Every year thousands of people come to Canada to start a new life. They arrive with many different skills and the hope of contributing to their new society. Your interest in Kazakhstan may arise from your participation in the HOST Program, which provides assistance to newcomers. You may have Kazakhstanis at your school or workplace. This website will introduce you to Kazakhstan and help you to understand your new friends' culture.

Though Kazakhstan has ancient traditions, it is a new country. It became an independent state in 1991, after separating from the Soviet Union. Like Canada, Kazakhstan is a large country that includes sparsely populated areas as well as large cities. Kazakhstan is also multicultural. People from many ethnic groups live there.

Newcomers from Kazakhstan may speak some English, but they will have to make many adjustments once they are here. They will want to know the same things you would if you moved to a new place. What is my new neighbourhood like? Where can I buy food for my family? Which school will my children attend? How do I get around in my new community? What is important is that you offer your time, concern and friendship. You have much to offer each other.

Although this cultural profile provides insight into some customs, it does not cover all facets of life. The customs described may not apply in equal measure to all newcomers from Kazakhstan.

  Did you know?
For many years, the capital of Kazakhstan was Almaty, the largest city in the country. In 1998, the capital was moved to Astana. Almaty remains an important business centre.
  Summary Fact Sheet
Official Name: Republic of Kazakhstan
Capital: Astana
Type of Government: Parliamentary republic
Population: 15.6 million
Area: 2.7 million sq. km
Major Ethnic Groups: Kazakh, Russian, Ukrainian, German, Uzbek, Tartar (Mongol)
Languages Kazakh, Russian
Religions: Islam, Russian Orthodoxy, Protestantism
Unit of Currency: Tenge
National Flag: Blue with a yellow sun, an eagle and a decorative yellow border
Date of Independence: December 16, 1991