Kazakh diaspora in UK learns Kazakh language online


Going back to the roots - Kazakhs living in the United Kingdom actively study Kazakh language, national traditions and culture. The courses, which take place online due to the pandemic, were organized by the Otandastar Foundation. To date, there are already over 60 students.

“This course is intended for Kazakhs living not only in the UK, but also in other countries. Currently, we have students from Mongolia, Uzbekistan and Azerbaijan, but mostly from Turkey,” said the course teacher Lyazzat Bissenbayeva.

Chairperson of the Kazakh Diaspora Association in the UK Abdisalim Savash is one of the course students. His parents moved to Turkey from the Altai Territory during the World War II. He then moved to the United Kingdom when he was 25. The sixty-year old Abdisalim has five children. He decided to study Kazakh together with his family.

“Our parents didn’t want us to forget our native language. We can speak Kazakh, but not so well. That’s why these courses are important to us. When the pandemic is over, we plan to gather young people on weekends to introduce them to national culture, because it connects the generations,” said Savash.

“I am a native of Arys town, but have been living in London since 2010. My wife and I work in the oil and gas industry. We try to speak Kazakh to each other. One can gradually start forgetting his native language after living in an English-speaking society for a while and communicating with everyone in a foreign language,” shared a course student Daulet Yessenaliyev.

Members of the Kazakh Diaspora Association in the UK intend to start learning how to play dombyra in the near future. Online classes will be organized for this. Kazakhs living abroad admit that by doing all that they feel connected to the homeland they miss.


Translation by Assem Zhanmukhanova

Editing by Galiya Khassenkhanova