Recently, a friend went to her small homeland – to one of the regional centers of Kazakhstan.
I got there on that: relatives celebrated the admission of their son to the first grade. It would seem, not a wedding, not an anniversary. Boy is just going to school.
But what a grand show it was turned into! My friend, who has been living abroad for a long time, was shocked.
The celebration took place in a huge toy khan for several hundred people with golden arches and monumental columns. The tables were bursting with viands, there was nowhere to put my hands. The boy was brought into the golden wars hall on a golden throne, he was showered with rose petals, hymns were sung to him, he was presented with money and expensive gifts.
It was not clear from the boy’s face whether he liked it or not, but he was already in the game. He is already in this atmosphere. He already believes that this is how it should be, that the more lavishly he was escorted to school, the higher his status in the classroom will be.
I am afraid for us, the Kazakhs.
What do we teach our children? What values are we instilling? Every day we laugh here, on Facebook, at Kazakh show-offs, and in the evening we go to such a one, cheerfully clap our hands in the crowd, put crumpled bills in the pocket of the hero of the occasion, stroke his head, praise him. We ourselves are nurturing future majors, “golden youth” who will compete not in knowledge, but in cars, iPhones and tois.