Kazakh people that live in Cologne

Rhуne River that Heine loved

He wrote many works about the beloved.

How couldn’t he love his motherland?

Where things were easy to understand.

These verses of Abdilda Tazhibaev were devoted to Rhine River. Not only he, but many writers and poets have been inspired by the beauty of the river that gently flows in Western Europe. The river Rhine is 1320 km and it runs through Switzerland, Austria, the Netherlands, France, and flows to North Sea. German city of Cologne is also located on the bank of that river. This small and beautiful town is home to more than a million people. Representatives of more than a hundred nationalities live here in peace, among them are Kazakhs. The first settlers came here in 1920-40s. Most of them are the descendants of Kazakhs, who immigrated here in collectivization times and the descendants of people who stayed here after World War II. But the basic formation of Kazakh Diaspora in the city began in 1960. These venerable men were among the first Kazakhs, who came to Germany for permanent residence. They still remember the way from Xinjiang to China and Europe.

Yrysbay Tiyanakuly, Kazakh living in Germany

- According to historical records we moved from Semey to China in 1762. We were only about 300 families. Then in 1937 we already had 18,600 people, but in 1940 only 3039 people reached India. At the time India was a colony of England, and the country called Pakistan even did not exist. We lost 15,565 people; some of them had died from hunger and cold, someone lost, someone fell from enemies’ bullets and someone was captured.

Nurymkhan Sapargaliuly, Kazakh living in Germany

The hardest was moving on the Himalayas. There always were snowstorms so we could not see anything. My mom put me in a box, where I was during the day and at night. Despite the fact that we were little children that time we didn’t cry and suffered all the difficulties together with our parents. Our elders always prayed for safe arrival to the places where Muslims lived. And they prayed for our safety and sound. Sowegot toIndia.

Everyone knows that the climate and weather conditions in all countries are different. Our brothers could not get used to 50 degree heat. Since they had to drink a lot of water, they were infected with various infectious diseases. Thus losing a large number of their people, they wrote a letter to Turkish government, asking for political asylum in Turkey. A thousand of Kazakhs who have lived in India for more than 10 years, but couldn’t get used for the local climate, moved to vast lands of Anatolia.

Yrysbay Tiyanakuly, Kazakh living in Germany

- In 1953 we got from Karachi to Basir and from Basir to Istanbul. We had lived in Istanbul for 2 years. Then we were allocated to different cities. We were settled in Kayser, Nida, Manisa, Sareli, Salihli and Aksaray.

After signing the agreement on labor migration between Turkey and Germany in 1960 many Kazakh people living at that time in Turkey began to move to Germany. This is the first picture of Yrysbay ata made in Germany 50 years ago. In the beginning he moved to Germany by himself and left his family in Turkey. Thirty years old man along with German language learnt several professions. A year later he moved his family to Germany.

Abdulgafar Shokbilyan, Kazakh living in Germany

- On July 9, 1982when our center was officially opened, there were only 12-13 Kazakh families here. I directed the center for 15 years. But as time passed, Kazakh families grew and now there live about 125 Kazakh families in Cologne.

Abdulgafar Shokbilyan’s family are in awe of the Kazakh cultures and traditions which have been left by the ancestors. Together with his wife, as an example for younger generation, he is celebrating weddings of his children following national customs, and sundet celebrations of his grandchildren.  All the clothes which his family wear for the holidays he sews from Kazakh designers. All items and furniture in the house are made in national style. The guests notice distinctive arrangement of the house where many skillfully made national-applied products, such as horse harness.

Today about 500 Kazakhs live in Cologne. Our compatriots live here very well, they are totally socially affluent citizens of Germany. Due to the fact that our brothers came here primarily to work, many of them have no special education. But today the number of people who want to get higher education is growing from year to year. Especially the number of Kazakh students who want to study in the field of Dentistry, Engineering, Economics is growing. The graduates successfully work in various governmental and industrial organizations. Also among Kazakh people there are scholars of the science. Many of our compatriots work in the automotive factory “Ford” for 25-30 years. This plant is one of the leading factories of the city. Germans are distinguished by their hard working and responsible approach to work.  Thus our countrymen have no difference from their counterparts and are also very competent staff.

The city administration provides everything needed open private businesses. Orhan Begayy moved from Turkey to Germany with his parents in 1967. After graduating from Cologne school he learned the basics of many trades and took great experience. Thinking about the future of his children in 1995 he opened his business. Orhan today owns a large car dealership. The owner of car dealership sells 150 cars a year and contributes to economic development in Germany. At first he sold cars in Germany and neighboring countries. Today he works with all the countries of the world.

Cologne is a major industrial and cultural center of Germany. Many historical and cultural monuments were destroyed during the Second World War. Only Cologne Cathedral remained remains intact. Now this magnificent cathedral is the main symbol of the city. Industrious Germans regained almost all the buildings destroyed during the war. Cologne is a tourist center which is visited by thousands of tourists. But a person can only have one home. Despite the fact that our brothers are living in such a beautiful city, they have strong nostalgia for their homeland. In Cologne there live Kazakhs who can only dream about visiting their homeland. They imagine how they walk in vast Kazakh steppes, how they feel the smell of fresh grass and listen dombyra.  Kazakhs who live in German city Cologne wish their Kazakh brothers success and prosperity in the country.

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