Ethnic Divisions in Kazakhstan

Video Transcript

Between the ethnic groups, there is no friction unless it gets very personal sometimes, or sometimes the argument gets heated up, then it might get personal. But it's very rare. Because, living in a multinational country, people learned to respect different nationalities. It took a while, so I, personally, I had some problems with that, since I am not very Kazakh-looking. So, in my childhood there was some [friction]. But it was very quickly eliminated by somebody telling [them], 'Hey, what are you doing?' And that's the first thing, but the second thing is there is no friction, as per se, if you see someone looking not like [a] Kazakh, they wouldn't treat him wrong.

But it's OK to ask questions there, 'What nationalities you are? What language do you speak?' Sometimes people would say, 'Oh, OK, you're a Kazakh. Why don't you speak Kazakh?' So, you can still say, 'Well, because of this and that and that.' So, that doesn't mean that he doesn't like you or he [doesn't respect you.] People ask questions about nationalities a lot there.

In this video, a Kazakh native discusses ethnic tension in Kazakhstan.