ALMATY – One of Kazakhstan’s oldest couples recently celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary.
Sultan Zhienbayev and Nuraniya Adelshina registered their marriage on Jan. 17, 1945.
Zhienbayev was 24 years old when they wed; Adelshina, 23. Today, Zhienbayev is one of the most respected elders of the country. He fought in the Great Patriotic War and is now a prominent statesman respected by the people, which he considers the main wealth of his life.
Throughout his career, Zhienbayev worked as a department head and later Minister of the Kazakh SSR Ministry of Commerce andDeputy Chairman of the Kazakh SSR Council of Ministers. Among his many awards, the veteran particularly appreciates the title of honorary citizen of Almaty and honorable railwayman.
His successful professional life began in 1945. Zhienbayev was a young man returning from the front, where he fought in the 100th rifle brigade, was the commander of an anti-armour company and fought in fierce battles near Rzhev.
When he met his future wife, Zhienbayev was a private inspector in the Turksib railway, where the specialist received an assignment to get the signature of the state arbitrator. Adelshina solved the economic dispute in favour of the railroad workers and this first and successfully-completed task was the beginning of a long journey for the war veteran.
“Seventy years passed like seven years,” Adelshina said.
“No, like seven days,” Zhienbayev tenderly corrects his wife. “Over seventy years we have had everything, but the main thing is that we overcame together all the difficulties.”
Looking back on a long joint journey, the head of the family remembers that Adelshina always treated his family, friends and acquaintances with great warmth, for which he was eternally grateful to her. A good hostess, caring mother and wife, she always found time and attention for everyone. Zhienbayev is sure that he achieved great success in his career thanks to the support of his wife.
“The greatest wealth for me is the respect of the people. I lived my life honestly and I am proud of it,” Zhienbayev said.
The couple received many greetings on their anniversary from loved ones, colleagues, friends, family, children and grandchildren. Of course, their favourite guests were their grandchildren, who always look forward to seeing their atashka (a tender Russified version of the Kazakh word ‘ata’ which means grandfather) and azheka (same for ‘azhe’ which means grandmother). The spouses are proud that they raised three children and have five grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren.