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Doctor of Historical Sciences from Kazakhstan explains country's large territory

30 july 2015, 18:26
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Shooting of Nomads movie in Almaty region. ©facebook.com/rkrasnoperov
Shooting of Nomads movie in Almaty region. ©facebook.com/rkrasnoperov

According to Doctor of Historical Sciences and head of the Department of Ancient and Medieval History of Kazakhstan and Neighboring Countries at the Institute of History and Ethnology of Kazakhstan's Ministry of Education and Science Kanat Uskenbai, today Kazakhstan occupies large territory thanks to its ancestors, who were nomads, Tengrinews reports.

Indeed, Kazakhstan is the world's largest landlocked country by land area and the ninth largest country in the world with its territory making 2,724,900 square kilometres, which is larger than the entire Western Europe. Kazakhstan borders with Russia, China, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan, and also adjoins a large part of the Caspian Sea. 

“Ethnic Kazakhs and the Kazakh statehood are the main heritage of two centuries of nomad civilization. A great nomad steppe covered the territory (of contemporary Kazakhstan). Mongolia and Kazakhstan are the two great lands, which were inhabited by nomad empires since the first century BC,” Kanat Uskenbai told Almaty TV channel.

According to him, the vastness of Kazakhstan’s territory was explained by the vital necessity for nomads to expand their lands. “Our neighbors, who had a sedentary way of life since the beginning of time, did not need to have large territories and expand them. Why would an Uzbek or a Tajik peasant need a large territory? He had to work the land near his house and so did every farmer. But nomads could not sit in the same place, they needed to roam the land around them, so that their cattle had food, otherwise, their animals would simply die from hunger if they continued to inhabit the same place for too long," Kanat Uskenbai said.

He noted that this was the meaning of life for nomads: “There was the Akorda (White Horde), the Golden Horde and the Mongol Empire. The Kypchaks, who established the Kypchak Khanate, were there before the Mongols. There were also the Kimaks and their Kimak Khanate. All of them, who created their empires here, are the ancestors of the Kazakh people and this enabled the modern Kazakhs to inherit all this vast territory. And, again, it (territory) was huge for unbiased historical reasons. The Kazakh Khanate received this vast land from ancient nomadic civilizations."

Writing by Assel Satubaldina, editing by Tatyana Kuzmina


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