Russian Word of the Day

  • present = padarak

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Happy Nauryz!!!

Day 12
Nauryz Kuttuh Bolsyn !!! (a.k.a - Happy Nauryz!)

We just got back from a day at the Kokshetau Nauryz festival. I'm exhausted and chilled to the bone. (It is sooooo cold.) So we're just doing pictures and captions today. More cute baby pictures tomorrow.

Our translator Makhabbat collected us to go to the fair. She was accompanied by her daughter Arajaan (in light blue), and her nieces Edonna (in green) and Donna (in purple).
Here is the fair from a distance. I think all of Kokshetau was there! The fair was held on the streets surrounding Gorky Park, where ferris wheel is in operation all summer long.
Here is the ferris wheel. This is the first day of the year that it is in operation. Calvin was SOOO excited... as it was an ancient soviet thing, a little bit rusty, and with no safety features, his mom and dad were not quite so enthusiastic.A crowd gathers around a wresting match. Many of them are watching from the steps of the Tsum Store, the bazaar/grocery store where we do a lot of our shopping.Many different companies erected yurts on the street.

Here we are inside the yurt. The walls are lined with beautiful hanging carpets. The way the light filters into the yurt is really soft and beautiful.

Couple of yurt guys all dressed up. Don't ask me why he's carrying a pinwheel.

One of the street vendors selling whistles, mickey mouse kites, and pinwheels to excited kids. Calvin got a pinwheel. Having enjoyed more than "brunco vodkee" (a little vodka), these women laughed and danced to the music from the big stage. We never see the Kazakhs smile, let alone dance, so this was a sight to behold. Here are the performers that got the ladies on their feet.Calvin on Tim's shoulders walking by a stand of festival flags.
Here we are with a couple of the performers in traditional Russian attire. They were about to go on stage and just before this picture was taken they had been giggling while applying lipstick on each other. Here is Tim buying ride tickets for Calvin and Makhabbat's girls.

Tim also got cotton candy for the kids.

Yup. We took Calvin up in the ferris wheel. It didn't stop for new passengers, so you had to hop on as it took off.

Here is the view of the festival from the top. Here is a street scene from the top of the ferris wheel. Notice all the fur hats. Sorry PETA, but fur really is beautiful and practical in this weather

Traditional Kazakh tea steeping in pots. Kazakhs cuties enjoy another one of the rides at Gorky park.

Just like at home, the EMTs were on hand. This ambulance is very typical and a good reminder that you don't want to get sick in Kazakhstan. A really beautiful Kazakh woman with her sleeping boy. She wasn't quite as fashionable as most of the woman we see, but I thought that she had a beautiful look.

Donna and Edonna on a traditional Kazakh two person swing.I sort of fell in love with this little pumpkin. I photographed her mother above. The kids here look so cute all bundled up.Here she is with her brother. Aren't they darling? I wanted to get a shot of the whole family together, but with four kids under the age of five, mom didn't look to aminable. Calvin and Nana and burnt tasting cotton candy.

Here is another very Kazakhstan snap. Smartly dressed women and chainsmoking men in black caps. Here's another very typical street scene. More black cap men. This was our last ride of the day. I swear it was getting colder by the moment, but Calvin loved it. Mom walked home after Tim, Cal, and I left. On her way she saw these kids playing on the war memorial and snapped a picture.

When the boys realized that mom had taken their picture they called after her and all came running to have their picture taken again. Then they all introduced themselves in broken english. When mom told them that she was from America, they pointed to themselves and said "Kazakhstan!" and started cheering. Very cute. Kazakhstan loves mom.




Karen said...

Thank you, thank you for your daily update. I hang on your every word! My husband, 4 yr old daughter and I hope to arrive in Kokshetau early June and meet our duaghter. Your son is adorable and it is so comforting to see that he is healthy and loving!!
Please keep the updates coming. You are a wonderful writer and providing us with valuable information for our trip. I believe we will be at the same baby house, meeting some of the same people and perhaps you are within arms reach of our baby girl.

Thanks again and take care!

Karen, Dave and Katherine, Andover, Ma

Snyders2Kaz said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Regina said...

Happy Nauryz! Happy spring!

So nice that the three of you had a day to play! I love when we are able to join a local festival. It is so wonderful to be sounded by the language, the music, the people, as they too relaxed and enjoying the day.
I love reading all of your postings and seeing the photos!

Love you all! Sending you worm thoughts.

Malar said...

Seeing Kokshetau through your eyes is just like being there. Looking at pictures of the fair and all the native people of Kokshetau was absolutely fanastic.
Looks and sounds like little Cal had a wonderful time too.
I love your daily updates......
Big hug to all.

Sam, Ryan and Gabby said...

Wow, what a fun day! How wonderful that you were able to experience the Kaz culture and a big celebration day while you're on your journey. Calvin looks like he had a ball, it reminds me of the fair we went to in Pleasanton with the rickety rides :). Everything there is so colorful amidst the snow, the people all look very festive. We are looking forward to new Garrett pictures tomorrow!
Sam, Ryan & Gabby

Nicole Faraclas said...

Awww...such color and activity! I love it. Happy Spring to you all. Cal looks like he had a ball!