Our expert answers your question about Kazakhstan

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Questions and answers:

Edyta asks: Good afternoon, I'd like to ask you why silver is so important to Kazakhs? I heard about few traditions whenever one person hand silver as a gift to the other, but I cannot find any kind of information about cause. I'd appreciate your help regarding to my question. Respectfully, Edyta Konca.
Expert's answer:
Historically, it so happened that the favorite material of Kazakh jewelers was not gold, but silver, which, in the view of the Kazakhs, had a cleansing, protective and magical property, as well as useful properties from a medical point of view. With the advent of Islam in the Kazakh steppes, the importance of silver also increased. The Kazakhs have a saying: gold is for beauty, and silver is for purity.
LHJ asks: Hi. I have a new friend from Kazakhstan and I just found out that it's his birthday soon. But I barely know about Kazakhstan culture, and I don't want to be rude. Is there anything I should be careful when I choose a present? and what kind of birthday cake would be proper or recommended? Thank you :)
Expert's answer:

Most of the Kazakhs are Muslims - according to statistics, more than 70% of the population belong to this religion. Therefore, the restrictions on certain gifts here are the same as in other Muslim countries.

For example, don't give alcohol, which is forbidden to many Muslims. With all the love of the Kazakhs to cold arms, gifting knives is not recommended because according to the popular believe, this will soon lead to quarrels between people; the same is true about lighters.

As for the cake, if your friend is a Muslim, then wine (dessert or table), liqueur, rum, or any other alcohol should not be among its ingredients. Well, and probably it should not be big as cakes become spoiled relatively quickly.

Jessica Murphy asks: What language do you speak in Kazakhstan?
Expert's answer:
The official state language of Kazakhstan is Kazakh language (about 65% native speakers of Kazakhstan population). Also Russian language has the same rights. Russian language is called the language of interethnic communication (about 95% native speakers of Kazakhstan population).
Deborah asks: What is considered a good luck charm in Kazakstan?
Expert's answer:
Kazakh people traditional charms («tumar») are becoming more and more popular in modern Kazakhstan. The usual form is triangular and sometimes square. Tumars are made of valuable cloth, leather, silver. There is also shaman invocation or the Koran sura or the pinch of Holy Land soil or salt inside the charm. And here are several photos of the tumars (Tumar #1, Tumar #2, Tumar #3).

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