Ағылшын тіліндегі үздік эсселер

Kuanova Sabina,
NIS Pavlodar, 10 «Е»

The end of explosions

   This year Kazakhstan celebrates the 30th anniversary of its independence. Over the years, our country has managed to change dramatically. There were many events that changed the vector of the country’s development, strengthening it in the international arena. Now we are living in an amazing time, being a young country. The population of the older generation lived part of their life before independence, and the young one has already grown up after its acquisition, so there are two completely different views on life.
   – It went well. You know, we have been studying the topic of the acquisition of independence of Kazakhstan in history lessons and it seems to me that nothing has changed at all after gaining independence and Kazakhstan has not developed much during all this time.
   – I don’t agree with you. To understand how to build the future, it is necessary to go back to the past. I lived during both before and after independence, and by the will of fate, I felt all the changes for myself. Let me tell you my story.
   – Yes, grandpa, I’m all ears.
   – As you know, I come from a small village near Semey. My parents kept their own cattle and at the same time my dad worked at a factory, and my mother was a primary school teacher. There were six of us in the family, we could hardly make ends meet, but we never complained about life because we knew together we were a power.
   – How did you manage to live peacefully in such conditions?
   – Now this may sound weird for you but we didn’t know that it was possible to live in a better way, so we were satisfied with what we had.
   – Yes, for me it sounds terribly sad.
   – We lived near Semey, where there were tests of nuclear bombs but nobody knew about it. This was secret information that the government tried to hide. Kurchatov is a small town where various scientists from all over the Soviet Union worked to develop and conduct those tests.
   – How could they have hidden this from the residents all the time? How far did you live from the place where the tests were conducted?
   – As it turned out later, we lived very close to the landfill itself and this, of course, affected our health and the health of the people around us.
   – Oh my God, what did they do with it? Have they at least compensated for the damage or maybe paid for the treatment?
   – People were paid a pension for their spoiled health, which naturally could not help them cure all the diseases caused by the testing. Their children and their future descendants were also affected because radiation gets to the very structure of the DNA and creates various mutations that can manifest in the next generations.
   – I didn’t even think this could lead to such serious consequences. And the condition of your skin? Is it also the result of radiation?
   – Yes, since we lived nearby we also received a large dose of radiation. In addition, even doctors were forbidden to report what killed the patient, if it was related to the tests. It was a real war against the civilian population.
   – How terrible it is!
   – Yeah, it was monstrous. So, why do I mean all this, you tell me that independence has not changed anything, but this is by no means true. Currently, the country takes care of its citizens. The government provided me with free treatment, they also give me free medicines every month. Information transparency now reigns in the country and no one can conduct such brutal tests. Gaining independence marked the beginning of a new era, the time without nuclear tests since Nursultan Nazarbayev signed a waiver of nuclear weapons and a ban on their use on the territory of modern Kazakhstan.
   – Oh ata, thank you for all this information! Now I know that a lot of things have changed since Kazakhstan gained its independence but the most important thing that Kazakh people achieved is our inborn right for life in a safe environment.

Makanova Amina,
School-gymnasium №75
Nur-Sultan, 11 «D»

What makes me feel proud of my Сountry

    – Hush….! Let’s keep silence!
    – Keep silence? What for? What are you going to listen to here in the desolate and unending place? This is just a steppe and nothing else!
    – Hush... Let’s just listen to! Do you hear?
    – Hear? Hear what?
    – The steppe speaks!
    – Ha.. ha..Are you really sure that steppe can speak? Look around this is grassland plain with no trees!
    – Hush… and listen! Do not laugh. It just seems to be an ordinary vast dust place with grass and thorns surface, but the Kazakh steppe holds something more. The Kazakh steppe is filled with music when the sun awakens. The Kazakh steppe is like a bright, blooming carpet with a variety of lively flowers and free wind in the sky blowing through it. The Kazakh steppe is a source of freedom, creativity and inspiration. The Kazakh steppe is a nurse that gives fertile fields and pastures and that has nurtured many great people and batyrs. The Kazakh steppe is a mysterious place full of enigma and arcanum.
    – Listen!
    – “Back in the old days, there lived a man whom people considered a holy. His name was Bek-ata. Once, fleeing from the chase, he hid in a large cave. Dying of thirst, Saint Bek– ata prayed to the Almighty God for water, and the God helped him by creating a spring in the depths of the cave.Being at a height of the mountains, Bek-ata managed to survive as the enemies did not find the saint”.
    – Oh, what is it?
    – This is the legend about one of the unique places in Kazakhstan. And this legend is one of many.
    – How interesting! What is this place?
    – This is a mysterious tract called Bektau-Ata. Bektau-Ata place has many impressive natural sights to see, ranging from steppe and relict groves, mountains and caves to underground rivers and mountain springs. In this place of contrast, you can be walking among picturesque rocks and flat areas of absolutely incredible shapes that seemed to suffer nothing from but centuries-old exposure of water and wind. When visiting Bektau-Ata, one cannot help but marvel at the incredible number of unusual rocks varying from shape to shape. It is absolutely a visitor’s paradise. You can go up Zhylan-Tas which is in the form of a snake and you can have a wonderful walk around the rock in the shape of a mushroom. What a view! The rocks in the shapes of a chest and a turtle are other places you will find amazing. Isn’t it breathtaking? The appearance of such unusual mountains is explained by volcanic origin that was born in the mountains long ago. The pink granite rocks of Bektau-Ata are actually granite volcanic lava frozen on the surface looking like layers of a large pie. These mountains, suddenly appeared in the middle of the steppe, are surrounded by small forests and dense bushes. In some places, small lakes and streams are formed. Now I think you realise why the place is so unique and mysterious one.
    – This is all so sudden I can hardly speak!
    – Another thing which makes the most enduring impression is the real cave that is the deepest in Kazakhstan with fresh water. This water is considered holy and is believed can heal. People come to the cave trusting its magic power as many people have been cured.
    – Oh, I just got chills!
    – You know the Bektau Ata oasis, apparently, has been inhabited since the Neolithic era and experienced to be the place of ore miner; kind of pharos back in the time of Silk Way and that remained to play an important role on trade routes until the end of the 19th century. Today, this place has become an attractive location of the country inviting thousands to people. Bektau-Ata’s fascinating variety of traits brings its long and turbulent history alive for a visitor. This is just one story of one steppe and there are many other steppes with their own secrets and mysteries and they can also tell you a lot. Do you now believe that a steppe can speak?
    – Oh, yes, now I understand what you meant at the beginning by asking me to keep my ears open. It’s really amazing and questionable how the modern country with its dramatically contrasting features can co-exist so harmoniously.

