Kazakhstan Independence Day

Today is the 19th anniversary of the Independence Day of the Republic of Kazakhstan:


Earlier this evening, I went to the Independence Day cocktail party organized by the Kazakhstan Embassy in KL, along with three friends. We were not officially invited so it’s more like party-crashing…hehehe…

All four of us were personally greeted at the door by the Ambassador (thankfully he didn’t ask the security detail to throw us out). After the usual fake-smile, curtsying and other diplomatic niceties, I helped myself to the snack table where I consumed an ungodly amount of cocktail shrimp and caviar…kah kah kah…malas nak bersopan santun…rezeki kat depan, sebat aje lah…

While I was partaking assloads of caviar and shrimp cocktails like a jakun, my friend — a Russian lady — in her resplendent evening gown went around the room to greet other guests, mostly Russo-phone expatriates in KL. (I guess this is what you’re supposed to do at a cocktail party, not just camping in one corner and cleaning up the snack table). I am impressed that the Ambassador knew her personally.

Then it was time for dinner. I know Kazakh cuisine because I stayed in Almaty and Astana for two weeks earlier this year, but I didn’t expect to see the exact same dishes in KL. There were horse meat sausage, horse milk, horse this and that (did they slaughter the horse in Malaysia or did they ship frozen horse meat from Kazakhstan? Inquiring minds want to know). I am not *that* gastronomically adventurous so I passed over the assortment of horse delicacies and kept to the familiar: briyani, lamb curry, beef sausages, dumpling.

And then the speeches. The one representing Malaysian government is a deputy minister I’ve never heard of (sorry Datuk). He congratulated the people of Kazakhstan, expressed hope for closer bilateral relationship, yada yada. Then the KZ ambassador made a short speech. He ended with a toast to our YDP Agong. Suddenly the orchestra blasted Negaraku. I stopped splurging just long enough to stand up straight with hands on my side, respecting the anthem like the good citizen I am. After “selamat bertakhta” I went back to splurging.

And then the obligatory cultural shows. Some ethnic musicians played traditional Kazakh music, to polite nods and applause from the crowd. I have seen similar performances in Astana several times before, so I just hanged around to chat with my friends. After some time, I excused myself and went back home. It was a great event; many thanks to the hosts.

Happy Independence Day to my Kazakhstan friends!


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