Summer camp hosts about 200 ethnic Kazakh children from eight countries in 2023

Zhas Kazakh ethno camp, located on the territory of the Burabai resort, received 200 Kandas children from eight countries of the world this year. A two-week educational and entertainment program was prepared for children from the U.S., China, Iran, Russia, Mongolia, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Belarus. They learned horse riding, archery, traditions, the Kazakh language, playing the dombyra, as well as national sports and applied arts. The exciting summer holiday was organized by the Otandastar Foundation.

“The project has another objective. By inviting children in Kazakhstan, some of whom came to the country for the first time, we would like them to get an education here in the future. Therefore, most of the children who arrived at the camp are high school students. Today, our staff has conducted a survey, according to which four out of five children interviewed, expressed their willingness to study in Kazakhstan in the future,” noted Abzal Saparbekuly, President of the Otandastar Foundation.

Imanbek Kniyazuly from Mongolia has come to Kazakhstan for the first time. The boy has dreamed of visiting his historical homeland since childhood. In a short time spent in the summer camp, he learned to play the national instrument dombyra. He also made friends from different countries, together they performed at the closing of the ethno camp to demonstrate their love and respect for the national art.

“I’ve made a lot of new acquaintances and friends from Iran, Russia, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, and China. Kazakhstan is a beautiful country. During these two weeks, we had lessons of the Kazakh language, history of Kazakhstan, and archery classes, it’s really interesting and exciting here. We’ve also learned to play the dombyra,” said Imanbek Kniyazuly, camp student from Mongolia.

Dana Dzhumabayeva came from neighboring Russia. She quickly mastered playing the dombyra as well. It took her a couple of days to learn the chords of famous folk songs and kuis. And now she plans to diligently learn to play the musical instrument of her ancestors.

“I really like playing the dombyra because it is the Kazakh national instrument. I used to play the guitar, and I was looking for something similar. I really like the dombyra, its beautiful sounds and chords. The children here are so nice, everyone is sociable and friendly. I really like the camp, everything is very beautiful, comfortable, and nice. I like it here,” said Dana Dzhumabayeva, camp student from Russia.

All participants of the project are talented children in their own way. To get into the camp, each of them passed a special competitive selection, first of all, for knowledge of the Kazakh language and history.

“I’ve made new friends and certainly learned a lot about Kazakhstan. I went through a Kazakh language competition and thanks to that I am in this camp now. I took part in the contest in the Altai Republic, and four out of 100 people were chosen,” said Aisha Okhtaubayeva, camp student from Russia.

It should be noted that the summer ethno camp for Kandas children has been open since 2019, when there was already a large number of children. Then, the coronavirus pandemic started, and it was closed for two years. The camp resumed its work in 2022 and received twice as many children this season. It is also noteworthy that many of the children who visited the camp for the first time dream of returning here the following year, but already as volunteers.