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Country name: Conventional long form: Republic of Kazakhstan
Conventional short form: Kazakhstan
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Capital:  Astana
Official language: Kazakh
Administrative: 14 Provinces
2 Cities
Area:   2,724,900 km2
Population:  16,600 million (as on 2011)
Time zone:  UTC+5/6 (West/East)
Currency:  Tenge (KZT)  gerb
Drives on the: Right
Internet domain code:  .kz
Calling code: +7-6xx, +7-7xx
Independence:   December 16, 1991
Natural resources: Natural gas, crude oil, uranium, petroleum,
lead, zinc, chromium, manganese, copper,
coal, iron, gold.
Religion: Islam- 70.2%

The Republic of Kazakhstan is the ninth largest country in the world. The territory of the republic stretches from the lower reaches of the Volga River eastward to the foot of the Altai Mountains and from the Western Siberian Lowland southward to the Kyzyl-Kum Desert. It borders with Russia, China, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan. Kazakhstan is divided into 14 provinces and 2 cities (Astana and Almaty).

One-third of the country is steppe. It is characterized by large areas of grassland and sandy regions. Biggest rivers and lakes are Aral Sea, Ili River, Irtysh River, Ishim River, Ural River, Syr Darya River, Charyn River, Lake Balkash and Lake Zaysay. Climate of Kazakhstan is continental. Summer is warm, winter is cold.

With 16.6 million people, Kazakhstan has the 62nd largest population in the world. The nationalities in the territory of Kazakhstan are kazakhs - 63.1 %, russians - 23.7%, uzbeks - 2.9%, ukrainians - 2.1%, uyghur - 1.4%, tatars - 1.3%, germen – 1.1%, others – 4,5%.

Kazakhstan allows freedom of the religion. There are different beliefs in the country. Main religion is Islam - 70,2%. Christianity in Kazakhstan is practiced by 26.2% of the population. Other religions in Kazakhstan are Buddhism and Judaism.

From the ancient times Kazakhstan has been inhabited by nomadic tribes. In the 13th century Kazakh territory was conquered by Mongols. Under the Mongol Empire there were established administrative districts and these eventually came under the emergent Kazakh Khanate. By the early 17th century Kazakh territory was divided into 3 distinct groups-Juz. They were Great, Middle and Little (or Small) Hordes. In the middle of 19th century all three Juz were joined into Russian Empire. In 1936 year Kazakh SSR was organized. In December 16, 1991 Kazakhstan declared its independence.

The native language of Republic of Kazakhstan is Kazakh. Russian is also officially used in public institutions as an equal to Kazakh language.

Kazakhstan has an abundance of minerals and fossil fuel resources. The country has big reserves of natural gas, petroleum, uranium, chromium, lead, zinc, manganese, copper, coal, iron and gold. Major exports of Kazakhstan are oil, wheat, textile and livestock. Kazakhstan is a leader in exporting uranium. It also exports diamonds. Chief livestock products are dairy products, leather, meat and wool. The major crops are wheat, barley, cotton and rice.

Kazakhstan is thought to be one of the birthplaces of the apple, particularly the wild ancestor of Malus domentica and Malus sieversii. Kazakh name of the apple is “alma”. The region it is thought to originate is called Almaty-“rich with apple”. Wild apple still grows in Kazakhstan mountains and other countries of Central Asia and in Xinjiang.

Kazakhstan has stable relationship with all its neighbors. The Republic of Kazakhstan is a member of the United Nations, Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), Commonwealth of Independent States, Economic Cooperation Organization, Shanghai Cooperation Organization and Eurasian Economic Community. It is an active participant in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization Partnership for Peace program.

Kazakhstan is famous with its archeological and architectural monuments. Otrar ruins, Khodja Akhmad Yassavi mausoleum, Aisha-Bibi mausoleum, Taraz River, Medeo, Chimbulak, beautiful natural reserves attract people from different parts of the world.

NATIONAL HOLIDAYS

  • January 1-2 – New Year
  • January 7 - Eastern Orthodox Christmas
  • March 8 - International Women's Day
  • March 21–23 - Nauryz Beyramy
  • May 1 - Kazakhstan People's Unity Day
  • May 9 - Victory Day
  • July 6 - Capital City Day (Birthday of the First President)
  • August 30 - Constitution Day
  • December 16 - Independence Day
  • Qurban Ayt & Ramadan Ayt

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