Kazakhstan celebrates People’s Unity Day


Maria Peshkova

Kazakhstan celebrates People's Unity DayKazakhstan is a unique country as far as its people are concerned. There are more than 120 nationalities living in the country who practice more than 40 religions.

In Kazakhstan each nation gives a piece of their soul to a common culture. The Constitution of the Republic of Kazakhstan guarantees the full development to all nations. There are many ethnic and cultural associations and centers, including a German gymnasium, a Ukrainian gymnasium, Jewish Sunday School, Armenian Center “Van”, Chechen-Ingush Center “Tan”, Chinese Cultural Centre “Mir”, German Society “Wiedergeburt”, Slavic Society LAD, Jewish Center “Alef”.

According to the 2009 census there are two dominant ethnical groups in Kazakhstan, they are ethnic Kazakhs (63.1%) and ethnic Russians (23.7%) with a wide array of other groups represented, including Ukrainians, Uzbeks, Germans, Chechens, Koreans – that is, virtually any group that has ever come under the Russian sphere of influence.

Now these people are of course free to choose their country, and many have left (mostly Germans), but there are many people who have stayed, believing that Kazakhstan is their motherland and not wanting to live anywhere else.

According to the Kazakh President’s decree Kazakhstan has commemorated the People’s Unity Day since 1996. This is a very symbolic holiday for Kazakhstan uniting more than 100 nationalities.

Congratulating his compatriots on the People’s Unity Day last year President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev said the holiday became “a real national holiday. It comes to us with summer warmth and bright sun”.

“This holiday brings us new hopes, bright emotions, strength and confidence in the future. On this day we feel friendship and unity of all Kazakhstanis. Peace and harmony in our common house – these are our main values”, N. Nazarbayev emphasized.

The Assembly of the People of Kazakhstan has become one of the most important institutes of the Kazakhstan society over the years of sovereignty. It plays a key role in strengthening inter-ethnic accord and stability in the state. In political science national unity is a wide and general notion which defines the results and consequences of an effective and constructive policy. Besides, it shows the state of harmonious relations of various national, social and political forces within one state. National unity is a basis of a society’s conflict-free development. Last year the Assembly marked its 15th anniversary.

This month the People’s Assembly of Kazakhstan conducted the 17th session under the motto ‘Independent Kazakhstan: 20 years of peace, accord and creation’. Chiefs of national and regional ethnic cultural associations, members of the parliament, representatives of the Government, heads of political parties, diplomatic missions and others attended the event. As a result there was adopted a statement with the appeal to all citizens of Kazakhstan to address the issues outlined by the President in his state-of-the-nation address ‘Build the Future Together’.

Making a speech at the 17th session of the People’s Assembly President Nursultan Nazarbayev announced that the 1st of May would be one of our main holidays.

“This year we will mark the 1st of May in a new format. As you know, I gave this instruction last year on Independence Day. Mass marches and patriotic actions will take place all over Kazakhstan. The spring festival of May Day should further bring together all the ethnic groups of our country,” Nazarbayev noted.

“Doors of our home-country are wide open for all our friends all over the world. We have established our unique and friendly Kazakhstani family. Congratulations to you on our new holiday, my fellow citizens,” the President said.