On  December 9 our English speaking club users discussed the topic “Егеменді ел - болашаққа бастар жол=Главный Праздник Страны=16 December is Independence Day in Kazakhstan”. Independence Day is usually one of the nation’s most important holidays. It tells the story of the nation and represents its most important values; and Kazakhstan is no different.

All over the country in the days leading up to December 16, large festivities including concerts, exhibitions and competitions were held to celebrate the 27th anniversary of Kazakhstan gaining independence in December 1991.

In the time since, Kazakhstan has emerged from the former Soviet Union in order to establish one of the region’s strongest economies and peaceful nations. It has worked hard to cultivate its abundant natural resources, has built a new capital nearly from scratch, has become a world leader in the anti-nuclear weapons movement and regularly unites the world’s religious leaders in dialogue.

Independent Kazakhstan has been blessed with the resources to build a strong nation, including abundant oil and gas, as well as uranium and rare earth metals. But it has also been the character of the people and policies, such as multi-vector foreign policy that seeks to develop positive relations with all nations.

“On this day (December 16, 1991), we started our Kazakhstan Way. We have implemented a great mission—we began our independence. Time flies,”-Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev said during the most recent Independence Day celebration. “Today, what came just after the birth of independent Kazakhstan is already history, receding into eternity. We must judge our past in comparison with our current great achievements. Twenty seven years ago, we could only dream that we could grow our economy. We want Kazakhstan to be among the 50 most competitive countries in the world.”

Nazarbayev then went on to list seven assets Kazakhstan gained upon independence, including its land and secure borders, the unity of Kazakhstan’s people, the country’s culture and language, its industry and innovation, the Society of Universal Labor the country is building, the city of Astana and the nation’s sense of global responsibility.

“Independence rallied the people under the single shanyrak of the Assembly, guardian of peace and harmony. Our spiritual unity is the main foundation of the secular state and society,”  Nazarbayev said. He also thanked the Kazakh people for their “painstaking work” in building the country’s economy.

Kazakhstan also marked Independence Day this year with the presentation by Nazarbayev of state awards to prominent figures in Kazakhstan’s cultural, scientific, health, education, business, military and other spheres for their contributions to the socioeconomic and cultural development of the country.