Tag Archives: Georgia

Kazakhstan: EXPO 2017 Hits and Misses

11 Sep

11 September 2017

With Astana’s EXPO 2017 done and dusted, kazaxia is having a look at some of the hits and misses at Kazakhstan’s window to the world, which was on the theme of Future Energy.

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Crowds heading to Nur-Alem aka the Death Star

Top prize, of course, goes to Kazakhstan’s pavilion Nur-Alem, unflatteringly dubbed the Death Star by Foreign Policy. This was the biggest draw of the event with crowds queuing for hours to check out the eight floors of interactive displays on the green energy theme.

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Queueing to enter Nur-Alem at EXPO 2017

kazaxia’s particular favourite was the pedal-powered  race which saw two teams face off to pedal as fast as they could and generate energy.

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Pedal power face off in Nur-Alem

Special mention goes to Uzbekistan, which fully embraced the Future Energy concept with its Chevrolet (formerly Uz-Daewoo) Matiz adapted to run on a hydrogen-powered fuel cell.

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Uzbekistan’s fuel-cell powered Matiz

Turkmenistan seemed more intent on pushing President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov’s books and the upcoming Asian indoor martial arts fest in Ashgabat.

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A warm welcome to Turkmenistan’s pavilion

Georgia’s pavilion predictably focused on wine production, ignoring the Future Energy message, but the kazaxia special prize was reserved for Russia  with its novel take on the theme – it proposed using nuclear-powered ice breakers to crash through the ice cap to get at the fossil fuel deposits lurking in the depths of the Arctic Ocean.

The EXPO circus now moves on to the UAE leaving Astana with the task of transforming the site into a regional financial centre. Nur-Alem will remain as a museum for the general public to keep riffing on the green energy vibe.

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Welcome to Kazakhstan!

1 Apr

After a long flight, what better welcome can there be than a foaming cup of kumis, fermented mare’s milk, and a baursaki or two, a tasty savoury doughnut?

These staples of Kazakh cuisine have been offered to visitors arriving in Taldykurgan International Airport in a trial scheme reminiscent of Georgia’s freebie bottle of wine for new arrivals.

Now plans are being considered to roll out the kumis and baursaki welcome to other airports in this Central Asian country, that prides itself on its hospitality, from 1 April.

Lord Venal himself tried the treat when he arrived recently to observe the elections in March.
“It was a lovely gesture to be offered such a refreshing pick-me-up on arrival,” Lord Venal told kazaxia.

“I’m all in favour of expanding this superb initiative and might I suggest Kazakhstan follow Georgia’s lead and offer a bottle of Arba wine from the Assa Valley?” he added as he wandered off in search of a cosy bar.

Kazakhstan Cool on Links with Georgia, Azerbaijan Football League

17 Apr

Could Kazakhstan be on the verge of joining forces with Georgia and Azerbaijan to form a trans-Caspian football league?

If reports from NEWS.am, an Armenian source, are to be believed then the Georgian Football Federation is about to submit plans to the Union of European Football Unions (UEFA) for a super league combining the leagues of Georgia, Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan. It appears that the Armenians are not invited.

The report ends with a denial from the Kazakhstan Football Federation, announcing that it has no plans to join such a league. This is probably a wise move as the travel for away matches would be huge. If, for instance, FC Dinamo Batumi were to face Almaty’s FC Kairat, they would be looking at an 8,600 km round trip. Not a very attractive prospect for either the players or the travelling supporters.

An added complication would be the fact that Kazakhstan’s top division plays its football from March to November, while Georgia and Azerbaijan play in the winter months from September to May.

Kazakhstan: The Nightingale to Fly the Nest?

4 Apr

Kazakhstan has been rocked by the news that top pop duo Nan and his Nightingale are to split after a glittering  15-year association. The Nightingale, aka Yermukhamet Kabidinovich Yertysbayev,  is said to be leaving on a midnight train to Georgia, where he will take up a position as a solo Beatles impersonator.

Meanwhile, Nan will continue alone – just one man and his dombra.