Kazakh Citizens Reflect on Country’s Development Ahead of Republic Day

ASTANA – The Declaration on the State Sovereignty of the Kazakh SSR (Soviet Socialist Republic), which was adopted on Oct. 25, 1990, marked a significant turning point in the lives of its people. This pivotal document ensured key safeguards for the nation, encompassing defense mechanisms, the resurgence of national culture, traditions, language, and the reinforcement of national statehood and the dignity of not only the Kazakh people but also other ethnic groups residing in Kazakhstan.

Ahead of the country’s main holiday, Kazakh citizens shared their thoughts, vision, and hopes on the country’s achievements and development with The Astana Times.  

Aliya Maldybayeva. Photo credit: Maldybayeva’s archive.

Though the holiday was discontinued in 2009, it saw a revival in 2022 when President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev advocated for the reinstatement of Republic Day as a national holiday during the inaugural National Kurultai (Congress) on June 16 in the Ulytau Region.

“Republic Day should become a symbol of the country’s bold step towards statehood. This day should be celebrated as a day of remembrance of our national heroes who made a significant contribution to gaining independence,” Tokayev said.

Aliya Maldybayeva, a distinguished educator in Kazakhstan and a recipient of the Veteran of Labor award, with an impressive 43-year teaching tenure, emphasized the nation’s strides in nurturing and promoting its native language—a language that had been sidelined for an extended period within its own borders.

“In every speech, the President emphasizes that the development of the Kazakh language is a priority of state policy. The country is taking measures to increase the use of the Kazakh language and launch more applications that facilitate learning it,” she said.

Maldybayeva highlights the establishment of Kazakh schools and kindergartens across every region of the country as a noteworthy achievement. The local media and film industry are also progressively amplifying their content in the native language.

“The film ‘Mirzhakyp. Wake up, Kazakh!’ aimed at fostering spiritual and patriotic education of the younger generation appealed to many people. There is also good animated content for children,” she said, commending measures to preserve the purity of the language and improve reading and writing literacy.

“Our country is developing in all directions. The key now is to accelerate the process to turn the Kazakh language into the language of science and technology,” Maldybayeva said.

Civil servant Murat Uspanov, 39, commented on the country’s development amid the current global situation. According to him, it is necessary to continue working to establish a full-fledged civil society. From a historical standpoint, only a nation with informed and proactive citizens can attain true success. To facilitate this, it is imperative to bolster institutions related to education, healthcare, and elections. Concurrently, the country should eliminate avenues for extremist and populist views that contravene the law and disrupt interethnic harmony.

“In the context of global instability, including post-pandemic, our country is grappling with rising inflation for goods and services, a significant increase in budget expenditures, an increase in the use of the National Fund reserves to finance the budget, and a slowing gross domestic product (GDP). In this regard, measures to develop the economy are necessary. I think it is important to adopt a new budget and tax codes and a law on public procurement. In this regard, I support the country’s measures to privatize state property, reduce the state’s stake in the economy, attract international investors, and reduce ineffective budget expenditures,” he said.

Almaty student Zhanbolat Aliyev, 19, said that it is important for the younger generation to know the history of the country and honor people who gave their lives to ensure independence for the current generation of Kazakh people.

“Kazakhstan has become one of the leaders among post-Soviet countries. This date is not just a celebration, it represents the day when the prayers, hopes, and struggles of our brave people were heard and the country became ours,” he said.

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