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Aikerim's Grandfather, Kazakh Teacher-Poet

kazakhnomad
Jan 20, 2009, 6:15 PM 0

Nowadays I am a little jealous how our grandparents were happy to live those days, in the beginning of the twentieth century; spacious valleys, green meadows, fresh air, in the middle of untouched nature which was not long ago. As I still remember what my father used to say; when he was a child that all territory near SyrdariaRiver was fully covered with a thick grass. Now there is no evidence that those places sometimes used to be green. That’s a pity….

First, I will write about my grandparents from my mother’s side, they were teachers. My grandfather’s name was Askar Kozhakhmetov. He was born in Kryzylorda, in a village called “Zhanatalap”. He was a poet; he wrote many poems related to War, to socialism, to school and to teaching. When he was seven, his family moved to Uzbekistan in order to stay alive in the period of acute shortage of food which took place in Kazakhstan in 1930’s. In spite of that, he lost his parents and grew up in an orphanage. From 1933-to 1936 he studied in a labor faculty of Bukhara city, from 1937 to 1939 two years he took teaching courses. So up until World War II he worked in his native village as a teacher. On September of 1942 he was provoked to go to the War. There on a train he wrote his poem “Good Bye, territory of Kazakhstan” where we can feel his nostalgia to his home country.

According to his letters which he used to write during war, Askar’s grandpa took part in the battle near Stalingrad and Tambov cities. In 1946 after he was seriously wounded on his leg, he returned home and continued teaching first in “Zhanatalap” school, then in “Makpalkol” school (1957-69). He was a teacher of mathematics.  Below you can see a fragment from Tynyshbek Airabai about my grandfather:

Aseke his first poems wrote from 1938-39. Abovementioned poem he wrote on 26 th of September while he was passing Karmakshy village on the way to the war. In 1946 he wrote poems “Two cradles”, “On Zhambyl’s party”, “On the day of Red Army” (1957), and finally “A letter”.  He used to write a lot of letters during the war, for instance, his longest poem to my grandmother – “A letter replacement with Khatsha (the name of grandma).

Those days his poems were mostly published in the newspaper called ‘Red Flag’, “Rice men”, “The way of Lenin”. Later his book was published in the “Collections of Poems in Kyzylorda”

Unfortunately, I didn’t see him; he died when he was sixty. I heard from my aunt that he was a very magnanimous and generous person.  My grandmother died when I was three years old. But still I remember how she loved me, how she pampered me…

Finally, from my father’s side my grandfather also died very early, when my father was 16 years old. His name was Zhaksylyk, which means “goodness” in English. He was a well-known shepherd. I know my grandmother very well, as she died only three years ago. She was a unique person; strict, at the same time kind and fair. She was a person of order. Her name was “Ulzhalgas”. Both of my grandmothers were housewives. As each of them had a big family with six children which needed big care and attention.

In conclusion, I would like to say that I am proud that I have such grandparents, and I will always remember where my roots start.

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