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10 Interesting Facts About Kazakhstan

  1. Ancient Kazakhs were the first people in the world to domesticate and ride horses.

  2.  The traditional nomad home of the Kazakhs is known as a yurta. It is comprised of a collapsible tent, with a wooden frame, covered in felt. Its name comes from the Kazakh word meaning “community,” “people,” or “family.”

  3.  Kazakhs believe that whistling a song inside a building will make you poor for the rest of your life.

  4.  Kazakhstan’s traditional drink kumis has also been referred to as “milk champagne.” It is made from fermented mare’s milk and is believed to be a cure-all for everything from the common cold to tuberculosis.

  5.  Lake Balkhash in Kazakhstan is one of the largest lakes in the world. One part of the lake contains fresh water, and the other is made up of salt water.

  6. The highest point in Kazakhstan is Khan Tengri of the Tian Shan mountain range. At 23,000 feet (7010 m), it is also the world’s most northern 7000-m peak.

  7.  Kazakhstan’s national dish is beshbarmak, which literally means “five fingers” because it is traditionally eaten using all five fingers. It is usually served in a large dish placed in the center of a table and involves large chunks of boiled horse meat or mutton, layered over noodles boiled in a broth called sorpa, and then topped with onions, garlic, parsley, and fennel.

  8.  The Medeo Sports Center, located near Almaty, Kazakhstan, boasts the highest skating rink in the world at 5,545 feet (1,690 m) above sea level. It also has a surface area as large as two football fields.

  9.  Snow leopards live in the mountains in eastern Kazakhstan. They are notoriously shy and may grow to 150 lbs (68 kgs). Kazakhs have long revered the animal for its bravery, independence, and intelligence. The snow leopard is considered a national symbol in Kazakhstan.

  10.  Each year in the traditional Kazakh calendar is named after an animal, such as Year of the Sheep, Year of the Horse, the Dog, Snake, Pig, etc. The calendar begins with the Year of the Mouse because a Kazakh folk tale says that the mouse was able to climb on the other animals’ backs and was the first to see the sun.

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