terms, Kara Zhorga is a kind of response to such criticism.”

Orken wrote a post on the subject [kaz]:

“Let’s say the dance has roots in Mongolian or Kalmykian culture, but we’re the ones who made it into a national brand. The Mongols, the Chinese and the Kalmyks didn’t object in any way. This is why I think it’s a sign of ignorance that many of us have a short memory when it comes to tradition or even bring up Islam as an opposing force.”

In 2011, Kazakhstan will chair the Organization of the Islamic Conference. Yet there was a discussion [kaz] not too long ago about a “potential law that would ban the wearing of headscarves.” Malimetter.org confirms the reports, and points to the causes, or rather, deputy Minister of Education and Science Mahmetkali Sarbyev does [kaz]:

“Kazakhstan is a multi-confessional state. If we permit people to wear the hijab, then tomorrow thirty students in a single class will show up wearing something different – and that won’t lead to anything good,” he explains.

Timurr writes that the law will be unconstitutional, since the constitution guarantees freedom of religious expression [kaz]:

“Given everything that is happening right now, I don’t think our officials and ministers are unaware they are going against the law. But, if this is the case, why are they doing it?”

Original post is published on neweurasia.net

July 21 2010

Kazakhstan: Bloggers see China’s “weaponless invasion”

By Askhat Yerkimbay

Image by Flickr user guccio (CC-usage).

Image by Flickr user guccio (CC-usage).

Posts about China-related topics are quite frequent in the Kazakh language blogs. Here are some of them, the most recent ones. Some time ago, Akzere published a post titled “China – place of grooms” [KAZ]. The post tells the interesting story of Chinese men eager to have a family. A girl who is a university student posted an advertisement hoping to meet a young man. However, she didn’t expect to see almost 2000 men in front of her dormitory! One of her readers, Meirzhan, remarks,

“The quantitative inequality between men and women in modern China has turned into one of the most important problems of our time that nobody dares to discuss.”

Meirzhan discusses the difficulties of obtaining citizenship for Kazakhs who want to return from China in his post on Neweurasia [KAZ]. He posted another article on the same topic in his own blog, called “Kazakhstan does not need Kazakhs from abroad” [KAZ]:

“If you come closer to the city or regional office responsible for the visas and registration of foreigners, you will see our brothers from China, thronging there, not able to get a visa to their motherland (Kazakhstan). And look at this: Chinese and Uighurs, who need the same document, give their red passports and get the necessary stamp and blue paper with Kazakh symbols without any trouble. But Kazakhs don’t have this privilege, it is restricted for Kazakhs; they are told ‘to wait’.”

Revolted by the situation, Meirzhan also quotes the following opinion of a close friend:

“The Kazakhs who live abroad think that to gather Kazakhs scattered all over the world is the number one problem to be solved. The notion that Kazakhstan does not need them has never crossed their mind.”

The fact that our brothers from China face language problems (they don’t speak Russian) and cultural challenges when coming back to Kazakhstan is widely discussed across the Kaznet. Fortunately, there exist people who can help them. For example, a recent post by blogger Bahtgul65 (who lives in Ustkamenogorsk), entitled “I wish you success, Nurzhan” [KAZ], is about a 22-year-old student who came from China:

“… I was working. A group of youngsters were eating at the café. When they were leaving, one of them approached me and asked: ‘Auntie, do you have any vacancies? My sister is looking for a job.’ I wrote his name and phone number down, intending to call, in case I needed somebody. We started talking.

It turned out that Nurzhan was a 22-year-old student who had moved from China. He said that he would love to open a café like mine, but that he was bad at documents and did not know Russian. ‘Even Kazakhs speak Russian here,’ he remarked.

Nurzhan’s parents passed away when they came back to Kazakhstan. He has two younger sisters to take care of.”

Blogger Ertai, who lives and studies in China, writes very interesting posts on social and political issues there. In his post. “Military competition” [KAZ], he writes about how the Chinese’ military wants to outperform the Americans. He also gives the following extract from the book Chinese Dream, written by a Chinese colonel:

“In the next 10-20 years China will not escape from any war. Because China is surrounded by enemy countries that have connections with the US, Washington might ’set on fire’ the back gates of China. In this case China can set on fire the backyard of the US, as well.”

