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Official Announcement

I am pleased to inform you that the 51st International Mathematical Olympiad IMO 2010, will be held in Astana Kazakhstan, from 2nd to 14th July 2010. The contest will take place on 7 th and 8th July.
On behalf of the Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Kazakhstan, it is my great pleasure to invite your country to participate in the 51st International Mathematical Olympiad. Your team will stay in a sunny and hospitable country. You will visit the unique region, place of 80 lakes: Borovoye. We hope you will enjoy the atmosphere of the young Euroasian capital and take home some unforgettable memories.
According to the IMO 2010 Regulations, you may send a team, which consists of up to six students, born on or after 9th July 1990 and not enrolled at any university or equivalent post-secondary institution, as well as one leader and one deputy team leader. The regulations of the 51st IMO (including the terms and conditions for this event) will be available on the IMO 2010 website: http://www.imo2010org.kz.
All official expenses for the team, including meals and accommodation from 2-14th July 2010 for leaders, and from 5 to 14th , July 2010 for students and deputy leaders, will be covered by the IMO 2010 Organizing Committee. The cost of travel to and from Astana and obligatory insurance coverage for the entire delegation will be at your country’s expense. Observers and family members may accompany the team, but they are responsible for their own expenses.
If you accept this invitation, please send a letter of your confirmation and postal address to send you the official invitation:

IMO 2010 Secretariat
The Republican Scientific Practical Center «Daryn»
Pobedy avenue, 60
010011 Astana, Kazakhstan
Fax:+7 (7172)317996

I sincerely hope that your country will be able to participate in the 51st International Mathematical Olympiad. We look forward to welcoming your delegation to Kazakhstan.

Yours sincerely, Minister of Education and Science of the Republic of Kazakhstan

Zh. Tuimebayev

Astana – capital city of Kazakhstan

2009-07-28 23:18:18

Astana – capital city of Kazakhstan

In 1997 President of sovereign Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev proposed to remove the capital of the country from Almaty to Astana. This decision was conditioned by important geopolitical location of the city – in the very heart of Kazakhstan and Eurasian continent, with necessary transport and communication infrastructure. Presence of unoccupied lands for the development of the city played a key role in choosing the new capital. In 1998 the new capital of Kazakhstan was given a new name – Astana which is referred to “capital” in the Kazakh language. Astana has turned into an epicenter of political, social and cultural life of the nation.

Whole world built Astana

The young capital of Kazakhstan is a symbol of creativity and progress of its people. 71 cities of the world, 432 leading construction companies contributed to building Astana. 135 plants supplied construction materials to the Kazakh capital. Along with the local firms, the new capital was erected by Turkish, Italian, French and Swiss companies. 60-100 medium and large projects have been put into commission annually. Rapid paces of construction and nationwide support allowed to build a modern city with a unique image and style amid vast steppes of Kazakhstan over 10 years.

Astana was built by best architects of world

On President Nursultan Nazarbayev’s initiative Astana should have Eurasian image. This idea was taken into consideration while developing the city’s architectural concept. Famous Japanese architect, outstanding theorist Kisho Kurokawa is the author of the “Astana Master Plan for the New Capital of Kazakhstan”. Other works by K. Kurokawa include: the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, Kuala-Lumpur International Airport and Osaka National Museum of Ethnology and Zenith Stadium in Saint Petersburg. Architectural ensembles created by K. Kurokawa represent mixture of modern design and Asian color. This gives the city a unique image. To date Astana can be compared with Tokyo, New York and Dubai. Astana has become a polygon of ideas for other famous architect – Norman Foster, acknowledged leader of architecture in high-tech style. Norman Foster is the author of Millennium Bridge in London, Beijing’s largest airport, the highest sky-scraper in Europe. Foster reconstructed Bundestag building in Berlin, Commerzbank in Frankfurt-am-Main, Wembley Stadium in London. He erected famous Hearst Tower in New York. London’s Swiss Re Skyscraper was also designed by N. Foster. Norman Foster is the author of the projects of Palace of Peace and Reconciliation and Khan Shatyry entertainment center in Astana.

Astana – part of Kazakhstan brand

In July 1999 Astana was awarded a special prize of UNESCO “City of Peace”. It was also highly evaluated by Moody’s Investors Service in 2003. The young capital became an important part of “Kazakhstan brand”. It has all grounds to join 30 best cities of the world. The modern capital of Kazakhstan grows and changes, becomes more attractive for the Kazakhstan citizens and foreign guests. Modern architectural style in which best European and Oriental traditions are combined fully reflects the image of the new capital as an economic, political and cultural centre. Astana became a unifying idea for Kazakhstan people that helped to burst Kazakhstan forward in its economic development. Future of Kazakhstan is intimately connected with the future of Astana which has recently been perceived as a “new capital”, but today it is an integral part of the new image of Kazakhstan in the XXI century.

