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Qazaqstan Latyn A’lipbi’ine Qol Qoiydi

27 Oct

Qazahi’a’ is pleased to announce that after many minutes of public consultation, President Nazarbayev has decided in his wisdom that Qazaqstan’s Latin alphabet will look like this:

Screen Shot 2017-10-27 at 12.44.53

The idea behind the switch from Cyrillic to Latin for the Qazaq language was motivated by a desire to make modern technology more user-friendly for Qazaqs. The Cyrillic alphabet currently uses 42 characters, making it awkward to use on tech devices as it uses up all the keyboard including the space usually used for numbers.

The president’s solution is a slimmed-down 32 letter alphabet using ‘ to modify letters so, for instance, ‘ch’ (a sound imported from Russian) becomes ‘c” and ‘sh’ becomes ‘s”.

Here at Qazahi’a’  we’re not convinced that apostrophes are the way forward, but who cares about that – it’s all been decided, as usual, from the top down.

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Kokpar Scandal Rocks World Nomad Games

12 Sep

The first edition of the World Nomad Games, currently being held in Kyrgyzstan, have been rocked by scandal as Kazakhstan refused to send a team to compete in kokpar, the fast and furious horseback sport akin to polo but played with a headless goat carcass.

Its absence will be felt at these games as last September Kazakhstan became the first ever Asian champions of the sport when it defeated fierce rivals Kyrgyzstan 4-2 in the final held in Kazakhstan’s snazzy capital Astana.

kazaxia took to twitter to determine why Kazakhstan hadn’t sent a team to the games in Kyrgyzstan. One observer, Edil Baisalov, noted that the Kazakhs “insist on a different set of rules” which they claim were “adopted at the Asian championship in Astana last year”.

The other countries disagreed with this version of events, Baisalov added.

Kokpar,  better known as ‘buzkashi’ in Afghanistan and Tajikistan, is not a sport traditionally hidebound by rules.  In the past kokpar games were a free-for-all that could last for hours.

Now, seeking to appeal to a wider audience and the television market, there have been suggestions that the sport be regulated with two 45-minute halves and restrictions on team sizes.

The version played in Afghanistan has been suggested as an international model with rules developed by the Afghan Olympic Federation. These rules suggest that:

For championship Buzkashi in Kabul, teams are limited to ten riders each. Five players take the field during the first 45 minutes of play; the other five compete during the second period. A field master presides over the match and has the authority to prolong the game and grant permission for a change of riders or horses. The halftime break lasts for 15 minutes.

The World Nomad Games, being held in Cholpon-Ata, Kyrgyzstan, by the shores of Lake Issyk Kul, brings together competitors from countries with a nomadic tradition for a six-day festival of traditional sports. The games culminate on 14 September.

Besides kokpar, the sports include horse races, wrestling on horse back, contact sports based on wrestling, eagle hunting, and the more cerebral ordo, and toguz korgool, a board game related to mankala.  For more information on these sports, check out here.

Kazakhstan’s rock-aid for Afghanistan

29 Sep

Almaty-based rockers Eklektika are to fly the flag for Kazakhstan in Kabul at Sound Central, the first international rock festival to be held in Afghanistan, a country that does not normally spring to mind as a hotbed of rock music.

The festival brings together bands from Afghanistan and Central Asia, including District Unknown and Kabul Dreams from Afghanistan and Uzbekistan’s Tears of the Sun, for what is being described by the organisers as the world’s first ‘stealth concert’.

The highlight of the festival, a gala concert, is planned for early October but the location is being kept under wraps because of security concerns. Ticket-holders will be informed of the venue a few hours beforehand by text message or email according to festival organiser Travis Beard of Kabul-based group White City.

Eklektika represented its home country in London in 2010 at the Global Battle of the Bands. Click here to hear a sample of this band’s music, described on its website as ’emotional guitar music’.