My counterpart is a wonderful petite Kazakh woman in her mid 20's. She speaks Kazakh, Russian, and English - which is impressive to me. Her mild temperament and tender attitude makes me very excited to work with her.
There is something interesting to note about family terms of endearment and nicknames. Basically every name has these certain ways of being altered (by adding a suffix or shortening the original) that indicate the level of intimacy the speaker has with the person.
Maria - Masha - Mashka - Mashinka
My name is also applied to this, except the majority of Russian female names end in "ah" or "ya" sounds.
Megan - Meggie - Megunchka (the 5 year old calls me the last one whenever she is pleased with my behavior)
And I explained to them that my name is Megan and it does not change with my age or intimacy. The system is really more than just a nickname, and seemingly not the choice of the beholder.
In addition to that, the terms for family members are not limited to your actual blood line, but rather your relationship with the person. For instance, a lot of people refer to their actual cousins as brothers or sisters. Or the 5 year old family friend refers to my host mom as grandmother. My host mom introduces me as her daughter.
That is all for now,
My internet access is not predictable...but I am keeping lots of notes to blog from. :)
Kazakhstan Fun Fact: The Kazakh word for "sugar" is "cunt." We all think that is amusing of course. :)
Peace Corps Blog.
click above to play a traditional Kazakh song that I really like called the Karajorga. It is very popular and there is a traditional dance that is performed with it as well.
March 8, 2011 -
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