Astana sightseeing

Water-Green Boulevard
Water-Green Boulevard is a pedestrian bridge situated on the main axis of Astana administrative center. The author of the project is Kisho Kurokawa. The bridge is one of major parts of a composition of the capital’s centre. The boulevard consists of three levels. The lower level provides for a parking for 400 cars. The second floor consists of a double-height gallery around which exhibition halls, shops and offices are concentrated. The third floor is a street with artificial grass and ornamental trees, small architectural ensembles and fountains.

Duman Entertainment Centre

Duman Entertainment Centre began its activity in May, 2003. The centre presents a unique complex with an Aquarium, 3D Motion Theatre, “Jungles” attraction, bowling, multifunctional hall, hotel as well as a network of cafes, trade halls and children’s playground. Duman is popular both among adults and children. The volume of water in the Aquarium is 3 mln litres. More than 2,000 of sea inhabitants representing 100 species of sea fauna from different parts of the world live there: sea-stars, sea-horses, bright coral fish and actiniae. Connoisseurs of history will be interested in a Dome Room which serves as a museum platform. Here one can see models of Kazakhstan and foreign countries’ sightseeing, like a fragment of the Khoja Akhmet Yassawi Mausoleum built in the XV century, a copy of the statue of the “Golden Man”, Independence Monument of Kazakhstan and a model of a rocket from viewing site of Baikonur space center. There are also models of an ancient settlement, a monument of unity of Saks nations, “Kazakhstan” fountain, a model of America’s Statue of Liberty, a wigwam – North American Indians’ homes and a fragment of the Great Chinese Wall.

“Nur Astana” Central Mosque and Beit Rachel Synagogue

Principles of tolerance, humanitarian and religious cooperation and respect for freedom of conscience and religion inherent to modern Kazakhstan are reflected in two unique religious buildings which decorated the left bank of the city: “Nur Astana” Central Mosque and Beit Rachel Synagogue. Central golden dome and four gold-capped minarets of “Nur Astana” Mosque harmoniously complement the white marble exterior. The project was finished and officially opened by the President in 2005. Inside, Kazakh artists have done a great job of painting the pastel-toned interior and prayers are held five times a day. The area of the Mosque is 4 000 sq m. 5 000 believers can pray inside, while 2 000 parishioners can pray on the square outside. The minarets of 62 m height each symbolize eternity and the domes covered with aluminum with gold do not let the administrative part of the city forget about soul. Beit Rachel Synagogue, the largest synagogue in Kazakhstan and Central Asia, was opened in Astana on September 7, 2004. Its total area comprises 5 600 sq m. The building was erected on the coast of the Akbulak River between the Eurasian National University and a beautiful housing complex. The Beit Rachel Synagogue was built during two and a half years.

Batygay indoor city

Batygai is “a city under roof” with the area of more than 2 mln sq m. The project is named in honor of an ancient capital of Kazakhstan. The complex will include a school, a hospital, offices, a trade center, a water park, an entertainment complex, a sports centre, SPA centers and a cinema. Along the perimeter of the project there will be houses. Over 10 000 people are expected to live and be served there. Besides, the tent will recreate summer the year round. Residents of the complex will swim in pools and rest on beaches even when temperature outside is below zero.

Circus

The building of the circus in the form of UFO is remarkable since externally the circus is not similar to any other building of Astana. Inside there is an arena of diameter of 13 meters, and 2000 places for visitors.

Astana circus combines a unique architectural idea with high technological equipment, ergonomics of internal design and advanced infrastructure. But its main achievement is its staff. It gathered most talented young people from every corner of the republic. The program of the circus is various enough: clowns, acrobats, jugglers, equilibrists. Among animals there are lions, camels, a pony, dogs, a monkey, and a bear cub. From time to time guest performers come here, and the group of the Astana circus periodically goes on performances abroad. The circus is situated on the left bank of the city.

“Baldauren” – the Island of Children’s Dreams!

2010-05-05 16:58:27

“Baldauren” – the Island of Children’s Dreams! Contest will take place in “Baldauren” which is situated 240 km from Astana.”Baldauren” is a national educational and recreational activities Center created on behalf of President of Republic of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbaev in 2000. “Baldauren” is located in one of the most picturesque parts of Kazakhstan, in Borovoye resort area on the shore of Lake Shchuchye.

