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Lithuanians in Kazakhstan. About how to live at the Kazakhs house for a month and what is surprising about taxi in Almaty


Lithuanians in Kazakhstan. About how to live at the Kazakhs house for a month and what is surprising about taxi in Almaty

Serjous Staponkus, 29 years old, hometown — Sulay, teacher, mentor


In 2014 I came to Kazakhstan. During this time I worked at the university on a mentoring program and received students from different countries. For the most part, I worked with students from Eastern countries: Georgia, Kazakhstan. One day my University offered me a trip to one of them, and I went to Kazakhstan. When I worked with students from Kazakhstan, they warmly invited me to look at their country. I went to Almaty for a month.

The first thing I faced was that the university did not provide housing. I had to make sure in the Kazakh hospitality. I started looking for people who could take me to live. Couchsurfing has helped me through this month. You can come to Almaty and know that even with a suitcase at the airport you will definitely be sheltered.


In Kazakhstan, there is a noticeable difference between rich and poor people. It can be seen by the machines, things and behaviour.

In Almaty, I was surprised by the principle of renting a taxi. Taxi is a kind of 3 in 1: a new acquaintance, taxi driver earnings, fast transport.

My friends hosted me with honours, treated me with beshbarmak, told me about traditions and history

My friends hosted me with honours, treated me with beshbarmak, told me about traditions and history.

My friends hosted me with honours, treated me with beshbarmak, told me about traditions and history. I was pleased to see Koktobe, Shymbulak, walk in the mountains, learn about incredible traditions like bride theft. It was a warm welcome. Besides, I liked the food.

Lithuania is quite a European country. There are many projects aimed at the exchange of experience between students. This helps us not to forget the Russian language. But most of the young people do not know Russian.

I would like to return to Kazakhstan because of people. They are responsive and will accept as the most important guest it's nice. In Almaty, I will come back and visit the baths. I want to return to Koktobe, visit the local Church and Charyn canyon.


When my friends invite me to a traditional Kazakh wedding, I will return. I have a dream to go from Almaty to Issyk-Kul through the mountains.

Eustace Cutleries, 32 years old, hometown — Klaipeda, traveller


For the first time, I passed through Kazakhstan in 2008 and stayed here for a week. The second time I was here a few months ago, again, driving through Central Asia.

Central Asia is a vibrant region that seems exotic due to its history and inhabitants. While I was going on a trip, I knew what to expect. In 2008, I had a friend who had already visited this region. We drove across the country from Russia to Kyrgyzstan and beyond.

It was incredible. Kazakhstan combines something between Europe and Asia. Then we visited Almaty, and it is a big city.

Kazakhstan combines something between Europe and Asia

We managed to eat dishes of national cuisine. Kurt, kazy, kumys is a specific product, but beshbarmak I would eat regularly.


I was glad that we were able to visit the Eastern part of Kazakhstan. I spent four days in Altai. The Altai mountains and nature is something incredible. If Almaty is full of different landscapes, then there are powerful mountains, adamant and awesome. Kazakhstanis need to appreciate nature.

There were few people on the last trip, mostly guides and our team. However, I managed to make sure that the Kazakhs are open and friendly last time.

I had a great time and in the next five years, I would like to come on a longer trip to Kazakhstan. I heard that in the West there is the Ustyurt plateau, and somewhere in the centre, you can see flamingos.

Alina Svigarite, 22 years old, hometown — Karaganda


I was born in Kazakhstan like my parents. But grandparents moved here. Mom's parents were assigned to work from the territory of present-day Russia after graduation, and dad's parents were exiled from Lithuania.

There were difficulties in the relocation. The grandparents did not have any of the relatives and housing, all the work and life stayed in Lithuania and Russia. They had to face a cold climate and constant winds.

We go to Lithuania all the time. My uncle moved there with his family in the 90s. My parents stayed in Kazakhstan.

The difference in mentality is that Kazakhstan is an Eastern country and Lithuania is a European country. People there behave more freely, easier, do not conflict, are friendly to each other.


We mostly communicate with their relatives, and they grew up in Kazakhstan and as such Lithuanian traditions, I do not notice. I noticed that in Lithuania most of the dishes are potatoes and pork. All kinds of zeppelins, potato pancakes, kugelis, potato casserole, the so-called okroshka with beets. In Kazakhstan, there are more dishes of dough and beef, lamb or horse meat. However, whenever we go to visit, we are asked to bring kazy. I noticed that there is no such hospitality in any country as in Kazakhstan — not simulated and obligatory, but sincere. We have good-natured and open people.

I noticed that there is no such hospitality in any country as in Kazakhstan — not simulated and obligatory, but sincere

I know that there is a Lithuanian community in Karaganda, but we are not members of It. But we try to keep in touch with all my grandparent's relatives and friends.

The last few years I live in Almaty, and I like this city, it is warmer here than in Karaganda. It is modern, more developed infrastructure, you can find something to your interests, play sports or just walk in parks and squares.

Almaty is surrounded by gorgeous nature. Half an hour by car and you are in the mountains, where clean air, pine trees, lakes this is a real aesthetic pleasure. I also love my hometown Karaganda, because my childhood is connected with it, and most of my friends live there.


I am preparing to enter a master's degree abroad and plan to stay there. I see more opportunities for myself in another country than in Kazakhstan. Another important reason for moving is bad ecology. At my age, few people think about it, but the environment has a strong impact on health and life expectancy.

My parents still live here. We're planning on moving me first, and they'll move in in a couple of years. Our family has few relatives in Kazakhstan this is also one of the reasons.

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