Damira+Kulzhanbekova%2C+junior%2C+identifies+as+Kazakh+and+moved+from+Russia+two+years+ago.

Media by Lauren Pickett

Damira Kulzhanbekova, junior, identifies as Kazakh and moved from Russia two years ago.

Damira Kulzhanbekova, junior

Damira Kulzhanbekova, junior, identifies as Kazakh. She, along with her immediate family, moved from Russia two years ago where she was raised in a communal setting in Moscow. Her mother is from Kazakhstan and her father’s nationality is Russian and Tatar. Kulzhanbekova said she eats a variety of traditional Russian food and Kazakh meals like beef pilaf.

“Whenever we celebrate a holiday with family and friends, we will make a huge dish called Beshbarmak. It’s made of meat, pasta and flour. I remember we would all make it with our own hands. We would all sit together and we would all talk and eat. It could be hundreds of us. This was very nice and comforting. You’re all together and can hear each other’s opinions about your culture too. Our Kazakh food, I feel like it’s not more of a Muslim type of food; I think it’s more traditional. Before, Kazakh people were nomads and would make their food with their own hands with only what they had. I think that represents our culture and that’s what we do right now. Rice is really common in Asian countries, but it’s very different in my culture compared to other cultures.”

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