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Kazakhstan

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djgordy
110997.  Thu Nov 02, 2006 6:13 am Reply with quote

Kazakhstan is the ninth largest country in the world. It is also the largest land locked country, although it lies on the shores of both the Caspian and Aral seas and also contains within its borders Lake Balkash, which is the 16th largest lake in the world.

Interestingly, the fourth most famous person in Kazakhstan, Borat Sagdiyev, is really an English comedian whose real name is Sacha Baron Cohen.

 
samivel
111021.  Thu Nov 02, 2006 6:41 am Reply with quote

Why is it 'landlocked', then?

 
Southpaw
111051.  Thu Nov 02, 2006 7:02 am Reply with quote

Because it doesn't border any non-inland seas?

 
samivel
111061.  Thu Nov 02, 2006 7:07 am Reply with quote

Oh, I didn't know inland seas don't count.

 
djgordy
111102.  Thu Nov 02, 2006 7:45 am Reply with quote

The question of whether the Caspian is a sea or a lake has been discussed before. It just depends on how you define a 'sea'.

 
cabs
111104.  Thu Nov 02, 2006 7:49 am Reply with quote

djgordy wrote:
Interestingly, the fourth most famous person in Kazakhstan, Borat Sagdiyev, is really an English comedian whose real name is Sacha Baron Cohen.


Who, pray, are the other three?

 
djgordy
111108.  Thu Nov 02, 2006 8:03 am Reply with quote

"No.3 is ex-Olympic gymnast Lily Utmarkan, who now perform in Kazakh State Circus, where she famous for be able to put one foot in ear while other in her vagine. No.2 is our glorious premier and No.1 is animal actor Jonny the Monkey, who dress like Humphrey Bogarts and smokes cigarettes."

Some of these may not be real people though.

 
Luna
111611.  Fri Nov 03, 2006 7:04 am Reply with quote

Kind of to do with Kazakhstan, discuss the offence caused by the new "Borat" film towards Kazakhs.........

 
suze
111637.  Fri Nov 03, 2006 7:44 am Reply with quote

Since this thread seems to be concerned mainly with famous pretend Kazakhstanis*, I thought I'd see if I could find any real ones.

The cyclist Aleksander Vinokurov comes from Kazakhstan; those of you who follow the Tour de France will I'm sure have heard of him. One of the Heavyweight Champions of the World is from the country as well - Oleg Maskajev - although he describes himself as a Russian American.

Otherwise, I'm struggling a bit. Within the country, people might cite Abay Qunanbayuli, a nationalistic poet of the 19th century. He was one of the first to use Kazakh as a literary language, and was also reponsible for translating a number of Western works into Kazakh.

But the first most famous person in modern Kazakhstan is undoubtedly the President, Nursultan Nazarbajev. He's the only president they have had since independence, and received an improbable 91.15% of the entire vote in the election of December 2005. Two of his three daughters are married to the sons of government ministers, so I dare say there are some dynastic ideas going off.


* This is correct. "Kazakh" should only be used to describe those who are ethnically Kazakh, which is only about 60% of the country's population. Most of the rest are Russian, and there are also significant Uzbek and German communities.

 
Luna
111656.  Fri Nov 03, 2006 8:09 am Reply with quote

I apologise for my incorrect use of "Kazakh", blame ITN News, they used it last night, I thought myself that it was Kazakhstani as it makes sense but I didn't dare doubt the news.

 
Tas
111700.  Fri Nov 03, 2006 10:03 am Reply with quote

Bearing in mind the Kazakhstani vs. Kazakh problem (as above) would it not be correct to use Afghanistani, as opposed to Afghan? Just a thought, whilst I munch my somewhat late lunchtime tikka masala.



:-)

Tas

 
djgordy
111736.  Fri Nov 03, 2006 11:30 am Reply with quote

Anyway, it seems that Kazakhstan is a very Not Quite Interesting country. The only points of interest are that it lies on the shores of a sea which might not be a sea and the only person from Kazakhstan that anyone has ever heard of doesn't even come from there.

 
Jenny
111746.  Fri Nov 03, 2006 11:36 am Reply with quote

The current Kazakh government nonetheless seem to have got themselves into a tizzy about Borat, a Kazakh journalist, the latest incarnation of Sacha Baron-Cohen.

 
96aelw
111748.  Fri Nov 03, 2006 11:38 am Reply with quote

Tas wrote:
Bearing in mind the Kazakhstani vs. Kazakh problem (as above) would it not be correct to use Afghanistani, as opposed to Afghan? Just a thought, whilst I munch my somewhat late lunchtime tikka masala.


Ah. not really, I think (though I may be entirely wrong). My understanding is that Kazakh refers to an ethnic group to which not all Kazakhstanis belong, but Afghan refers only to nationals of Afghanistan, and not to any ethnic group in particular. I believe that the largest ethnic group thereabouts are Pashtuns.

 
Albert
178203.  Sat May 26, 2007 1:46 pm Reply with quote

I bumped into (literally) the president of Kazakhstan last week. I was coming out of the toilet in the VIP lounge at Baku international airport. I quickly apologised before his security staff 'had a word'!
I didn't have time to ask about Borat...maybe next time!

 

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