The SNNP “Burabay” was established in August, 2000 and it is under the supervision of the Administration of Presidential Affairs. The territory of SNNP “Burabai” is a part of the Kokshetau steppe, a mixed steppe and forest and hilly upland. The climate is extreme continental here, with hot summers and severe winters. The topography of the territory consists of lowlands, hills and plains.

Burabay (Borovoe) National Nature Park In the north of Akmola region the SNNP “Burabay” is located. This resort pearl of Kazakhstan is a fantastic mountain land harboring mysterious wonders. Gorgeous pine forests, cliffs formed of neat gigantic natural bricks, and fantastical shapes of peaks resembling sometimes exotic, sometimes Egyptian pointed pyramids separated by serene lakes. Although Burabay Park does not have any artifacts on its territory, every rock here has its own legend. Nature has generously scattered precious gifts from its mineral treasury around the Burabay area. Among them is Okzhetpes cliff (“Inaccessible even to Arrows”) with a peak resembling an elephant calf, and the creek of the Bun with Zhumbaktas cliff (“Riddle-stone”) resembling a mysterious sphinx with severe fearless features. There are 14 lakes on the territory of the park, each of which has an area of more than 1 km, and there are a great many smaller lakes. The river network is sparse and consists only of small rivers, springs and temporary channels. The largest lakes are Bolshoye Chebachye and Maloye Chebachye, Shchuchye and Borovoye.

Plant life on park territory is represented by forest, steppe, meadow, marsh and salt marsh species. The flora comprises about 800 species. There are 305 vertebrate animal species.

On the territory of SNNP “Burabay” are 35 permanent recreation facilities. The current landscape of the park is represented by steppe, lake, forest and forest and steppe and lowlands. Borovoye (Burabay) Lake is situated in the territory of the Shuchinsky district of Kokshetau oblast in the eastern foothills of Kokshe Mountain. Its territory is 10.5 sq. km, length is 4.5 km, width is 3.9 km; average depth is 4.5 m, and maximum depth is 7 m. The shore line is 13.6 km and water area is 164 sq. km. The bowl of the lake is almost round, and its bottom level; the southern shores are rocky, and the eastern shores are sandy. The water in the lake is soft and still, and one can see to the deepest bottom of the lake. Borovoye Lake is separated by mountain ranges from the closest lakes (Big and Small Chebiache, Shuche, Kotyrkol, Zhukei, etc.). The island “Zhumbaktas” is situated in the northwestern part of the lake at a height of 20 m above the water. The cliffs and capes of the northwestern and southern coasts (Kyzyltas, Gorky, etc.) create a unique landscape. The shores are overgrown with pine and birch forests.

The combination of mountains, pine forests and lakes creates special climate conditions in the natural boundary. Medicinal health resort complexes (sanatoriums “Borovoye” and “Okzhetpes”; rest house “Blue Gulf”, etc.) are some of the best in the country and built on the eastern coast between the Sarybulak and Gromotukha rivers. There are medicinal mud and mineral springs. The beauty of the nature of Borovoye is proclaimed in Seifulin’s poem “Kokshetau” and in Mukanov’s novel “Botagoz”.

The legend of Borovoye There are many legends and stories about Borovoye. “When God was creating the world, one of the nations received the lands rich of forests, another got fertile fields with large rivers, and the third got the beautiful mountains and blue lakes. But the Kazakh ended up with only feather-grass steppe. This offended him and he asked God to endow him with some natural beauty. God took the mountains, rocks, beautiful pine and deciduous forests, blue lakes with pure water, and emerald fields covered with grasses and flowers from his korzhyn and spread them with a bountiful hand into the boundless steppes. It was the appearance of Borovoye; of one of the most picturesque places in Kazakhstan, which for its beauty and rare harmonic combination of mountains, forests, lakes, and unique flora and fauna received the poetic name “The pearl of Kazakhstan”.

Borovoye is also the name of a health resort, which is situated in the Shuchinsky district of Kokshetau Region, 20 km from the station of Borovoye Resort (in the town of Shuchinsk). From the north it is surrounded by the Kokshetau Mountains at a height of 974 m above sea level, covered with birch forests. In the neighboring of the resort are such interesting rocks and cliffs as: “Okzhetpes”, “Sphinx”, “Cow”, “Sleeping knight”, and “Knight”. The first private health resort was opened here in 1910. Average temperature in January is -16’C, in July is +19’C. Atmospheric precipitation is up to 400 mm, with about 2000 sunny hours per year. The main medicinal remedies here are fresh air and picturesque views.