Ertai’s next post [KAZ], entitled, “China’s weaponless invasion,” is about Chinese cultural expansion. He writes:

“In recent years, the number of young people from Central Asia who have come to learn the Chinese language and culture has remarkably increased. According to information by the regional Department of Education, the number of foreign students is about 3.2 thousand. Currently in the states of Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan, new Confucian institutes, Chinese language courses, and special centers are being opened.”

The author also notes that in the last year Chinese and Kazahstani officials have met five times. So, the more Kazakhstan’s relations with China intensify, the more China’s influence on Kazakh society will become visible in the Kaznet. Everybody should stay tuned.

Also posted on neweurasia.

July 15 2010

Kazakhstan: Kazakh blogs on national issues

By Askhat Yerkimbay

rozatai

Lately I have often seen posts about national problems in Kazakh language blogs. I am going to review some of them.

Ainash Esali in a post titled “The government should have only one flag” [KAZ] says:

“An article with the title “Let’s not call for a bad omen by multiplying flags” was published in the newspaper Egemen Kazakhstan, on a special page for Parliament. But the problem is presented in fragments and smoothed over. Maybe it is correct. Maybe this kind of problem should be solved without raising alarm?!”

The issue concerns citizens who fly flags of other countries, not of Kazakhstan.

The author of the blog Zhasakaz also pays attention [KAZ] to this case, saying the following:

“How can one understand that in places such as Kulzhat and Taskarasu, which are located close to China, our Uygur brothers fly a flag that has nothing to do with the national symbols of Kazakhstan? While we were reflecting on how we can preserve national unity and harmony, and while thinking that there is a law that can stop those who do such acts, the article “Let’s not call for a bad omen by multiplying flags” appeared in the newspaper Egemen Kazakhstan on May 29.

The author of the blog Zhasakaz thinks that journalists should speak up about the problem and refer to the existing law rather than presenting this kind of problem in bits and fragments.

“Is it because there are not many analytical specialists in the apparatus of the President or is it because speaking in fragments has turned into some kind of ‘eastern art’? In my opinion, attention should be paid to Article 170 of the Kazakh Constitution.”

Zhasakaz identifies the flying of a flag of another nation as a violation of law and tries to explain that it is preventable.

The topic of national symbols is continued under the title “I will not let the emblem of my nation be trampled on.” In this post, a story about an old man who lifted a 1-tenge bill from the ground with care, saying that “I will not let the emblem of my nation be trampled on.” The blogger also notes [KAZ] that 1-tenge bills are found around bazaars, on sidewalks and underground pavements, in buses and on stairs.

And Nurbergen Makym develops [KAZ] his thoughts around the question “Why don’t we live as in America or Europe?” He comes to the following conclusion:

“Any value in society is formed by the middle class. The reason that Kazakhstan is not developing is that there is no middle class. In our society it is like when ‘district 13’ will be established. Only this time, except for the rich who think they can become God, the rest will be forced to solve their problems according to the law.”

Orken, who comments on the post, draws readers’ attention to the preconditions of forming a middle class: “Shangyrak is neither more nor less than district 13.” In Orken’s blog [KAZ] there is also a post titled “Is my Gerei twin of Kuzma?” It is devoted to the monument of Gerei and Zhanibek khans, opened in Astana. “There are critics among us that compare it to the monument of Kuzma Minin and Dmitri Pozharski on the Red square in Moscow. Except for the appearance and the clothes, the general composition is pretty much the same.”

A reader with the name Elubek, commenting on the same topic, thinks that “the monument was built so quickly because the previous monument built for 600 million was useless.”

Burkit also notes [KAZ] in his own blog that the monument to Kulager was opened on the road between Astana and Kokshetau.

Ashimoskemen notes that recently a patriots’ forum was conducted in Pavlodar. The blogger who did not understand why this forum was held, says [KAZ]:

“We made some noise and left. I apologize to organizers, but I did not quite understand why I went there.”

If in such forums the pictures by Tarazkyzy were discussed [KAZ], maybe respect for the Kazakh language would increase. The pictures of street writings that carry mistakes against the Kazakh language in a post titled “Illiterate streets” on Tarazkyzy’s blog have not left bloggers indifferent. Most of the commentators think that these kinds of mistakes should be prevented.

Of course, there are plenty of other interesting topics. Inshallah, we will review them in the future.

The picture is taken from the blog “The dove of my soul” by Tarazkyzy. This bilboard with spelling mistakes is on the Merki disritct way in Zhambyl oblast.

Originally posted on neweurasia.net.

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