My motherland –
National Flag of the Republic of Kazakhstan
The National Flag of the Republic of Kazakhstan is a piece of right-angled cloth of a sky-blue color with a picture of a golden sun with 32 rays in the center, sitting above a soaring steppe eagle. The flagstaff has a vertical line of national ornamentation. The picture of the sun, its rays, eagle and ornament are gold in color. The width/length ratio of the flag is 1:2.
National Emblem of the Republic of Kazakhstan
The state emblem. There is «Shanyrak» – a circle on the top of yurta in the centre of the state emblem on the blue background. Its two beams lying across symbolize the four parts of the world. The sun rays are spreading all around the shanyrak. The mythological horses -«Tulpars» – complete the ensemble. There is a star on the top of the emblem and the inscription «Kazakhstan» below. The state emblem is made in gold and blue colors.
Government and political conditions
Kazakhstan is a constitutional republic with a strong presidency. It is divided into 14 oblasts and the two municipal districts of Almaty and Astana. Each is headed by an akim (provincial governor) appointed by the president. Municipal akims are appointed by oblast akims. The Government of Kazakhstan transferred its capital from Almaty to Astana on June 10, 1998.
The president is the head of state. The president also is the commander in chief of the armed forces and may veto legislation that has been passed by the Parliament. President Nursultan Nazarbayev has been in office since Kazakhstan became independent. In 1995, President Nazarbayev called for a referendum that expanded his presidential powers: only he can initiate constitutional amendments, appoint and dismiss the government, dissolve Parliament, call referenda, and appoint administrative heads of regions and Astana and Almaty. The prime minister, who serves at the pleasure of the president, chairs the Cabinet of Ministers and serves as Kazakhstan’s head of government. There are three deputy prime ministers and 17 ministers in the Cabinet.
Buddhist temple in Almaty Province
Islam is the major and largest religion in Kazakhstan. After decades of religious suppression by the Soviet Union, the coming of independence witnessed a surge in expression of ethnic identity, in part through religion. The free practice of religious beliefs and the establishment of full freedom of confessions led to an increase of religious activity. Hundreds of mosques, churches, synagogues, and other religious structures were built in the space of a few years, with the number of religious associations rising from 670 in 1990 to 4,170 today.
The kazakh national traditions
Kazakh national traditions root deeply in centuries.
The most significant ones are dedicated to such memorable events as birth of a child, marriage, or connected to celebrating the most favorable holidays (e.g. Nauryz). In addition to being tradition-rich, these holidays are always accompanied with holding national games. Many of the games are interesting due to their ancient roots and enchanting sight. However here we are going to focus on the most exciting ones.
‘Besik’ is a sacred relic of every family.It is usually gifted to a grandchild by mother is relatives ‘nagashy’. Besik is kept a home carefully and is passed on from the old to next generation. Sometimes the son chances to sleep in his father is cradle.
When a baby is put his cradle for the first time, the custom ‘besikke salu’ is performed. Traditionally, the right to fulfil such a responsible task belongs to a specially invited for the event wise a respected grandma having many children.
The cutting of fetters. This ceremony is performed when the baby makes his first steps. His legs are tied the with the thin colorful string, which is entrusted to be cut to an energetic man having many children. This custom is accompanied by songs and wishes for a baby to the and firmly on his feet and go along his life confidently. The ceremony is followed by the feast. In old times after ‘tusaukeser’ the child was presented with a horse and saddle. The colorful string means that in life there happen to be not only white, but also black periods, and the future zhigit must be able to overcome difficulties.
Kokpar is a team game. Up to 50 participants can compete for gaining a small goat carcass in the exausting multiple-hour riding. Upon a command the contestants rush to pick up the carcass of a young goat placed 50-60 paces away from them.
The game does not end by just picking the carcass since the rest of the contestants struggle to take it away from one another.
The clashes on the field at times involve up to 20-30 men. The contest may last for a few hours and the last person to get hold of the carcass either by strength or subtle means is the winner.