Borovoye Lake is the beauty and pride of this area, featuring a variety of sanitariums, camping sites and resorts, with crowded shores and all the attributes of resort life: restaurants, beaches, stores and dance halls. Across the small mountain isthmus you can get from Borovoye Lake to Bolshoe Chebach Lake. It is perfect for lovers of unhurried and “wild” recreation, who prefer camping and contact with nature. From the top of Mt. Sinyukha (“Kokchetau”, 961 m), the highest in the vicinity, opens a panoramic view of the lake, as big as a sea, stretching almost to the end of the horizon. The Burabai National Park system also contains the big Lake Shchuchye and many smaller lakes. One can not be help but mention the lakes of Borovoye. There are many Lakes Shychie, Borovoye, Big and Small Chebachie, and Koturkul glitter on the green atlas of the forest.

The small lakes Svetloye, Karasye, Gornoye, Lebedinoye can be seen from the Kokchetau Cliffs. The visiting card of Borovoye is the Blue Bay on the lake of the same name. Right out of the waters of the bay, Mount Zhumbaktas (Mystery, Sphinx) soars.

Contest Location and Time

Contest Location and Time. The two IMO 2010 contests will be held on Wednesday and Thursday, 7 and 8 July 2010. Students arrive at 8:30 at the contest site. The contest is scheduled to start at 9:00 and lasts 4 hours 30 minutes. Each day, students are given three problems in up to two languages of their choice.

Examination Tools. Contestants may bring their personal writing and drawing instruments such as pens, pencils, erasers, pencil sharpeners, rulers and compasses into the examination room. Not permitted are calculators (including watches with built-in calculators), mobile phones, electronic devices, protractors, briefcases, backpacks, toys, books, notes, tables, papers or any other written material. You may also bring your personal food or drinks (provided they do not make noise when consumed) and, if necessary, a small talisman (small enough so as to fit into one hand of yours). Any personal utensils that you wish to bring into the contest room should be inside the transparent plastic bags that are given to you by the team guides.

Finding Your Workplace. Guides and invigilators will help you find your workplace. Find your workplace and remain seated quietly. Remain seated until after the exam. If you want to leave your seat because you need to go to the toilet, or because you want to finish the contest early, you must first consult the invigilators (use the red or yellow cards as described below).

When all contestants are seated, invigilators will hand out the individual competition folders. Please check that you received the folder marked with your contestant code.

DO NOT OPEN THE FOLDER BEFORE INSTRUCTED TO DO SO.

Your folder will contain the following:

1. the contest problems in up to two languages as previously requested; 2. 20 sheets of paper (answer forms) to do your work; 3. one sheet of paper for asking a question to the jury; 4. three colored problem folders, to collect solution sheets for one problem; 5. five colored cards:

white: to request more paper

yellow: to ask a question to the jury (during initial 30 minutes only)

blue: to request water

green: if you need to go to the toilet

red: if you need help or want to stop working early (not during last 30 min)

Announcements. The following announcements or communications will be made during the contest.

Before the contest: announcement “Remain seated quietly and do not open the contest folders before you are told to do so”. At 0 hours 00 minutes working time: announcement “You may now open the folders and start to work” After 0 hours 25 minutes: yellow signs with “5 mins” will be displayed by invigilators, indicating that you have five minutes left to ask questions to the jury (no announcement). After 4 hours 00 minutes: green signs with “30 minutes” will be displayed by invigilators, indicating that you have thirty minutes left for solutions. You may no longer leave the room. After 4 hours 25 minutes: yellow signs with “5 minutes” will be displayed by invigilators, indicating that you have five minutes left for solutions. After 4 hours 30 minutes: announcement “Please stop work immediately. Put your solution sheets into the respective colored folders, sorted by problem, and all three solution folders into the white folder. Please remain seated until you are requested to leave the room”. The elapsed time will be visible throughout the contest hall.

Writing Your Solutions. Write your solutions and rough work on the answer forms. You will get more paper if necessary (white cards). Do not write on the back of the paper. Fill in your contestant code, problem number and page number on each answer form as you use it. You must work on your own and submit your solutions in your language. Your work will be scanned and copied in black and white, so please use blue or black ink or a very dark black pencil.

In case you need more paper, please show your white card. An invigilator will give you five (5) more sheets of paper.

Questions to the Jury. During the first 30 minutes of the contest, you may submit written questions to the jury. These should be written in your own language on the query form provided. Once your question is ready, raise your yellow card and an invigilator will collect it and send it to the jury. The jury will decide whether, and how, the question will be answered, and afterwards the answer will be communicated back to you. Depending on the number of questions, this may take some time. Five minutes before the end of the question period, there will be an announcement (5 min card).

