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Nestled in Central Asia along the north-western coast of China is Kazakhstan. With one border along the Caspian Sea, the rest of the country shares borders with Russia, China, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan. The term “Kazakh” in ancient Turkish translates to “a free and independent nomad”. Kazakhs for centuries have been travelling along the steppes of Kazakhstan all the way from China to the southern border of Russia.

Ethnic people of Kazakhstan have been nomads and herders. Tribes formed the social structure of a society and were generally made up of family members. Inter-tribal marriages served to forge peace and security. A common saying among the Kazakhs even today is that “matchmaking lasts a thousand years, while the son-in-law lasts only a hundred.” This is why arranged marriages are the norm even today in large parts of the country.

The terrain of Kazakhstan is covered with Kazakh Steppe and semi-dessert steppe essentially made up of grasslands and sands. Some of the major rivers include Aral Sea, Irtysh river, and Ishim River to name a few. The country is well endowed with fossil fuels and relies on agricultural industry with livestock and grains being the main contributors. Economic growth is dependent upon extraction and processing of natural resources. The machine building sector focuses on tractors, agricultural equipment and defence related materials.

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Fast Facts:

Government:   Unitary republic

Capital:    Astana

Currency:    Tenge (T)

Language:    Kazakh, Russian

Total Area:    1,049,150 sq mi (2,717,300 sq km)

Religion:    Islam, Russian Orthodox, Protestant

Climate:    continental, cold winters and hot summers, arid and semiarid

Dialling code:    +7

 

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