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Ertugrul Colpan, 29, Vienna, Austria, biomedical engineer


My grandfather used to live in the Altai region. In 1951, he and his family moved to Kashmir, and then, in 1953 to Turkey, because they did not want to oppress their language and religion.

My father came to Vienna in 1980. He was only 22 years old. He came to Austria as a worker. At that time there was a need for workers. That's the reason why I was born in Vienna.

I studied as an engineer in the field of biomedicine, then I started working in the field of ATM maintenance. I was working there for two and a half years. One day me and my Kazakh friend decided to go to study to Kazakhstan. Kazakhstan provided an opportunity for us to study for free for a whole year. We went to Kazakhstan, because we wanted to learn the Kazakh language.

We are Kazakhs, but we did not know the language, because we lived in Austria. When a person lives in a foreign country, he forgets his language, religion and gradually loses himself. I was afraid that my children could forget their roots.

For the first time I came to Kazakhstan for «Kurultai» for young people. And it was interesting. Then I came here for training. We had lessons in Kazakh literature, the history of Kazakhstan, Kazakh and Russian. It was awesome. I am Kazakh, and I lived in my own country. After that, my friend stayed for another year and married a girl from Taraz. I have to came back in Vienna.


I like the Kazakh traditions. Even though we live abroad, we, Kazakhs, are looking for each other. Among my friends there are many Kazakhs. We even have our own football team. It is important for me not to be assimilated in Vienna and to remain a real Kazakh. My mother bakes baursak and shelpek, we often eat beshbarmak, we make shashu. During the celebration of wedding in Vienna, it is customary to conduct betachar. I play dombra. I learned this in Kazakhstan. I like our music.

In Austria, it is difficult to find horse meat. Our relatives bring horse meat from Kazakhstan. We often ask them to bring shubat, kymyz or shuzhyk, but sometimes they have difficulties at the airport.

I want to return to Kazakhstan, but I still do not know when I will do it. I want to marry a Kazakh, because the Kazaks are beautiful, friendly and well-mannered. My parents would also like me to marry a Kazakh.


Being a Kazakh, I look at the world as a Kazakh, but I was also affected by the Austro-German mentality. Kazakhs are lazier than Germans, because the Germans are disciplined. But I like Kazakhs, I have «zhily sezim» (warm feelings) in relation to the Kazakhs.

Ercüment Cetinkaya, 28, Vienna, Austria, restaurant manager


My grandfathers and grandmothers moved to Turkey from Kazakhstan in 1955. My mother was born in Ankara and grew up in Istanbul, Guneshli — a village where ethnic Kazakhs live. In 1988 my father moved to Austria. My parents live in Austria from the age of 30, and I was born in Vienna.

I work in the field of gastronomy, because I like to communicate with people. When I finished school, I had six languages, so it was easy for me to work in the tourist center of Vienna. I worked in restaurants and bars in a rich area of ​​Vienna first as a waiter, and then as a manager. I also love sports, traveling and cinema.

In Austria we have the Association of Kazakh Culture. We maintain contact with other Kazakh families. The Association of Culture organizes events for Kazakh families. For example, holidays like Nauryz or Ramadan.


We also have a football team called 1.fc Vienna Kazakh, since 2016 we have been playing in the official league. Our team consists of young Kazakhs and Kazakh students. And for us it is more than a football team. Probably, we are more like a group of young people who have fun together. It does not matter whether we lose or win. It is important that our younger Kazakh brothers are far from drugs or crime. We fund the club on our own, and it's worth it. We have communities on Facebook — 1. Fc Vienna Kazakhstan 1991 and Instagram — 1.fcviennakazakh1991.

I tried national Kazakh dishes, we cook them at home. I love manti and pilaf with carrots and meat.

I speak Kazakh a little. I understand Kazakh language well, but it's difficult for me to talk. At school I had English, German, Spanish, Latin, French and Turkish. But I hope that soon I will learn Kazakh.

For the first time in Kazakhstan, I was a week ago. We took part in a football tournament in Petropavlovsk. I liked it in Kazakhstan: it's such a big country, and I want to be closer to the roots. I also liked Astana. It's a modern city.

People in Kazakhstan are kind and always ready to help. I was so surprised by kindness that I decided to return to Kazakhstan in August for two weeks, now I want to go to Almaty.

Alp Sara, 23, Vienna, Austria, teacher of mathematics and physical education


My mother is from Kazakhstan, but she was born in Turkey, because her parents were military refugees. My father from Turkey, my parents met in Istanbul, and then went to Vienna, where I was born. I also have two sisters and a brother. I was born and raised in Vienna.

I work as a teacher in high school. I do a lot of sports, I play football. I also play in a semiprofessional team in Austria.

I know that Kazakhstan is the ninth largest country, but has only 18 million inhabitants. And I know that the Kazakhs were nomads, they rode horses. My family adheres to the Kazakh traditions, but I do not know much about all the traditions that are in Kazakhstan. I would like to know more about this.

My mother cooks Kazakh and Turkish dishes.

I only know a few words in Kazakh, but I think if I had more time, I would have studied it.

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With my family we speak Turkish, so I do not know the Kazakh language. In Austria we study other, more popular languages like English, Spanish or French. I only know a few words in Kazakh. I think if I had more time, I would have studied it.

When we were in Kazakhstan, I liked Astana. The locals were polite and ready to help. I hope to visit this city again.

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