In the streets of Almaty

From the main languages to the national dress, find out more about the customs and traditions of the Kazakhstan people

Kazakhstan people

Ethnic Kazakhs are a mix of Turkic and Mongol nomadic tribes who migrated into the northern part of Central Asia in the 13th century.

People of kazakh origin also can be found in parts of Uzbekistan, China, Russia, Afghanistan and Mongolia.

Here are the main minority groups that make up the people of Kazakhstan:

  • 23.7% Russian - The Russians began advancing into the Kazakh steppe in the 18th century, and by the mid-19th century all of Kazakhstan was part of the Russian Empire.
  • 2.9% Uzbek - mainly Uzbeks live close to the border of Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan
  • 2.1% Ukrainian - The first Ukrainians to arrive were exiled Haidamaks, members of paramilitary Ukrainian peasant and Cossack bands, who were sent by the Russian government to Kazakhstan after their failed uprising in 1768.
  • 1.4% Uyghur - First they moved to the territory of Kazakhstan in 1860 - 1880 after the suppression of the Uighur uprising in China
  • 1.3% Tatar - The first information about the mass migration of the Tatars in the region belong to the middle of the eighteenth century. The land of the Kazakhs attracted Tatars benevolent attitude of the indigenous population, the proximity of his language, a common belief, the similarity of social and national aspirations.
  • 1.1% German - The first Germans came to the territory of the modern republic in the late XIX century, when they began to take an active part in the Russian domestic migration movement in the eastern and southern outskirts of the empire.
  • 4.5% Other

Languages of Kazakhstan

  • Kazakh (1st official language)
  • Russian (2nd official language)

Other languages such as Uzbek, Armenian, Uyghur, German, and Korean are spoken within local communities.

National clothing of Kazakhstan

National costume is still popular in Kazakhstan but usually worn only on festival days and for celebrations.

Traditional crafts in Kazakhstan

There’s a long and rich history of traditional arts and crafts in Kazakhstan, and many of these skills are alive and well today.

The main crafts include:

  • blacksmithing
  • jewelry
  • carpentry
  • leather
  • bone carving
  • stone-cutting work
  • wool processing
  • weaving
  • embroidery

Traditional folk dancing remains popular in Kazakhstan

Music and art also play an important part in the national life of Kazakhstan, with national and international festivals held regularly across the country. 

The best known is the Jazzystan Festival in Almaty

Last Updated on Monday, 07 November 2011 08:51