Nazarbayev Intellectual School
of Physics and Mathematics
Discover Kazakhstan Essay Competition
3 Place Winner
Proud to Be Kazakh
Holding my hand on the heart, I hear the beginning of the euphonic song that makes me shiver and smile since I didn’t hear it for a long time. It is the first of September, and I am singing the national anthem of the Republic of Kazakhstan – my homeland. I just came in June from my exchange year in the U.S., and now I am home. I remember in the U.S. after asking me where I was from, only a few knew Kazakhstan. However, I had to say only one word “Borat” in order to them recollect my country. If at first I was trying to lambaste the stereotypes made by Borat, later I was happy my country became renowned by him. ----
Never considering myself patriotic I was one of the many in my homeland. If everything seemed usual for me here, for instance, eating horse meat or drinking camel’s milk, when I came to the U.S., I became a little ambassador of the Republic of Kazakhstan. During the International Education Week, I felt not only responsible for presentations, but also eager to represent my homeland. I knew it is my opportunity to let people know more about my homeland on another side of the world, which is not only the 9th largest country in the world but also abundant with natural resources such as gas, mountains, sumptuous landscape, and rare animals.
My nation has gone through many tough impediments like starvation and hunger in 1930s, Stalin’s camps, and open tests of nuclear weapons in Semipalatinsk. Moreover, we always struggled with severe climate. However, Kazakh people have a blood of great nomads who were fighting many centuries with the only aim to protect the broad territory of the homeland from intruders so that, nowadays, we live in free country.
I presented my country in kindergarten, elementary, middle, and high schools. At the College of Sequoia I showed how to cook Kazakh pancakes, performed my traditional dances in Ballroom Dance, and taught Chamber Choir a Kazakh song. Also, I organized a movie show "the Nomads" for students in my school in order for them to understand the spirit and true nature of Kazakh people. They were all surprised when I said that the main reason Chinese built the Great Wall were Huns, ancestors of Kazakhs. First time, humanity sent a man to the space on 12th of April, 1961. It was sent from Kazakhstan land. After all, as I fulfilled over 33 presentations in different communities, education centers, and clubs in a week, I was exhausted but absolutely vivacious to do more!
There was another essay contest called “Melting Pot” among all exchange students from the Soviet Union countries. The task was to describe the cultural diversity and the mutual understanding among nations. Trying to do my best, I surveyed my American high school about their perspectives on Islam and Muslim countries; I did videos and wrote articles to my school newspaper. After all, when I saw the results of the contest, I was jumping up to the air out of happiness and pride for my motherland: all three winners were from Kazakhstan! Moreover, I got the first place. I believe it demonstrates the freedom of religion and beliefs we have, benevolence and the true nature of Kazakhstanis.
From ancient times, for example, during the Silk Road, Kazakhstan has always been a concourse of sedentary and nomadic, West and East civilizations. Not surprisingly, Kazakhstani people of 120 different nationalities are so tolerant, open-minded, and hospitable. Moreover, the RK was selected as a chairman of the OSCE for 2010-2011.
Before the U.S. I was averse to wear my cultural clothes; afterwards, I use every opportunity to have it on. If I didn’t appreciate the Independence of my country before, I now realize its importance. If I was not patriotic before, now I am lover of the land where I was born. Our President Nursultan Nazarbayev in the program “Kazakhstan -2030” said: “Through correct identification of our priorities, in choosing relevant strategies, by manifesting our firm will and persistence in following this path, we shall dispense with unnecessary off-tracking, with waste of energy, time and resources. When provided with well-considered strategy and firmness of purpose in accomplishing our goals, we shall be able to overcome any serious obstacles blocking our way.”
This year is the 20th Anniversary of Independence of my country, which is only two years older than me. Looking at what Kazakhstan achieved for this small period of time since the Soviet Union collapsed, I believe with people’s initiative and contribution to its development soon the RK will become a leading and highly-competitive country in the world. Only by taking actions and implementing knowledge and leadership skills, we can make the future of our country even more prosperous and successful.
I am standing in Nazarbayev Intellectual School and looking at the students in front of me who are yet in the elementary school. They make me smile because the way the sing the national anthem proves that the future of my country is in the right hands. I am myself proud to be Kazakh.