Egetayeva Khanshaiym,
NIS Aktau, 9 «E»

The Tree in the Meadow

   The meadow is especially beautiful in the spring time. The surroundings are painted in green, red, yellow and many other bright colours. The joyful songs of birds can be heard from some places. The sky is always blue with some white clouds here and there.
   On such a clear and beautiful day, two people are sitting in the middle of the meadow and enjoying the sound of rustling leaves which tickle their ears. There is grandpa and his 9-year-old grandson. They are lying in the shade of a big tree. This gives them the feeling that the whole world is in silence and only the meadow exists in their lives.
   At some point, after a long time of staring at the tree above, the grandson asked, “Grandpa! Grandpa! Why is this tree so big?” Grandpa answered, “This tree is older than me, and it has witnessed many events. It has seen both happy and sad moments in the lives of different people”.
   “This is the hugest tree trunk I have ever seen”, said the grandson.
   “Yes, it is, indeed. My dear son, imagine that this tree is an image of a vast country.”
   “If I imagine it is a vast country, then why are there a trunk, branches and leaves?” asked the grandson.
   “The trunk of the tree holds the strength of our ancestors, who sacrificed their lives for the freedom of their children. Never forget, my son, that we are lying in this lovely meadow without any worries thanks to the brave people who struggled with their enemies and gave the last drop of their blood for our future”.
   “Why is the bark of the tree rough then?”, asked the grandson.
   “The rough bark shows all the pain and sufferings that our ancestors have experienced. Their lives were not easy, and as they survived the harshest moments, the bark of the tree became scratchy showing all the torture and sorrow they had encountered”.
   The grandson listened intently to the grandpa staring at the tree and imagining the wars that his ancestors had taken part in.
   “Grandpa, what about the branches? What are they for in the vast country we are in?”, asked the grandson after some time of silence.
   “Branches are you, grandma, your grandpa, your father and mother. The other branches are other children’s grandparents and parents. You are still little and we need to take care of you until you grow up. The branches are the continuation of ancestors. The ancestors have established a powerful roots for branches to confidently stand and support little children as you.”
   “Oh, I see. Now I understand that leaves are small children. But why are they so different? Look at this leaf, for example”, said the grandson pointing at the leaf that was hindered by a branch and attempting to get rid of it in order to let it grow freely.
   “Every leaf on this tree has got its own quality. The leaf you are showing is persistent and trying the best to achieve its goal, which is to be free and independent from the branch”, explained the grandpa.
   “This leaf near the trunk likes its location very much as it has a deep devotion to the other parts of the tree. It always wants to be near the ancestors and has a great feeling of love for them and the country. It feels itself as a bridge between the past and present and encourages others to develop strong affection towards the country and its history”, added the grandpa.
   “Grandpa, look at those leaves at the top of the tree that are moving together with the wind. What do they want? What do they feel now?” wondered the grandson.
   “They are the ones that have grown so big that they feel confident no matter what hardships they face. They are not afraid of protecting their country from outer forces and are ready to resist everyone who may offend them,” said the grandpa.
   “Grandpa! Look! There are two leaves which stay near each other. It seems that one of them protects the other one”, said the grandson enthusiastically.
   “Yes, it is true. These leaves are always ready to support each other. For instance, if one of them gets into trouble or is in danger, the second one will protect it. They are caring, supportive and kind-hearted”, added the grandpa.
   “Ohh, I am a supporter, too. I take care of my siblings, keep an eye on the younger ones and help them whenever they need my assistance,” announced the grandson happily.
   “Grandpa, I think that all these leaves are communicating, they lean from one side to the other, and whisper something in the ears of their friends,” said the grandson.
   “Yes, right you are. They understand each other as they are sociable and friendly, and can easily find a common language with others. In most cases, such qualities attract the attention and interest of others in the environment. Everyone tries to be like them, as they draw inspiration from them and push themselves for new beginnings”, explained the grandpa. The grandson was looking at the tree with more fascination and listening to his grandpa at the same time.
   “My dear son, you possess all the qualities that we talked about. During the last hour you have asked so many questions and made reasonable conclusions, which shows you as a person, who is eager to explore new things, cares for other people and never tires of obtaining new knowledge.
   You always help me in the yard with watering plants and planting trees, and this proves you are a hard-working boy who cares and loves the nature of his country. Such bright youngsters as you are will ensure a happy future for those who will be living in our country many years later”, said the grandpa proudly.
   “Grandpa, I promise that I will be better, and the tree in this meadow will grow further and replenish with more leaves. I will be taking care of it and you will see there will appear many green leaves that strive for being at the top of this fascinating tree”, said the grandson more proudly.
   “When the country has got ambitious, hard-working, clever and caring young people as you, it will never fade,” thought the grandpa to himself and tenderly patted his grandson’s head.

