People of Kazakhstan are greeting the first day of spring with a kind ‘Thank you!’ Kazakhstan is marking the day of gratitude on March 1st. People are talking time to pay more attention to their family and friends. This day is a celebration of interethnic accord, understanding and mutual respect for many residents of the country, who believe Kazakhstan’s strength lies in the unity of its people. It is with this belief, Kazakhstan created an ethnic assembly - the Assembly of the People of Kazakhstan - on March 1, 1995.

SHERZOD PULATOV, CHAIRMAN, UZBEK ETHNO-CULTURAL CENTER IN ASTANA:

 - There is a proverb: if you respect the people, you respect their language. Therefore, we express our gratitude to the people in Kazakhstan in their language. Even by saying thank you to each other and doing good things, we can achieve a lot.

VLADIMIR SON, JOURNALIST:

 - This is a great moral, spiritual and indispensable currency; this is gold of friendship. The 1st of March is a wonderful holiday; it was created organically and it is the confirmation of true Independence in our beautiful country. Last year, the Koreans celebrated the 80th anniversary of settling on the Kazakh land. We are very grateful. I’m from the second generation of the deported people.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, more than 5 million people were resettled in Kazakhstan. Different ethnic cultures gathered in the Kazakh land under one shanyrak. They laid out the foundation for the future of Independent Kazakhstan, a multinational state, where interethnic and interfaith harmony became a national idea and an advantage of the country.

SAUYTBEK ABDRAKHMANOV, MEMBER OF MAZHILIS, LOWER HOUSE OF KAZAKH PARLIAMENT:

 - All these people came here not on their own will, but by force. The Kazakh people gave them a warm welcome, opened their hearts, welcomed them hospitably and made them feel that this land was as their home too. These people are grateful to the native Kazakhs for the care and assistance that they received in the difficult times.

A Week of Historical Film is ongoing in Astana and Almaty. As part of the film festival, movie theatres are showing pictures like "Zaman-ai", "A Gift to Stalin", "Zheruiyk", "The Oralman", "Zhat" and the TV series titled "Native Land". Most of these films are based on real stories.

KUANYSH SULTANOV, MEMBER OF MAZHILIS, LOWER HOUSE OF KAZAKH PARLIAMENT:

 - Young people should remember this and learn from this lesson. Only through mutual respect, formation of a society of virtue can be achieved. This virtuous relations between citizens was laid out in the constitution of our secular state.

Kazakhstan is home to about 130 ethnic groups and believers of 17 religions and faiths. The new generation of people in Kazakhstan know their roots and follow their traditions, and are proud members of a single nation. They are sure that the interethnic friendship is the foundation of the state’s stability and prosperity.

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