Other Needs or Requests. If you need more water, raise your blue card. In case you have to go to the toilet, show your green card (not during the last 30 minutes of the contest). In case of emergency or illness raise your red card to receive help.

At the End of the Exam. Once the end of the examination is announced, stop writing immediately. Sort your work by problem number and put the solutions for each problem into the appropriate problem folder (colored). Put the three problem folders inside the large white folder, leave it closed on your table and remain silent and seated until the invigilators have collected all the folders. Do not put any blank sheet inside the folders. Unused sheets should be left on the table outside the folders. Any written paper not included in the folders will be destroyed.

Early Termination of the Contest. In case you finish your work during the first four hours (before the last 30 minutes are announced) you may show your red HELP card to tell the invigilators that you have finished and you want to leave the room. After leaving the examination room you will not be allowed to return to it that day. During the last 30 minutes you cannot leave the contest room before the regular work period is over; if you finish during this period, wait quietly in your place until the end. Also, you will not be allowed to leave the room during the first 30 minutes.

What to Take Out of the Room. Apart from the contest problems, you are not allowed to take out of the room any materials other than those that you brought in your plastic bag. Specifically, do not take with you any blank or written answer sheet, query form or colored card. Improper Behavior. In the interest of a successful IMO 2010, contestants are expected work quietly without disturbing others, and of course respecting the obligation to work on their own. They need to follow these instructions and rules. In case of violations, the Chief Invigilator may issue a warning, report incidents to the jury for further action, or take other suitable action to maintain the integrity of the competition.

The organizers of the 51st IMO 2010 wish you good luck!

Kazakh cuisine

2009-07-28 23:35:07

Kazakh cuisine traditionally revolves around meat as well as various milk products. Delicious meat products kazy, shuzhuk, zhal, zhaya and karta are made from horse meat. Kumys, shubat and airan are traditional drinks. Tea with milk has been the most popular drink of the Kazakhs. The cooking techniques and major ingredients have been strongly influenced by the nation’s nomadic way of life. For example, most cooking techniques are aimed at long-term preservation of food. Any feast in the Kazakh family usually started with dairy drinks – kumys, shubat or airan. Then comes tea with milk, baursaks, raisins, irimshik and kurt. After then delicatessen are brought – kazy, shuzhuk, zhal, zhaya. Kuyrdak is the only hot snack in the Kazakh cuisine. However beshbarmak remains the most favorite dish of the Kazakh people. The feast is finalized with a dessert abounding in all sorts of sweetmeats.

National traditions and holidays of the Kazakh people

2009-07-28 23:28:23

National traditions and holidays of the Kazakh people

National traditions of the Kazakhs spring from pagan cultural traditions of the Great Steppe. With the spread of Islam the Kazakhs adopted main religious holidays and traditions of the Arabic East which changed later incorporating local peculiarities. Kazakh rituals and traditional holidays impress by their color, rich content and full expression of the soul of the Kazakh people – openness, hospitality and aspiration to live in harmony with the surrounding world.

Wedding ceremony

Wedding ceremony of the Kazakh people fully reflects the above-mentioned features of its character. Like many other nations Kazakhs believed in mystical essence of marriage. They used to say: “Three things cannot be guessed in life: the person whom you will enter into marriage with, sex of future child and date of death”. People believed that union of man and woman had been prescribed long before their birth. The process of wedding was divided into several stages; each of them was accompanied by a number of traditions and rituals. The first stage of the wedding ceremony was matchmaking. It started from a preliminary collusion. With this aim the future bridegroom’s father sent a matchmaker (his relative or the most respected person in aul) to the bride’s father. Kazakhs used to send matchmakers on “happy day” – Wednesday or Thursday. If the bride’s father gave his consent on marriage, the sides agreed on the size of the bride-price – kalyn mal – and the order of its payment. From this moment on the preparation of the dowry was set into motion in the bride’s home. After the payment of the kalynmal, the bridegroom made his first official visit (uryn baru) to the bride’s aul and brought presents in korzhyn (a big bag) to the bride’s parents and relatives. These were expensive clothes for the relatives and sweets for the children. Besides, the bridegroom’s parents sent a mare to their new matchmakers. Crossing the threshold of his father-in-law’s house the bridegroom had to bow three times – to old women, father and mother of the bride. The bride’s mother gave him a bowl of milk and blessed him. Some of the women threw shashu – candies, dried fruits, sweets – on the bridegroom. This ceremony was called esik ashu (door opening) Kazakhs preferred to marry their daughters and sons in autumn or in the end of summer when the month of Ramadan passed. The wedding ceremony was held first in the bride’s house then in the bridegroom’s aul. Neke qiyu is an important religious part of the wedding ceremony . Usually it took place before the couple’s first wedding night, but sometimes it was held after all ceremonies and wedding night. Neke qiyu was held in the yurt of the bride’s father or in a special yurt. Mullah (teacher of Islam) briefly recited some verses from the Quran and asked the couple to confess the faith of Islam. After then the couple drank water from one bowl. They usually added salt and sugar in water which symbolized happy future of the newlyweds.

