Moving to Kazakhstan



Known as the 9th largest country in the world, Kazakhstan’s terrain consists of flatlands, hills, canyons, deserts, snow-capped mountains and deltas. Expats moving to Kazakhstan will be met with warm hospitality from the Kazakh people, especially because the country is still in the process of becoming a tourist destination. The majority of the foreigners in Kazakhstan stay in the capital city, Astana.

The Republic of Kazakhstan is an expanse greater than Europe.

The world's largest landlocked country is the home of a wealth of natural resources from flora to fauna to recently tapped mineral and oil deposits that make it potentially one of the richest countries in the world. The territory is outlined by Russia, China, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan and spreading from the Caspian Sea in the West to the Altay Mountains in the East and from the Western Siberian plains in the North to Central Asia's oases and deserts in the South.

Its terrain consists of grass-covered plains, deltas, coniferous forests, hills, mountains, and deserts. Warm summers and cold winters alternating with semi-arid conditions characterize the country's climate.    

Expats will be impressed to know how far this fast rising oil power has come from its humble beginnings as a group of nomadic Turks who lived together under felt, dome-shaped tents. In 1920, it took membership to the Kirgiz Autonomous Republic of the Soviets and was then known as the Kazakh Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic (Kazakh ASSR). Seventy-one years later when The Union collapsed, it stood proud as a member of Commonwealth of Independent States together with ten other former Soviet republics. In 1997, its capital was moved from Almaty to Astana.   

Kazakhstan houses some of the world's rarest or accidental animals, including the Transcaspian Urial, a wild sheep subspecies also known as Arkars or Shapo, long-needle hedgehog, the Pallas' and other smaller wild cats, the djeiran or goitered gazelle, and avians such as the Manx Shearwater, Northern Gannet and the Sacred Ibis. Kazakhstan's avifauna is, indeed, one of the most captivating around the world. Naturally, expats have always loved this part about relocating to the Eurasian wonder.  

The culture of Kazakhs is a storied one. Their nomadic roots gave rise to their belief that spirits roamed around, and that life was a confluence of forces of the earth, sky, water, and fire. It led to the development of Tengriism as an ancient religion. Sometime in the 17th century, they first learned about Islam, and it took centuries before this became the dominant religion. The Kazakhs feel beholden to lamb and other traditional Turkic foods that they consider sacred up to this day. Technically, they are considered Sunnis, which comprise the largest Islam group in the world. Their culture is highlighted by animal husbandry that is considered a traditional lifestyle and the yurt which is a traditional Kazakh housing found in the present day as decorative inspiration for home, restaurant and building interiors. Although the people have not forgotten their time-honoured traditions, Westernism has inevitably caught up with them as evident in nearly every aspect of their lives from architecture to fashion.  

A liberalized economy puts Kazakhstan on the map of soon-to-be oil powers, thanks to its vast mineral and oil resources that have been attracting foreign investment since the discovery of Caspian Sea oil nearly ten years ago. These deposits are said to be the most significant oil find in the last thirty years. Its economy is also dependent on its agricultural riches composed mainly of livestock and grains. The year 2001 was a significant development stage for the Kazakh economy, putting the Tenge (T), its currency, at its highest average worth against world currencies. Today, industrial policies continue to be proposed and honed as the country gears up for the promising economic prospects that lay ahead.

Truth be said, expats who are looking for a harmonious mix of nature, tradition, modernity, and economic progress will make a good find of Kazakhstan.  



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