My grandfather – Baizhan ata (means “Rich Soul”) was born in 1917 in a big and rich family. He had more than ten brothers and sisters. Almost all boys in the family except my grandfather were educated in medrese (Islamic school). My great-grandfather did not let him study in medrese because they had a farm with a huge amount of animals like horses, sheep and even camels. They were shot of workforce, so my grandfather worked in farm while his brothers were studying in medrese. But he was telling me that he wanted to study too. Once, he wanted to escape his family and he did so! He came to the medrese to be educated person but his father returned him back by biting [?] and telling him that there is no need to go to medrese while his brothers doing so. Also he said that there is enough people in medrese from their family and someone should work in farm. That is why my grandfather can not read and write. He can only write first 3 letters of his surname when he need to sign a document. But it is another story of my grandfather related to his surname because he does not belong to “Zhanpeissov” family!
My grandmother’s past was quite a bit better than her husband’s. Her name is Kunbope (means “Sun baby”) and she was born in 1926 in a big and well known family. Her mother died when she was a child, so she had stepmother. Her father Tursyn ata was well known and respected person in the Ulytau of Saryarka region. He was very wise person! He was counted as a “peacekeeper” within the region. My grandmother’s past life is the opposite of my grandfather’s past life. In contrast to my grandfather, she studied in school five years and can read and write. They did not meet and did not know each other before their wedding. Their parents decided to marry them.
There were many terrible things in our land in the XX century! “Rulers” started to industrialize the vast area of the Russian Empire. It led to the death of millions of its inhabitants! In the 1930s my grandfather was sold or exchanged for two sacks of wheat. Causes of this kind of action was collectivization that was started in the end of 1920s. Many Kazakh families became poor and lack of food caused an unusual action like my great-grandparents did. This is the only story that he told me about his past but it is good enough to understand that he lived in very dark times. It was so hard to live in that time and almost impossible to survive in famine when you are poor and do not have a family that could support you! He survived only because of his strength of mind!