Welcome to our helpful guide for Kazakhstan. Should you be looking to travel, live, relocate or do business in the sovereign state, we will give you a helpful head start on understanding the country and its cultures. Kazakhstan the Republic of Kazakhstan is a large land-locked country spanning central Asia and Eastern Europe.
From gold-toothed Turkmen in shaggy, dreadlocked hats to high-cheekboned Kyrgyz herders whose eyes still hint at their nomadic past, Central Asia presents a fascinating collection of portraits and peoples. The most noticeable divide is between the traditionally sedentary peoples, the Uzbeks and Tajiks, and their formerly nomadic neighbours, the Kazakhs, Kyrgyz and Turkmen. In total the population of former Soviet Central Asia is about 67 million.
For centuries, the great civilisations of East and West were connected by the Silk Road, a fragile network of shifting intercontinental trade routes that threaded across Asia's highest mountains and bleakest deserts. The heartland of this trade was Central Asia, whose cosmopolitan cities grew fabulously wealthy. Traders, pilgrims, refugees and diplomats all travelled the Silk Road, exchanging ideas, goods and technologies in what has been called history's original 'information superhighway'.
What does fashion look like in Central Asia and the Middle East? All of the clothing is handmade, embroidered, and patterned in vibrant colors, and much of the fabric is silky or velvet. Click ahead to see the portraits and hear from each woman, who told Ladak the stories behind their clothing.
The name "Tajik" may derive from the name of a pre-Islamic tribe, perhaps of Zoroastrian origin, and means "crown" or "royalty. The Tajik people are of ethnic Persian descent and constitute the largest indigenous group in the country about 65 percent of the population. Within this group are the Pamiris, who live in the Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Province and number nearly forty thousand.
The name qirqiz or kyrgyz dates back to the eighth century. The Kyrgyz people originated in the Siberian region of the Yenisey Valley and traveled to the area of modern-day Kyrgyzstan in response to pressure from the Mongols. The Kyrgyz people believe that their name means kirkkyz, forty girlsand that they are descended from forty tribes.
In Central Asia, water is in short supply. Centuries-old cultural practices contributed to a variety of ways to use this essential natural resource efficiently, but over the course of 70 years a Russian-dominated, socialist-oriented system replaced many long-standing indigenous practices in agriculture. The result has been less and less land sown to food crops, a deteriorating environment, and increasing health concerns for the various cultures that have lived in Central Asia for centuries. The people of Central Asia are concentrated in oases and along the banks of two main river systems, the Amu Dar'ya and Syr Dar'ya, separated by vast deserts.
Traveling through Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan, you will easily notice a variety of different ornaments. Ornaments are national symbols. Drawing such ornament on a Soviet building, for example, differentiates your building from Soviet buildings in other post-soviet countries, adding a distinct national flavor to your building.
Since the last decade a revival of patriotic attire can be observed in many post-communist countries of Central Eastern Europe for instance, Hungary, Poland, Ukraine, Russia and Central Asia Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. It manifests itself in various ways: neo-folk elements, traditional embroidery, festivals and the reenactment of historical scenes, religious symbols, photographs of politicians, and many more. Combat trousers and T-shirts printed with famous historical battles as well as folk motives on dresses and skirts are now popular in Poland; during their annual patriotic assemblies, Hungarian right-wing activists wear Mongolian inspired attire; Kazakh female pop singers dress themselves up as nomadic amazons; and Russian girls wear blouses with portraits of Putin.