Well, it's time to say goodbye! I haven't been thinking for a long time what I'll write about). I've just reread all your comments and discovered some unanswered questions. So I'm going to answer them now, guys.
Danny: How the individual defines his own national definition? There are several options: by his language? by his place of birth? by his religion? by his historical roots? How these matters effect you? With whom do you feel the greatest solidarity?
I really feel like a cosmopolite). Honestly, the whole world is getting mixed, although it's a bit sad. I believe that every nationality should keep its originality, culture and traditions.
BBC_fan: Wow! Three celebration of New Year is more than enough! What is your favorite one? :-)
You see, my favorite New Year is traditional one, which is celebrated by the majority of people at 1st January. I really like a New Years tree and especially presents that are usually hidden under it). I don't know why, but there is one essential thing for me which came from the Soviet times - mandarins are the main thing on the New Years table)). The former Soviet citizens will understand me, I'm sure.
Mbagema: I see Almaty is green city and there are many beautiful mountains near. Are you mountain skier?
Unfortunately, I'm not. But I will!
Beatriz: Why are many children brought up by their grandparents in Kazakhstan?
You see, Beatriz, parents couldn't afford to hire a baby-sitter. To be precise it wasn't a norm in the Soviet society. That's why grandparents brought the children up.
Emat: Marina, is Taraday Belorussian surname? I know, it isn't of Korean one and neither is Polish.
Taraday is the Ukrainian surname. My grandfather was Ukrainian.
Emat: Did you ever heard about Aral Sea's ecological disaster? Do you know, Is our Old Man (and his ministers) taking any measures as regards to safe the Sea??
Of course I've heard about that problem. There is even a social foundation in Almaty that is trying to solve it. And I also know that the situation is getting better now, am I right?
Kim: Are Russian and Kazakh spoken equally, or are there parts of the county where one or the other is more widely spoken? What languages are taught in schools?
As far as I know, Russian language is used as equal as Kazakh one. But there are more Kazakh-speaking people in the south part of our country as well as in the countryside (auls). There are only three language that normally are taught in shools: English, German, and French.
Cross_the_Bridge: I've never tried sunflower seeds and even for me it is hardly possible do find them. What do they taste like? Why are they supposed to be useful? Maybe because in the past people had little to eat?
Well, the sunflowers seeds contain sunflower oil. That's why they're useful). They taste like nuts or something like that. I don't know exactly where the habit of eating them came from, but in our country the sunflowers are being sold everywhere and are quite popular snack.
Maria: On the latest Monday I also was in Warsaw. Do you like our capital city?
Of course I do. I've been there for two weeks and almost fall in love with Warsaw! As I noticed there are plenty of houses that look similar to ours ones of the Soviet time. As far as I know the historical center of Warsaw was rebuilt because it was completely ruined during the World War II. And I liked very much the Polish people attitude to their country.
Maria: How the Kazakhs treat their history, especially the period of being one of the republics of the USSR? The Kazakhs consider its as an occupation or rather as an normal situation? And what about now? As the nation do you like the Russian and politics that they are leading or you are rather more skeptical about them?
I can't talk for everybody. In my opinion Russia gave a huge boost to the development of Kazakhstan. I really don't have any suggestion what our country would be in case of another scenario. Of course there are people who blame the Soviet regime but the majority of us keep tolerance.
Kim: So you graduated 5 years ago? Where and what did you study?
I was studying Journalism at Almaty Institute of International Studies.
Emat: you don't by any chance know, how much does a single-room flat to rent in Almaty? What will it cost (without any furnishings, this I had to see for myself) to have it rented?
It depends on the area of the city. From $ 400 to $ 800.
Lana: I've one question to you, is it really you have in Kazachstan Yssyk lake? I always thought it is in Kyrgistan? Or have you a smaller one with the same name?
We have Issyk Lake in Almaty. I know what you were talking about. I've been to Issyk-Kul in Kirgizstan once! And I really liked that place - the water was so clear and warm!
Natanael: I'd like know about your job, I understood that you work a company like a newspaper company (am I right?). My last job was on the sport newspaper called Diário Lance, like "Marka" from Spain, or "Gazzeta Dello Sports" from Italy. So, tell me more, about your job and your challenger there.
It's an Internet edition which updates 24 hours. We write news from the whole world. But, unfortunately, on-line journalism isn't so popular and developed in Kazakhstan. Anyway, I hope in the future it will.
Beatriz: Congratulations Marina! Your new experience was a success. Are you going to repeat it?
You bet! I'm looking forward the next weekend!! )).
Doming: Who encourage you to try parachute jumping? I'm sure not your mom and dad. I think it took a lot of convincing to get their approval, isn't?
You see, it was my old dream. I've been prepared for that step for a long time. But I'm not going to stop there)).
OK guys, there is one more thing! I really liked the idea of some of you to visit Almaty one day! And I've caught you friends!)).
Ashish: And, I wish if I were there! If it happens somehow, meeting a Pocahontas with the nice hairstyle (highlighted in the photograph titled 'In the process of work') will also be a bonus. I really look forward to the day.
Elisabeth: I must remember the place next time we think about where to go on vacation...
Negee: You never know, may be sometimes I visit your country.
Friends, welcome to Kazakhstan!
I've really enjoyed this month. Thank you guys! And many thanks to Kim and the BBCLE!!!
Yours, Marina the Pocahontas ;)