Wedding traditions in Kazakhstan

While taking language classes last summer, I scored an invite to a Real Kazakh Wedding. A few years ago, our research team interrupted huddled marriage negotiations in a Mongolian yurt, to ask marginally relevant questions about citizenship. And we were invited into a six-hour wedding’s eve party in another town. And…

Kara Jorga, Kazakh style!

Қара Жорға (Qara Jorga) is a popular dance song in Kazakhstan. My first connection with it is when my infant host brother was trained to perform it for houseguests. Snapping his little fingers and moving around, he’d dance around on his little toes and everyone would clap and give him…

Speaking Kazakh in three languages

Studying Kazakh this summer, I’m impressed by how Kazakh linguists are steadily replacing Russian words with Kazakh ones. While everyone mixes the two languages freely, scholars vigilantly separate them. In fleshing out Kazakh as a versatile 21st century language, they simply create new Kazakh words whenever there’s not a…