Nauryz holiday

Nauryz Meiramy (Nauryz Holiday) is the most momentous, long-expected and favorite holiday of the Kazakh people. Nauryz is the holiday of birth of spring, renovation of nature. In fact, it is a New Year’s Eve which coincides with the day of spring equinox according to the ancient Oriental calendar. Nauryz is also called as Ulys Kuni (The first day of the New Year) or Ulystyn Uly Kuni (The Great Day of the nation). Nauryz symbolizes spring renovation, triumph of love, fertility and friendship. When the holiday comes, Kazakhs put on festive clothes, pay visits to each other, exchange congratulations, best wishes of well-being and good luck in the coming year. Celebration of Nauryz is accompanied with all-round joy, games, horse-races and various amusements. Traditionally they cook and roast and make all sorts of tasty meals during the holidays, for they should symbolize well-being and abundance in the coming year. Nauryz Kozhe is the major ritual drink of the holiday. The drink is made from 7 ingredients symbolizing 7 elements of life: water, meat, salt, fat, flour and cereals (rice, corn or wheat) and milk. They symbolize joy, success, wisdom, health, well-being, speed, growth and God’s protection. When Kazakhs celebrate Nauryz, presence of the figure of “7” is indispensable – it embodies 7 days of the week – time units of universal eternity. They put 7 bowls with Nauryz Kozhe in front of aksakals (“white beards” or old men). On this day every Kazakh should visit 7 houses and invite 7 guests. On Nauryz Kazakhs congratulate each other with the word “Koktem tudy!” (Spring came!). Thousands of people enjoy akyns’ (poets) contests – aitys, national sports competitions – kazakhsha kures (wrestling), togyz kumalak – and horse races. During the Soviet period celebration of Nauryz was forbidden. Since 1923 till 1988 the nation was deprived of this wonderful holiday. In 2001 Nauryz (March, 22) was announced an official holiday and non-working day.

Kazakh dastarkhan

The word “dastarkhan” can be translated as a low table served with various viands. Kazakh dastarkhan has a long history of its own, its traditions and rituals inherent to Kazakh nation only known for a quite particular manner of receiving and serving guests. Dastarkhan is a symbol of hospitality, amiability, home-like atmosphere. It is the place where everybody is welcome. Kazakh traditions provide for respectful attitude to the guests who were honored to sit at the top of the table (tor). The Kazakh people have never been particularly interested in riches or wealth. They accept each other as friends, and always serve their guests as if they were gods. Festive dastarkhan impresses with its richness and abundance. Yurts were erected in auls (villages) where toi (feast) was held. Women used to process kumys and shubat. Meat was cooked in large pans – taikazans. The number of the guests was not limited. Any person going by such aul could stay there as long as he wished and take part in the feast. Konakasy is the name of the tastiest food (usually meat) offered to a guest. There was a tradition to come to toi with a present – shashu (kurt, baursaks, sweets and cookies). In special occasions, like at birth of a long-awaited child, Kazakhs slaughtered a white camel and cooked different dishes from its meat. This ritual is called “ak tuyenin karny zharyldy”. Sogym is a kind of cattle meat which the Kazakh people would eat in the winter. On the day of livestock slaughter (usually horse) the hosts invited their relatives, neighbors and friends to try the dish. Zhol ayak is a ritual providing for treatment of the neighbors before the host’s long journey. Yerulik. The word yerulik stands for “following the arrived”. It has a deep meaning. It is well-known that herdsmen constantly followed their animals and moved from space to space – from winter camps to spring pastures, from summer pastures to autumn fields. Usually in summer many auls chose one and the same place to settle for its green grass and clean water. Some people arrived there earlier, some of them –later. Those who settled earlier would treat the next people to arrive at the dastarkhan. Treating the newcomers gave the latter an opportunity to have a rest and eat something before their yurts would be erected. Until today Kazakhs have adhered to the proverb “Korshi hakysy, tanir hakysy” (Neighbor’s wish is the God’s wish)

Dastarkhan rituals
A person to Kazakhs is a whole Universe that deserves understanding and respect. That is why, perhaps, the culture of treating one at the table is closely linked with the traditions of mutual help and support for one another.

