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Kazakhstan: Nauryz Under Threat?

21 Mar

As Kazakhstan prepares to celebrate Nauryz, fears are growing  that this year could be the last time that the festival is celebrated as more details of Project Verny, the sinister plot to annex the country, are revealed.

A spokesperson for Project Verny told kazaxia that “Nauryz does not conform to the cultures and traditions of ethnic Russians living in Central Asia. When the region is incorporated into the Central Asian Federal District, the festival will be replaced by  a more Russia-focused celebration”.

Nauryz, the spring equinox celebration in Kazakhstan, is celebrated on March 22 and marks the start of the new year. The holiday was banned in Soviet times and was only revived in the 1990s after the Soviet yoke was thrown off.

After the annexation of Crimea by a Russian-backed goblin army, Kazakhstan could be next on the list. Following annexation, nauryz could be replaced with an Easter-themed holiday for this Muslim-majority region, a celebration of Lenin’s birth or a commemoration of the day Vladimir Zhirinovsky became a member of the komsomol in his native Alma-ata, present-day Almaty.

[Editor’s note: Zhirinovsky is being mooted as the de-facto leader of the proposed Central Asian Federal District. The capital of the region will be Almaty, reverting to its one-time name of Verny].

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Kazakhstan: In Praise of the First President

1 Dec

Lord Venal has seen fit to put pen to paper as Kazakhstan prepares to celebrate the Day of the First President on 1 December, the country’s newest public holiday.

President Nursultan Nazarbayev bestrides Kazakhstan like a colossus – his image beams down from billboards on nearly every street corner. The Park of the First President is a fixture of all major towns and cities. Every evening he tops the TV news agenda meeting with dignitaries, opening factories and winning EXPO 2017 bids.

The First President awaits visitors

The First President awaits visitors

Wildly loved by his adoring public – he won 96.5 % of the vote in the last election, The Leader of the Nation, as he is also known, has worked ceaselessly over the last twenty-two years as he has steered the good ship Kazakhstan through turbulent waters to leave the country becalmed in a sea of economic prosperity and political stagnation.

He is one of the world’s longest serving presidents – only a few presidents have kept the throne warmer for longer than the glorious leader – Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe, Manchester United’s Sir Alex Ferguson and arch-rival Islam Karimov in Uzbekistan spring to mind.

Toys_4_NAN

The Nazarbayev University in his fairytale capital city, Astana, proudly carries his name as do a network of Nazarbayev Intellectual schools, which have mushroomed across Kazakhstan in recent years. The day cannot be far off when Nazarbayev kindergartens, fertility clinics and dating agencies will grace the provincial capitals.

I, along with my former cell mate, Jonathan Aitken, the famed hagiographer, who is in Astana to sing the praises of the First President yet again, would like to wish the Leader many happy returns on this the anniversary of the distant day back in 1991 when he won his first election along with the hearts of the Kazakh nation. Long may he reign – Kazakhstan’s very own Superkhan!

Happy Navruz!

24 Mar

Kazaxia wishes all its readers a belated Happy Navruz!

Kazaxia has been on location in a wordpress-unfriendly zone. Here’s some pics taken at the Navruz celebrations in the shadow of the Registan in Samarkand, Uzbekistan. Teachers and pupils had gathered in the  park to show off their baking and dancing skills

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Nauryz Kutty Bolsyn!

23 Mar

Nauryz poster in Almaty

This week has seen a three-day public holiday in Kazakhstan for the Nauryz celebrations. Nauryz marks the spring equinox, when day and night are equal, and for many it’s the start of a new year.

Kids enjoying a swing on an altybakan in Almaty

The holiday is an ancient one and is celebrated by peoples with  Persian roots and in many other parts of the world such as Turkey, Pakistan, Central Asia, the Caucasus and north-western China.

Serving up a mean Nauryz kozhe in Almaty

In Kazakhstan the day is marked by drinking a milk-based soup, Nauryz kozhe, made with seven cereals such as  barley, millet and wheat added according to taste.