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Another Festival. This time it's

Kazakhstan People's National Unity Day
Recently a colleague of Indian parentage vacated a course. Next lesson its students asked where he was from and were amazed to receive the answer, Britain. How could this guy be British? I politely reminded them that Britain is a multi-ethnic and multi-cultural country, to which I added the comment, like Kazakhstan.
In some ways I was surprised at their own surprise. But when we think about it, British people are just as shocked to learn that Russians live in Kazakhstan. Well, British people think this place is architecturally little further on than the mud hut, how wrong can you be? It stems from the dearth of meaningful cultural contact between our countries. I look forward to being a proud ambassador in summer.

 

Music from Azerbaijan

 

Tatars


 

Chechnians


Kazakhstan is also a multi-ethnic state, I dare say more successfully than Britain, which still has terrible problems of intolerance and racism. And one of the times when this is most in evidence is National Unity Day, which I had the pleasure of attending on May 1st. Peoples from most ethnic groups were represented and I managed to find some fascination in all of them.
I slowly walked past the displays of German, Russian, Uzbek, Dungan and Uighur culture. I paused to admire the Tatar girls in their traditional costumes and listened to the Azeri music. No Italians, it didnít matter, by now this part of the world appeals to me far more.

An event like this reminds us of the constructive, rather than destructive, nature of pride in our cultures, flags and language. A mutual admiration for the differences we share makes the world a nicer place. Itís when you try to take it away from people that it causes problems.
 

Russians


 

I think these girls are Uighur


 

Not exactly the best tune ever, but it did the job