Beshbarmak is the most popular Kazakh dish. First they cover a round or an oval dish with small round flat pieces of boiled paste followed by small bars of boiled meat. Then comes onion cut in rings and scalded with hot broth; all this strewn with a green mixture of fennel, parsley and coriander. The most honored guest is usually offered a boiled sheep’s head – koi basy. The guest is to dress it and distribute among the other participants of the dastarkhan. Each part of the head is attached particular significance and meaning: young men are treated with ears for them to be attentive, girls – with a palate (it is believed that this would make them more diligent). Thus the guest cuts meat in small pieces and shares it with the others. Here too one has to mind certain habits and superstitions. For instance, hipbone and crust are offered to most honored guests while the breastbone goes to the son-in-law or daughter-in-law, cervical vertebra – to married women, pregnant ones first and foremost. Certain bans are also to be observed. Thus even the most honored guest may not be treated with a “koi-basy” if his father is present at the table. Children may not be offered brains (they might become weak-willed), just as an elbow bone – to a young girl (she might be “left on the shelf”). Adopted sons were treated with tibia. Low round table (ustel) covered with a cloth was a traditional dinner table of the Kazakhs. Nowadays this table is used mostly in rural areas. They sit on felt pillars or blankets. Tea is usually poured by daughter-in-law who sits by samovar. Kazakhs carefully guard women, future mothers and cook their favorite dish. Young women are treated with tibia, brisket, older women are given hipbone and other parts. Daughters-in-law are treated special dish – betashar tabak.

Laying dastarkhan

Kazakh dishware is remarkable for various traditional ornaments and paintings. Kumys was poured in a big bowl decorated with silver or in small painted bowls. Meat was put on a wooden dish with wide edges. Breadstuffs were painted with juice of various grapes. Tea was poured in small drinking bowls – kese. Astau – wooden container – was used for dough making. Dairy drinks airan, shubat and kumys were brought in special bowls – tegene. Wooden ladles (ozhaus) were usually decorated with sliver, bone or carving. Every family had wooden spoons which were called kasyk. Sapty ayak is a wooden bowl with a handle. For removing dishware there was used ayakkap – felt or wooden cover. Foodstuffs and dishware and other household items were kept in kebezhe – a wooden cupboard decorated with carving, paintings, silver or bone. Wood was also used for making buckets, tubs (kubi), mortars (keli) with pestles (pispek). As for metal dishware, cast iron pots, kazans, were widely spread. Kazans were of different sizes. Tea was normally boiled in copper or cast iron jugs – kumgan, more prosperous families had samovars. Big dinner dish is called tabak. In ancient times it was made of wood and decorated with different ornaments in the bottom and edges. There were four types of tabak – main, middle, honorary (for special guests) and small. It should be noted that certain parts of carcass were put in each tabak. For instance, they put koi-basy and hipbone in the main and honorary tabaks, tibia – in middle and other parts of carcass – in small ones. Leather dishware and household items were also widely used in the Kazakhs’ everyday life. Thus, saba – a cone-shaped bag made of horse leather – was used for preparing kumys and butter.

Kazakh tea ceremony

The part tea plays in the Kazakh dastarkhan is altogether remarkable. Tea is brewed in a special porcelain teapot – akkuman. Water is boiled in samovar. Kazakhs say the tea brewed in water from samovar has a peculiar taste. Traditionally it is only up to girls and women to pour the tea. And they do this wonderfully though it is far from easy. For one should see to it that the guests’ drinking bowls be always full, there must be no confusing them, there must be no remains of tea leaves on the edge of the bowls. Even if the guest gives to understand that he has already quenched his thirst he must not be left unattended – the hostess must offer him a so-called syi-ayak – a tea bowl of honor. Tea is normally accompanied with cream, butter, jam, dried and fresh fruit, nuts, cakes, other sweetmeats. Kazakh dastarkhan not only satisfies your thirst and hunger, but it is a philosophy of hospitality, family and social relations. People learn much about one another at a dastarkhan. And the word “hospitality” means not only a heart meal accompanied by merrymaking and laughter: it means above all a cordial conversation with the guest.

Schedule

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February 16th, Thursday
The online registration procedure starts at the IMO-official site

March 31st, Wednesday
Last day to accept online the official invitation to participate.

April 30th, Friday
Last day for the receipt of the problem proposals.

April 30th, Friday
Last day for the online registration of leaders, deputy leaders and observers.

May 31st, Monday
Last day for the online registration of contestants.

