In ancient Turkish, the name “Kazakh” meant “an independent and free wanderer.” For generations, Kazakhs continuously travelled through Kazakhstan’s nomads across western China to Russia’s southern border.
Kazakhstan was a land of nomads and shepherds for generations. Tribes were always the foundation of society; they were made up of members of the family and their elders. Inter-tribal unions were crucial in establishing peace and stability. “The matchmaking seems to last thousands of years, whereas the son-in-law lasts just a few,” Kazakhs claim. In so many regions of the country, family ties are still the custom.
Kazakhstan’s national attire differs depending on where you go. Chapans are a form of dressing robe used by men that are held together by velvet and stitched belt. To stick their minds warm, they use a high felt cap (kalpak), a plush skullcap (tobetai), or a fox-fur hat having earflaps (Malakai).
White cotton or colored silk dress, a velvet vest with needlework, and a cap or silk scarf make up the women’s national dress. A hood composed of white cloth with a hole for the face is worn by elderly women (the kimeshek). The Bridal wears a tall pointy hat with plumes that are lavishly adorned (saukele).
Traditions abound among the Kazakhs. Every stage of their life has traditionally been honored by festivity, from birth to old age and funeral. Even their burial services have symbolic meaning.
Sadly, several of the Kazakh people’s unique and fascinating traditions and customs have already been lost over the last century. Kazakhstan’s true sovereignty is only now being restored as a result of the democratic process.
The Kazakh people are only recently rediscovering these long-forgotten traditions. Respect for elders, patriotism for the motherland, honesty, and starting to enjoy mankind are among these traditions.
Every visitor is traditionally served Kazakh cuisine there at dastarkhan (low table) in a yurt.
The sheep’s head tradition
Offering a cooked sheep’s head on even a beautiful platter to the most valued guest is a symbol of respect in rural areas.
- After that, the visitor distributes the food among some of the guests as follows:
- The youngest child receives an ear so that he or she would listen to and follow the elders.
- The eyeballs are handed to two of the best mates so that they can look after the visitor.
- The top palate is handed to the daughter-in-law, and the tongue is given to the host’s daughter, for both ladies to refrain from speaking.
- The second most esteemed guest receives the pelvic bones.
- The son-in-law receives the brisket.
Tea’s history was presumably similar to Mongolia’s, particularly as Mongolia subjugated them at one stage. Tea history in the Soviet Union began with close ties to China, not just during the relatively short communist common-ground period but well before that; however, after the fall of the Soviet Union to the Eastern Bloc, Soviet cultures decided to switch totally to black teas from many other locations, and this is primarily where they currently stand. Salt, butter, pepper, and even sour cream (Kalmak) are popular additions to tea in Kazakhstan.
That’s a whole new flavor universe. Add a few salty splits, buttery tab, or sour cream smashes to our handmade chai if you’re feeling ambitious.
It’s also good with basic black tea.