Preserving the National Legacy: Kazakh Citizens Abroad Study Native Language and Culture

NUR-SULTAN – The Otandastar non-commercial foundation, which supports ethnic Kazakhs, who live abroad and want to come back to the country, has opened 31 online Kazakh language classes for Kazakh citizens living abroad, reports the Kazakh Ministry of Information and Social Development.

According to unofficial experts opinion, there are approximately seven or eight million Kazakh people living abroad. Photo credit: zen.yandex.ru

Approximately five million ethnic Kazakhs live abroad. With this initiative in place, nearly 1,400 representatives of the Kazakh diaspora in Turkey, Russia, United States, United Kingdom, Belgium, Germany, France, Iran, Kyrgyzstan, Ukraine, Mongolia, and Belarus had 780 online lessons and 336 participants received certificates.

Some classes were held in the speaking club format in August and December, while 30 online classes were posted on YouTube to allow people to learn the Kazakh language at their own pace and at any time.

These online classes are part of the country’s strive to strengthen cultural ties with fellow citizens and preserve their cultural heritage.

Abai Uii (House of Abai), established in Bishkek, is tasked with consolidating Kazakh cultural centres abroad into a single network. Photo credit: gov.kzIn September, Istanbul gathered over 100 representatives of the Kazakh community from Turkey and Europe for a traditional kurultai (assembly) to discuss the most relevant issues that the Kazakh diaspora living abroad faces. Similar gatherings were hosted in Iran, Russia, Uzbekistan, Mongolia, and Japan.

As a part of kurultai, Tattimbet Academic orchestra of Kazakh traditional musical instruments performed for guests of the event. Photo credit: gov.kz

This year, Kazakh embassies organized different events, both online and offline, bringing together 4,500 Kazakh people from 20 countries.

This was in addition to a series of events dedicated to the 30th anniversary of Kazakh independence. Several monuments to the great poet and founder of Kazakh written literature Abai Kunanbayev were unveiled in Germany, South Korea, France, Turkey and Ukraine.

In addition to these events, the Online Kazakhstan Film Week kicked off in London, the “Kazakhstan at 30: The Awakening Great Steppe” book was presented in the UK,  Kazakhstan’s best-known chamber and instrumental ensemble Trio FORTE TRIO had a tour in France, while Kazakh students studying in the Kaliningrad region in Russia depicted the national flag by arranging granite stones. 

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