Astana Marks Independence with Speeches, Songs, Celebrations

presidentASTANA – The Independence Day celebrations in the capital began with an address by President Nursultan Nazarbayev on Dec. 14 and the presentation of state awards to a number of prominent figures in Kazakhstan’s cultural, scientific, health, education, business, military and other spheres for their significant contributions to the socioeconomic and cultural development of the country. The celebrations continued with concerts and fireworks.

After the awards ceremony, the President spoke at a grand meeting dedicated to Kazakhstan’s Independence Day. On Dec. 16, 1991, he said, a new star, the Republic of Kazakhstan, appeared in the constellation of nations of the world.

“On this day, we started our Kazakhstan Way. We have implemented a great mission—we began our independence. Time flies. Today, what came just after the birth of independent Kazakhstan is already history, receding into eternity. We must judge our past in comparison with our current great achievements. Twenty-two years ago, we could only dream that we could grow our economy. This year, Kazakhstan is among the 50 most competitive countries in the world,” the President said.

Noting that the number seven has always been significant for Kazakhstan, Nazarbayev commented that the Kazakhstan 2030 strategy was based on seven priorities. He then listed seven priceless assets the country gained upon independence, including the land itself and the borders secured for the first time in history, the unity of Kazakhstan’s people, the country’s culture and language, its industry and innovation, the Society of Universal Labour the country is building, the city of Astana and the nation’s sense of global responsibility.

“Independence rallied the people under the single shanyrak of the assembly, guardian of peace and harmony. Our spiritual unity is the main foundation of the secular state and society,” Nazarbayev said. He also noted the spread of the Kazakh language around the globe and emphasised the country’s rapidly developing economy, which he said had been achieved by the “painstaking work” of all Kazakhstan’s people.

After the meeting, a gala concert and reception in honour of Independence Day were held.

Astana’s Alau Ice Palace hosted days of public skating leading up to the Dec. 16 holiday and held contests and prize giveaways on Independence Day. The rock opera Zheruiyk was shown in the Palace of Peace and Harmony. In Astana’s central square a disco was held with the participation of Kazakh stars. Soloists from the State fireworksPhilharmonic of Astana opened the show, followed by Kazakh stars Ulytau, Yerke, Zhalyn, Retro, the Alaman trio, KZ, Dabyl and soloists Kydyrali Bolmanov, Dos, Assel Omarova, Bakit Shadayeva and Dosymzhan Tanatarov. Young people at the disco were given the chance to sing with their favourite performers, as well as dance to their hits. The celebration closed with fireworks.

All over the country, mass festivities including concerts, exhibitions and competitions were held to celebrate Kazakhstan’s 22 years of independence.