Culturally Significant Kazakh Names

Researchers in Kazakhstan, using data from the Statistics Committee of the Ministry of National Economy, have discovered some interesting Kazakh personal names that correspond to various cultural and political events. Some examples…

Nursultan: In honor of Nursultan Nazarbayev, Kazakhstan’s first president, elected in 1990. In fact, more than 45,000 Kazakh boys ended up with the name Nursultan. (And new names like Nurzhamal and Nuraina were invented by adding the prefix “Nur” to traditional names.)

Mangilik (Kazakh for “independence”): A name created after Kazakhstan became independent from the Soviet Union in late 1991.

Abai: The top name of 1995, the year that Kazakh national poet Abai Qunanbaiuly would have turned 150.

Alikhan: Popularized in 2011, the year writer and political figure Alikhan Bokeikhanov would have turned 145.

Aziada (Russian for “Asian Games”): Given to 56 baby girls in 2011, the year that Kazakhstan hosted the Asian Winter Games.

Samit (apparently a Russian transliterations of “summit”): Given to 66 boys around the time of the OSCE summit in Kazakhstan in 2010.

Nurlyzhol: A name taken from the Nurly Zhol (“hallowed path”) economic stimulus plan, announced by Nursultan Nazarbayev in 2014.

The researchers also noted that, currently, the most popular baby names in Kazakhstan are Aizere (girl name) and Alikhan (boy name).

Source: Naming children after events is trend in Kazakhstan, say researchers

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