Simple Things

It’s the simple things. From acquaintances to friendships, Kazakhs find joy in the simplicity of it all. I guess before sharing my point of view on icebreakers and the beautiful simplicity in the Kazakh culture, I’ll share two truths and a lie for aesthetic’s sake. These happen to be the ones I have ready for …

Continue reading Simple Things

Advertisements

A Kazakh Engagement Party

Before coming to Kazakhstan, I read a little bit about Kazakh culture. I had learned about how Kazakhs often drink tea from bowls or “pialas”, that they eat horse meat, and of course, that they are very hospitable. Little did I know that I would be bombarded with all of these things almost immediately after …

Continue reading A Kazakh Engagement Party

Dealing with “Culture Shock”

Everyone warns you in orientation that you may experience something known as “culture shock” while studying abroad. Personally, I think that culture shock is quite the misnomer. I don’t think I’ve ever really experienced “shock” in the typical sense of the word, and therefore I began to think that culture shock didn’t exist. It implies …

Continue reading Dealing with “Culture Shock”

It’s All Quite Dream-like Here

A friend from the United States messaged me asking how my trip in Almaty, Kazakhstan was going, and, in my response, I called this trip “peak existence.” What does “peak existence” mean? I guess I’d describe it as a state of being where every interaction and experience feels meaningful and fulfilling. My emotions and feeling …

Continue reading It’s All Quite Dream-like Here

Kazakh Wedding Traditions

Weddings are one of Kazakhstan’s many customs. Traditionally, there were several stages of the wedding ceremony, but today most couples do not go through all of them. Depending on where the members of the couple are from, they may be encouraged by relatives to follow the tradition as it has been done all along. People …

Continue reading Kazakh Wedding Traditions

Aikosh’s First Step

“Tusau Keser ” (in Kazakh), or “cutting the rope,” is the celebration of a child’s first steps, a nomadic tradition originating from tengriism. The ceremony is performed when the child first learns how to walk. Kazakhs believed that an invisible rope was tied around the child’s legs preventing the child from walking. A rope had …

Continue reading Aikosh’s First Step

People, Places, Things

Almaty is a pleasant surprise.  Whenever I dreamed about my time abroad, I mostly thought about the academic personality I should expect here.  The whole people, places, things aspect I never completely thought out.  While every new place has its unpleasant surprises, so also it has its own remedies. Being in the city every second …

Continue reading People, Places, Things

Academic Culture- KZ to USA

This fall, I began to teach a class of students on how to write essays in English for college applications. It has easily been one of the most rewarding experiences that I have had since my arrival. The students here have such a thirst for knowledge, regardless of how boring the subject material may be. …

Continue reading Academic Culture- KZ to USA

Why I’m studying Russian in Kazakhstan

My choice to studying abroad in Almaty, Kazakhstan was an unusual pick considering I was a Russian major. But when I went to Moscow for a 6 week study abroad program at Moscow State University I was exposed to Central Asian culture. I took a liking to their cuisine and became interested in this region, …

Continue reading Why I’m studying Russian in Kazakhstan