Have you seen the movie "Borat"? What did you think of it? Did you find it funny?
Imagine it was about your home country. What would you feel?
My name is Darya (Dasha) Boichenko. This is my first big article and I would like to tell you the truth about my home country, Kazakhstan. I was born in Almaty, ex-capital of Kazakhstan, but I'm russian - remember, it used to be a Soviet Union land.
For those who never heard of Kazakhstan (which I find at least weird, because it's not a small country), here is some information for you:
'Sandwiched at the crossroads of Asia and Europe, Kazakhstan is the 9th largest country on the planet, and (at one time) was the second largest republic in the former Soviet Union (U.S.S.R.)' (http://www.worldatlas.com/webimage/countrys/asia/kz.htm)
Kazakhstan gained independence in 1991, the year I was born.
Nowadays Kazakhstan's population is divided: half Kazakh, half Russian people.
Almost surrounded by China and the Russian Federation, its abundance of natural resources (especially oil and gas) have put this relatively new country on the front burner of international investors and multilateral corporations.
The Baikonur Cosmodrome, the world's oldest and largest working space launch facility, (under Russian control) is located about 200 km to the east of the Aral Sea, on the north bank of the Syr Darya River.
Of course, Kazakhstan has it's own problems, but believe me, it is nothing like it was shown in the movie "Borat". It was supposed to be a joke, but unfortunately, many people believed Kazakhstan is one big village, and all the people there live in yourts.
Did you know that "Borat" was filmed in Romania? - Of course, that's not to offend Romania, but that's one of the many facts that people didn't consider when discussing Borat.
If you open Google Earth and find Almaty or Astana, you will see that Kazakhstan is a land of contrasts - there are some really poor regions, meanwhile a number of people in Kazakhstan is extremely wealthy.
I love Kazakhstan not only because it is my home land, but because it's an amazing country with its own unique nature, traditions, food, architecture, history..
This is only the first part of my story about Kazakhstan, in the next one I'm going to talk about Kazakh people as a nation, their culture and history, as well as the changes in Almaty.