Kazakhstan, former republic of the Soviet Union, is an emerging country that has been developing intensely in recent decades.
Area: 2,724,902 km2
Language: Kazakh (official), Russian
Institutional form: Presidential Republic
Independence: 16th December 1991
Member of: CSI, EBRD, UN, OSCE
Currency: Tenge (KTZ)
Ethnic groups: 63.6% Kazakh, 23.3% Russian, 2.9% Uzbek, 2.0% Ukrainian, 1.4% Uyghur, 1.2% Tatar, 1.1% German, 4.5% others
Kazakhstan is the ninth biggest country in the world (2 717 300 square
km) and the second biggest country in the CIS. Its area could
simultaneously accommodate European countries such as France, Portugal,
Spain, Italy, Greece, Norway and Finland, or Asian countries such as
Pakistan, Turkey, Iraq, Japan and Vietnam.
In the west of the country there’s the Caspian Sea, which is rich in oil
fields. In the north, Kazakhstan borders on Russia. In the East, it
borders on China. In the South it borders on China and Kyrgyzstan,
Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan.
The Republic of Kazakhstan is a democratic, secular, legal and social
state whose highest values are the individual, his life, rights and
Kazakhstan’s activities are based on the fundamental principles of
public concord and political stability, economic development for the
benefit of all, patriotism, and resolving the most important state
issues through democratic means, which includes direct and indirect
The Republic of Kazakhstan has a presidential form of government.
The state power in the Republic of Kazakhstan is executed on the basis
of the Constitution and laws in accordance with the principle of its
division into the legislative (Parliament), executive (Government) and
The Kazakhs are an extremely hospitable people. If you come to a Kazakh
home unexpected you will be received as if you had been invited. Since
early childhood principles of respect of guests and older people as well
as peacefulness and tolerance are instilled in every Kazakh and these
are the national features of Kazakh culture and tradition. This is why
Kazakhstan didnt have any significant national or religious conflicts
in its history. Traditionally every guest is offered dishes of national
Kazakh cuisine at the dastarkhan (the low table) in a yurt (movable
The Kazakhs love the art of words and their akyns (poets), who improvise
at public competitions (aitys) accompanied by national stringed musical
instruments: the dombra or the kobyz. National dress varies by regions.
National games are usually performed on horse-back and are an
opportunity to witness the Kazakhs outstanding riding skills.
Nauryz (the Islamic New Year) is one of the biggest holidays in Central
Asia, celebrated on the day of spring equinox of March 22. On that day,
the streets of villages and towns are transformed. Guests are met in
beautiful yurts with the traditional Nauryz kozhe dish made of seven
traditional ingredients. People respecting this nearly month-long
holiday forgive each other debts and offences.
Kazakh national cuisine reflects essence of the nation, its history,
culture and traditions. Hospitality has always been a distinctive
feature of the Kazakh nation, thus guests are always given a warm
reception and the best seat.
The most popular Kazakh dish is ‘besbarmak’. It is the main dish of the
national cuisine and is translated as ‘five fingers’, and because the
dish is eaten with hands.
Traditional first course dish in the Kazakh cuisine is shurpa, a well
cooked broth with meat, vegetables and spices. It is usually served in
big bowls. During and after the meal kumys and tea are served.
Traditionally Kazakh cuisine was based on meat and dairy products. Later
the list was enriched with vegetables, fruits, fish, seafood,
farinaceous dishes and sweets.