Aralbek Alikhan,
NIS Aktau, 9 «E»

We are the Children of the Independent Country

   Dear Diary,

   Today I have spent one more evening in hunger. Father brought only a piece of bread, which we needed to divide among five people. My sister is so weak, and I had nothing to do but give my portion to her. We haven’t seen tea for many months already, and the only tasty liquid for me is boiled water. Now I am dreaming of a festive dinner with a lot of food on the dastarkhan. I can’t remember when I last saw plenty of meals on the table. I wish I weren’t so hungry… I wish I were strong and happy…

November, 1931


   Dear Diary,

   Today I went to school for the first time since the two years I spent in the steppe. Hunger changed our life so much that I had to stay at home all the time. Things are better now, and I believed that I would feel good at school. While having a lesson with an old teacher Zhussip, I said I would like to meet the tsar (emperor) and tell him to allow us to build more schools in villages. Teacher Zhussip told me that I should keep my mouth closed and not say things like that any more. He also mentioned that we needed to respect the important people and not say anything negative related to them. That was an awful experience. I couldn’t say a word after that. I wish I could express my opinions freely and be confident while speaking. I wish I were free and independent…

September, 1935


   Dear Diary,

   Today I have spoken to my parents about going to Russia to study. I feel I can gain more knowledge if I could go there, as many educated Kazakh men were raised in the best schools in Russia. My father said that would be dangerous for me to travel that far. My mother said the school had helped me enough and there is no need to study more. However, I thought I was eager to study more, but understood that was not possible, and I had to rely only on books I can get in the local library. I wish I could be more mature and confident…I wish I could study…

January, 1936

   These days…

   I was in the library helping my mother to transfer the books from one room to another when I suddenly dropped one book and found the pages from the diary of one boy. The paper was old and dusty, but I could read the words well.
   The words in the diary had a strong impression on me, and I started to talk to this boy in my mind. He has become my friend.
   When having dinner in the evening, I remembered the feelings people had in the far 1931.
   “Now our dastarkhan is full of various meals both traditional and from abroad. There is always plenty of bread on the table and tasty tea in the cups”. I started to feel shame for what my friend had experienced, and started to thank my ancestors for such kind of dastarkhan. It is owing to my friend, his parents and children that we are not hungry today. Thanks to such food, we feel strong and happy now.
   When I went to school, I had a variety of interesting lessons. Teachers tried to give us the best of their knowledge and made us express our opinions on different topics. We can analyse things, compare them and speak independently to everyone in three languages.
    “Now we are free to speak and act independently. Isn’t this real happiness?” I said to my imaginary friend. Today my parents told me that I was accepted to the best university in my country that is located in the capital city. I couldn’t believe my ears, and my imaginary friend was extremely happy for me, too. My dream has become true, and I can get a quality education at the university where I wanted to study. My country can provide me with good knowledge. I am mature enough to study being far from my family and quite confident in my plans. I wouldn’t dream of anything else in my life. I thanked my imaginary friend for this life. I thanked him for all the sacrifices and sufferings he had to experience for the sake of our future…
   The path to such a future was not an easy one.Through history there was a need to sacrifice the lives of millions of children like us who lived many years ago on the Kazakh land. Now we are having the things they were dreaming about many years and even many centuries ago. We should keep our independence like the apple of our eye and be grateful for what we have.
   There will always be the terrible pain for those who had to fall for the independence of our country. The current generation is raised to be respectful for the past pains and value the feeling of independence that was not achieved easily.
   The youngsters now are not just well educated, open-minded and intelligent, they are also confident in their goals and future purposes. They are aware of what they want and what they are striving for. They can represent their country at any place in the world and can proudly say that they are from Kazakhstan, the country located right in the heart of Eurasia.