June 10th, Tuesday
Last day for the online submission of arrival and departure details.

The International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO)

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The International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO) is the World Championship Mathematics Competition for High School students. The first IMO was held in 1959, hosted by Romania, with seven countries participating: Hungary, Bulgaria, Poland, Czechoslovakia, East Germany and USSR. Since then, the participating countries have taken turns in hosting it.The number of participating countries increased to 97 countries from all continents in the 49th IMO. When the IMO first began, each country was allowed up to eight participants. In 1982, this was scaled back to four members, but in 1983 the number was increased to six, which is where it still stands. The contestants must be no more than 20 years old and must not have any post secondary-school education. There is no limit to how many times a person may participate in the IMO, provided the individual meets the age and schooling requirements. The usual size of an official delegation to an IMO is (a maximum of) six students, along with the Leader and Deputy Leader. The student competitor writes two contest papers on consecutive days, with three problems on each day. Each question is worth seven marks. Only a whole number of marks are given. Each invited country can send in up to six problems for consideration for the final competition papers. These submissions are reviewed by the host country’s problem selection committee, and a short list of about thirty questions is made. The choice of the questions on the actual competition papers is made by the International Jury. The International Jury consists of the Chief Delegate (Leader) from each participating country, together with the Chairman named by the host country. Decisions are made by a simple majority vote. The official languages of the IMO are English, French, German and Russian. Since Spanish is spoken in a large number of participating countries, it has become an unofficial “official” language. In recent years, English has been the working language of the International Jury, with the other official languages available whenever required. The International Jury members receive the short list of questions on arrival at the sequestered site. They review these problems and then meet to discuss which problems will be included. An honour system requires delegates to identify any suggested problems that are well known, in text books, or have been used in training programs. Some problems are eliminated as too easy or too hard. After thorough debate, the six problems are chosen, and their wording in all the official languages is agreed. The team leaders translate the problems into all further languages required by their contestants. After that all papers, in all languages, are inspected by all members of the International Jury, to ensure that all translations are appropriate. Meanwhile, the Deputy Leaders and Contestants have arrived at the venue. The Opening Ceremony is held, and the Contest takes place the following two days. Each Contestant has to solve 3 problems within 4½ hours in each of the two days in his/her own language. After the Contest, the Leaders and Deputy Leaders evaluate the solutions of their contestants and hold coordination sessions in order to ensure that the marking has been done correctly and consistently. During these days, the participants enjoy a varied enternainment programme including excursions and games.

The last day is for the Closing Ceremony, and the Gold, Silver, and Bronze medals will be awarded for excellent performances. The International Mathematical Olympiad is an individual competition. Medals are awarded to at most half of the participating students. Gold, Silver and Bronze medals are awarded in the ratio of 1:2:3, so that about 1/12 of the students obtain a Gold Medal, about 1/6 of the students obtain a Silver Medal and about 1/4 of the students obtain a Bronze medal. In order to encourage more students, and to encourage students to solve complete problems, recent practice has awarded a Certificate of Honourable Mention to any student (not receiving a medal) who obtained full marks for at least one problem.

Programme 51st International Mathematical Olympiad

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Programme 51st International Mathematical Olympiad (Astana, Kazakhstan, 2010)

Date Leaders Deputy Leaders Contestants
Friday 2.07.2010 Arrival    
Saturday 3.07.2010 Jury meeting    
Sunday 4.07.2010 Jury meeting    
Monday 5.07.2010 Jury meeting Arrival Arrival
Tuesday 6.07.2010 Opening ceremony
Tuesday 6.07.2010   Departure to the Republican Educational and Practical Center «Baldauren»
Wednesday 7.07.2010 Q & A First day of contest First day of contest
Thursday 8.07.2010 Q & A Second day of contest Second day of contest
Friday 9.07.2010 Coordination Coordination Excursion
Saturday 10.07.2010 Coordination Coordination Excursion
Sunday 11.07.2010 Last jury meeting Last jury meeting Excursion
Monday 12.07.2010 Excursion
Tuesday 13.07.2010 Closing Ceremony / Farewell Dinner
Wednesday 14.07.2010 Departure

30 June – 1 July 2010 – arrival and survey of places by IMO AB members IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR TEAM LEADERS Jury meetings of IMO 2010 from July 2 to July 5, 2010, will be held in Almaty, another city of Kazakhstan. So we kindly ask team leaders and observers A to come directly to Almaty and, if it is possible, to leave Kazakhstan from Astana. The RSPC “Daryn” will provide transferring of all team leaders and observers A from Almaty to Astana on July 6, 2010.