Since independence in 1991, Kazakhstan’s ‘southern capital’, Almaty, has engaged in fairly extensive efforts at ‘Kazakhising’ local toponyms. Now the central arteries of the city, once part of the old Soviet planimetry, display ‘genuinely’ Kazakh names. Streets once bearing the names of Bolshevik icons like Kalinin and Kirov are now named after legendary heroes (Kabanbai Batyr) or other figures from Kazakhstan’s nomadic past (Bogenbai Batyr). The example of Furmanova ulitsa offers a fitting metaphor to describe the sense of political stagnation that pervades today’s Kazakhstan. A sense that much-needed change has been postponed until the inevitable, though not yet imminent, leadership change.Full Article: Change put on hold in Nazarbayev’s Kazakhstan | openDemocracy.
Nov 24 2012