I am Kazakh

I made a brief visit back in Karatau, Kazakhstan, in October, 1999, passing from Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, heading to Talas, Kyrgyzstan.  I was allowed to spend a night in Karatau to visit my Kazakh host family.  It would be the last time I would see them.  Volodya, my Russian driver, and I dropped my Kyrgyz assistant, Aelita, off at the bus station in Taraz.  We both then headed to Karatau.  My Kazakh mother was surprised to see me since she thought I would arrive in the morning.  Then, as per Kazakh tradition, my driver and I were given a really good Kazakh lunch followed by more food.  It was a memorable night.

The picture below was taken the next morning.  I like this photo because it can show people why I was confused for being Kazakh my entire two years in Karatau.  Many locals thought my host mother, Adigul in the purple robe, was my real mother.  I think this similarity helped give me a unique perspective on the Kazakh culture.  I was actually accepted in my host father’s clan, the Orshata (Baisara).

Yes, this day was cold but I left my fur hat inside the car by mistake. 🙂

My Kazakh Host Family - Karatau, Kazakhstan

4 comments on “I am Kazakh”

  1. Bota Almaty

    Hello, Mr. Miller! My name is Bota and I was born in Karatau. And I know 2 persons in this photo, they are uncle Assan and his wife Atirkul. I’m so glad that our hospitality and Karatau left good impression. =))

  2. Bota Almaty

    Sorry, i meant on this photo). No, I am not. I’m in Almaty now. We’ve never met. I found this web-site by chance, by clicking on my birthplace in my facebook account. I recently saw them (0n 24th of March).
    My facebook account: facebook.com/akbota.almaty
    mail: akbota.almaty@facebook.com

    Best regards, Bota

  3. Bota Almaty

    You are welcome! I think they are Looking forward to meeting you). I think it would be better if you will come to Karatau)).

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