It’s June, and I’ m not tired of being brave!

It’s June, and I’m not tired of being brave!  Almost one year is gone  here in Astana and I’m pleased to say that I survived the hardest winter I’ ve ever experienced  in my life. Although the locals say that this past winter  was quite mild and some of them -the  younger generation -said that it was one from the rare winters that they saw so much snow. The temperature is so low and the wind so fierce that every drop of water is transformed to ice. The latter is the trickiest thing, because it’s impossible to make more than 10 steps and to avoid seeing the sky in a panoramic view.For the next winter, I will prepare myself better. I will buy some more t-shirts and summer clothes for the interior spaces. It’s boiling hot inside for a wool jumper –  I was so foolish to buy so many.  And the next thing and most important,  I have to get shoes with embedded nails. Apart from the practical things for surviving in a new and tough place, speaking only in terms of weather, I have to say the locals-Kazakhs people- are the sweetest people I’ ve ever met. I have enough experience of foreign places and behaviours and I understand very well, the reasons of their attitude towards me : Firstly, the Kazakhs people  want very much to open their borders to the Western countries and  secondly, it’s always the same story : Our attitude towards other people is a reflective game.

Enjoy the following pictures showing Astana through seasons.

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The river is totally covered by snow. See above and below it is the same exactly place.

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Wedding a la Kazakh!

At last , summer is here in Astana and  its inhabitants want to make the most of it. To say the truth, in no other place  I have seen so many weddings to take place as here in Kazakhstan’s capital. It’s a fact , Astana is in its prime and running  a baby boomer period. There is an urgency to increase its population and the government supports it in every way.  The following pictures are from the  wedding of my new Kazakhstani friends.
P1070287Don’t get confused : This not not the wedding reception of a member of the socialist party(pasok) in Greece but a wedding a la Kazakh! Our Kazakhstani friends chose green as colour theme for their wedding. Don’t forget the green is the colour of hope for the future! A very wise choice!

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The bridesmaids were wearing the traditional Kazakh outfits with the feather on top of their hats.

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Dancers with the same outfits as the bridesmaids were introducing the bride and groom who were following behind.

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The Maid of Honor (lead bridesmaid) with her beautiful green dress- to match the colour theme.

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Part of the ceremonial  Kazakh’s wedding traditions: The couple’s mothers were wearing the same colour (green) dress. I think, it was a very nice idea and brought a nice harmony in the environment.

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And the party starts with a performance of the Kazakh dancers!

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There was a scandal about the horse meat in Europe but here in Kazakhstan, horse meat is their traditional food . The main dish was  horse meat with a kind of handmade pastry (hilopites) and onions. And the special meze was the horse’s willy!

There were four courses of food : Meat with salad, pastry(katsiapouri), meat, fish, meat. Interestingly, there was no cake.Perhaps, the latter is the only thing that differentiates the Kazakhstani weddings from all  the rest weddings in the western world. But there was a lot of Vodka. And when I say a lot , I mean A LOT, in some way it replaced the water!

What I realised, once more, is how much I love Weddings. And I’m looking forward to attending some more during this  summer in Hesperia! Every kind of weddings among different races, sexes, classes …  !