The Republic of Kazakhstan

Short name:

Capital: Astana

Term for Citizens:

Date of Independence: December 16th, 1991

Area: 2,717,300 square kilometres

Time: Three time zones:

Eastern/Main Zone: GMT+6 (GMT+7 from March 28 to October 26).

Central Zone: GMT+5 (GMT+6 from March 28 to October 26).

Western Zone: GMT+4 (GMT+5 from March 28 to October 26).

The Altay and the Tian Shan ranges are in the east and the north-east,
occupying about 12 % of the territory; more than three-quarters
of territory is desert or semi-desert; the biggest rivers are
the Ural, the Emba, the Syr Darya, the Irtysh, the Ishim and the

Climate: Continental and very dry except in the eastern
mountains, where the snowfall is heavy with wide temperature variation
between winter and summer.

Population: 14.9 million people; growth rate is -1.0% a
year; 55% of population is urban, 45% rural. About 126 nations;
53% of population are Kazakhs.

Language: Kazakh, Russian.

Religion: Sunni Muslims -47%; Russians Orthodox-44 %; Catholics,
Protestants, Jews, Buddhists and others-9 %.

Education: Compulsory secondary education - 11 years; there
are 126 universities.

Health: Health care is generally free of charge; some efficient
private practices have been introduced recently.

Culture: Culture is based on traditional nomadic lifestyle;
handicrafts, variety of food and very rich musical culture.

Cuisine: Kazakh national cuisine is a mirror reflection
of the very soul of the nation and its history. Traditional Kazakh
cuisine always gives preference to boiled foods. Meat is the basis
of the majority of meals. Kazakhs prepare delicious kazy,
smoked horsemeat sausage. Served on special occasions sliced with
cold noodles it is called naryn. Such delicacies as shuzhyk,
zhal, zhaya and karta are other kinds of
horsemeat sausage. Zhuta is pasta shaped like a Swiss roll
with a carrot and pumpkin filling. Widespread is the use of milk
and sour milk products. It is well explainable because kumys
(fermented mare's milk), shubat (camel's milk) and
airan (sour milk beverage) are easy to store in conditions
of nomad life.

Major industries: Mining industry, especially oil and gas
production, metal processing, machine building, chemicals, textiles,
food processing, agriculture, grain production.

Main trading partners: Russia, Ukraine, Germany, the Netherlands,
Italy, South Korea and China.

Ecology: Major problem to be solved as a result of industrial

Currency - Tenge (KZT).

Popular tourist destinations: Aksu-Zhabagly Nature Reserve,
Almaty, Burabai, Taraz, Turkestan, and Zailiyski Alatau.