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About how the Irish were in Kazakhstan and what surprised them

03.04.2019

About how the Irish were in Kazakhstan and what surprised them

Ardalr Kalich, 57 years old, hometown ― Dublin, primary school teacher

Ardal.jpg


About the trip


At the first time, I heard about Kazakhstan in the 90s, when the Soviet Union collapsed. Then I had no idea that I will visit this country and fall in love with Almaty.

In 2017, we went to Almaty together with a friend. I didn't plan this trip, but a friend persuaded me to fly with him. He is a keen traveller and a great lover of Asian culture. According to his stories, I realized Kazakhstan is not a wild country, but a prosperous state with good infrastructure.


About Kazakhstan


Kazakhstan is a surprise for an ordinary European tourist. I expected to see Asian flair, wildlife and life according to the canons of the 19th century. I was wrong. Your country is an incredible ambition and great prospects in economic and cultural terms. When I arrived in Almaty, I saw a modern city with wide streets, fashionable storefronts and developed tourism.

Here is an excellent public transport system, unusual taxi drivers who treat you like an old friend. The city immediately won round me. Warm weather, a lot of greenery and a huge amount of bright youth made me love the city.

In Almaty, I was able to feel the atmosphere of the city, understand the local life and feel myself like at home


Almaty mountains and Medeu skating rink are amazing places that have not yet been spoiled by the flow of endless tourists. The uncertainty of Kazakhstan for foreign tourists makes the country more attractive for lucky people who are brought to your region. In Almaty, I was able to feel the atmosphere of the city, understand the local life and feel myself like at home.


About culture similarities and differences


Kazakhstanis are friendly people and famous for their hospitality. That's what my friend told me, and I'm glad his words were true. At every step, I met people who smiled at me, tried to help with navigation, public places and invited me on a visit. This is wouldn't be found in Europe.

Kazakhstanis, as well as the Irish are cheerful people. We like to walk and have fun, for us life is a continuous holiday that we celebrate in pubs. Kazakhstanis also share the joy of life with their loved ones, I think, that's why banquet halls with endless celebrations are so popular here.

I have not noticed any fundamental differences in the culture of our peoples. Kazakhstanis are intelligent, well-mannered and behave like true Europeans. You don't have the arrogance of Americans and melancholy of Russians. I think the whole Western world is blind and does not see the uniqueness of your country which has managed to absorb many nationalities and at the same time preserve its identity. Kazakhs are people who can call themselves Europeans and be proud of Asian roots.


About plans


I do not think I will be able to visit Kazakhstan again, although I would like to. Now I am retired and devote all my time to my family.


Gillroy MacMillan, 43 years old, hometown — Cavan, sales manager


Gillroy.jpg


About the trip


I am not a fan of travelling and never planned to visit the countries of Central Asia. But at my College graduation, my friend and I argued that if he will buy a Rolls-Royce before his 30th birthday, I would go on a two-day trip to the heart of our continent.

My friend was able to get a prestigious job, and the company noticed his talent as a negotiator and gave him a chance. As it turned out, he is good at business negotiations and has the skill of persuasion. That's helped him buy a Rolls-Royce, and I had to pack to go to Kazakhstan.

I decided to visit Almaty as about that city was more information from European tourists. As it turned out, Kazakhstan has a high level of tourism, and I could easily book a hotel room and buy tickets.


About Kazakhstan


I remember my feelings when I first saw the mountains in Almaty. I saw such beauty only on the Internet and never thought that in life mountains looks so majestic. At first, I had a strong feeling that the sky is a wallpaper, so unreal was the view.

In two days I managed to visit the Park of 28 Panfilov Guards and MEGA Mall. My journey does not boast of unusual places or exciting adventures. I spent time as an ordinary tourist, looked at buildings, visited cafes and restaurants, walked in parks.

I was pleasantly surprised by the level of the canteens network "Kaganat". There was delicious food that I had never eaten before.


About culture similarities and differences


The Irish don't like to travel, and that's our nature. We love our little house and don't travel a lot. However, Kazakhstanis are not like that. Every second Kazakhstani in Almaty told me that he dreams to visit Europe. Youth is open, their eyes show that they want to conquer the world, find their place in life and succeed. Residents of European countries have lost all enthusiasm. We try to reach a certain comfortable standard of living, which can provide us with a cosy life. Few Europeans want to conquer Everest or build their own Corporation.

Kazakhstanis are the most friendly people I've ever met

Kazakhstanis are the most friendly people I've ever met. Your sincerity and warmth make to fall in love with your country. Unlike Americans, where people just seem to be friendly, in Kazakhstan, everyone is trying to act natural. If a person doesn't like you, then you will understand it, if the person likes you it will be told you directly.


About plans


My trip to Kazakhstan was fascinating and helped me to change my views on many important things. I will tell my children about such country as Kazakhstan and it is home to the kindest people in the world.


Ann Durmach, 28 years old, hometown ― Tralee, accountant

Ann.jpg


About the trip


While studying at the University, I met a girl from Kazakhstan, her name was Aliya. We quickly became best friends. Before meeting her I had never heard of Kazakhstan. Aliya talked a lot about her country and hometown. She is from Almaty and often described Almaty mountains and the warm atmosphere of the city.

After graduation, we kept in touch via Facebook and Skype, but we lacked live communication. Suddenly, I got an invitation to the wedding from Aliya. She persuaded me to come, promised to organize accommodation and meals I just had to buy tickets and fly to Almaty. By that time I had saved up some money and decided to go on a little trip.


About Kazakhstan


Arriving in Almaty, I felt myself like at home. Aliya showed me pictures of the city so many times that I couldn't get rid of the deja vu feeling.

Although I arrived for a couple of days, Aliya and her husband showed me the skating rink Medeu, Chimbulak, BAO and all the interesting bars and restaurants. However, the most important impression for me was the wedding itself.

I have never been to Kazakh weddings before, so I experienced a little shock from everything that has happened. But I liked it.


About culture similarities and differences


Your weddings are a real Irish party. We also honour and respect family ties. However, the number of guests at our weddings and parties is much smaller. It was the first time I saw so many people in one restaurant. I was struck by the fact that 80% of the guests are relatives of the bride and groom. I never thought a man could have so many relatives.

The banquet is a simulation of life. Too many people, each in a small company. Parents and grandparents try to tell all the wisdom of their years in one speech and the bride and groom try to smile and believe in a bright future.

Beshbarmak is such a delicious dish that I asked Aliya's mother for the recipe. I want to cook it at home for my family.

Beshbarmak is such a delicious dish that I asked Aliya's mother for the recipe

I like Kazakhstanis, respect your love for family and traditions, I think it helps you to understand the simple truths of a difficult life.


About plans


So far I am busy at work and do not have the opportunity to visit Kazakhstan again. But I want to invite Aliya to my wedding when the time comes.

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