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Astana, July 9: Kazakhstan’s capital celebrated its 14th anniversary on July 6.

The Kazakh capital has progressed greatly since the Parliament agreed to President Nursultan Nazarbayev’s proposal to move the capital in 1994 and today belongs to one of the most unique cities in the world. As one of the few metropolis built chiefly in the 21st century, it is also among the world’s youngest capitals.

Astana’s 14th birthday has been highly anticipated not only by residents of the city but every citizen of Kazakhstan, as the event schedule promised a lot of amazing surprises and discoveries.

President Nursultan Nazarbayev gave start to the main celebrations on July 5, by raising the national flag on the Atameken (Fatherland) memorial complex.

“According to the tradition of recent years, we raise the national flag and hand shoulder straps to the best graduates of military schools on the eve of the Astana Day,” Nursultan Nazarbayev said at the flag-raising ceremony. “We launch the celebration of the Capital Day by these two important events,” he added.

Following this, the President presented the officer’s insignia to a number of best graduates of the country’s higher military schools.  

A week-long celebration ahead of the Astana Day has traditionally started with the opening of the III Astana International Action Film Festival on July 1, organized by the famous Kazakhstan-born filmmaker, Timur Bekmambetov. This year a Cesar Award-winning French actor Vincent Cassel, an English actor Dominic Cooper, an American film and television producer Jim Lemley and other prominent figures in the film industry were among the festival invitees.A total of 20 full length feature films by directors from all over the world, a number of round table discussions, as well as press conferences by movies stars were held throughout the festival workdays.

The 7th international festival “Operalia 2012” was held on July 1 and 3 in the capital city. The event included performances by world ballet and opera stars. On the first day, performers form China, Japan, Kazakhstan, Russia, Britain and the United States showed the art of ballet through excerpts from acclaimed compositions such as the Nutcracker, Don Quixote, Swan Lake, and other, as well as through modern ballet. On July 3, world opera stars Giuseppe Varano and Silvia Dalla Benetta gave a concert, which seized the hearts of the audience.

One of the most widely anticipated events is a performance of the world famous Cirque du Soleil troupe that took place from 4 to 6 July at the Sports Palace “Kazakhstan”.

Performance of the most contemporary of all the classical singers of the world Sumi Jo on July 5 was another big present for Astana citizens and capital visitors dedicated to Astana’s anniversary. 

Other events included a festival of contemporary street art called Art Bat FestClassical music and ballet nights were held on the bank of the Yesil River on July 5-7.

The celebration of the Capital Day included 59 events in four days in total. Only 15 of them require buying tickets.

According to the Mayor of Astana, Imangali Tasmagambetov, all the money collected from the ticket sales will go to the charity specially organized every year during the festival to help children in need of medical care.


Embassy of the Republic of Kazakhstan in Japan©2012