Wednesday, March 21, 2007

A lovely song and a touching (and gorgeous) video

The song is sung by the young Kazakh artist Qaraqat (listen, that name probably sounds ugly if you're an American guy used to American names, but that impression will not survive the video). It's in Kazakh; so you won't understand it. But the story the video tells, and the specific emotion it captures, don't require words. (After the video I've put what one of the YouTube commenters said was the story, but you ought to watch it first without the help -- because the video doesn't need the help.) Plus you get to see the inside of a yurt all dolled up, and lots of Kazakhs wearing lovely traditional Kazakh clothing and really quite impressive silverwork, and you get to see what a Kazakh bride traditionally looked like on her wedding day. I think it's well worth seeing even if you don't have my interest in Kazakhstan (or if, like Anya and Kinya, you are an emphatically Russian Kazakhstani).

Several YouTube commenters have asked for somebody to translate the song, and one Kazakh responded:

This song about grandmother. It is called "Asyl azhe", which means My dear Granny". The words are beautiful. It tells about how she loves her granny who upbrough her and gave all her love. If I can get the words I can translate into English. In our Kazakh tradition a girl is angel and parents take care of her like that. The honored place is always given to a daugher. By this vedeo, they showed Kazakh tradtion.
Of course, you can generally count on at least one person to fulfill the worldwide stereotype of the clueless American (I'm chuckling good-naturedly here): somebody called "chantistar" felt compelled to ask, "do people really dress like this all the time?", this is traditional folk dress.


At 2:56 PM, Blogger Jim r said...

I will have to send you a link to one of my favorite Kazakh videos. Since I don't know Russian or Kazakh beyond a few real basic words, I don't know what it is about, other than to believe it is a love story. I am sure when you see it, you will correct me.

At 2:56 PM, Blogger Jim r said...

Or the other one about Astana, which I am sure you have seen.

At 6:23 PM, Blogger Jim r said...

Kenny, here are two more. The first is similar to yours and you may have already seen it.

This one is probably the theme to our adoption, even though we have not clue what it is about. :)

At 6:58 PM, Blogger Jim r said...

one more

At 3:28 AM, Anonymous chantistar said...

hey! don't be talkin shit about me. i remember asking that question. a lot of people think they dress like this all the time. nobody knows anything about your country or that country.

At 9:36 AM, Blogger Ken Pierce said...

[chuckling] Of course a lot of people think they dress like this all the time. That would be precisely because Americans are, in general, clueless about people who aren't Americans. And those of us who know and love Kazakhstan are cheerfully resigned to the fact that most of the Americans we meet not only don't know where Kazakhstan is -- they're not sure whether "kazakhstan" is a country or some sort of Hungarian stew or something. Which is of course why Sasha Cohen picked Kazakhstan as Borat's home.

But you do get credit, by the way, for being ahead of most of my compatriots, because you have actually seen that video -- which is why I was "chuckling good-naturedly."


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