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Post-Soviet Kazakhstan and the Koryo Saram (Koreans): Shared Struggle with the Preservation of Language Identity and Culture

Esther Lee
Friday, May 3, 2013 - 12:30pm
Denny 123
Our presenter, Esther Lee, is Korean and she will continue her research on the Koreans in Kazakhstan. They were deported by Stalin to Kazakhstan from eastern Siberia where they had settled since 1863 in order to escape difficult times in their own country. In Kazakhstan they had to suffer the same fate as all non-Russians, namely the enforced loss of their identity. They became russified and sovieticized, speaking only Russian. This also happened to the Kazakhs. However, since independence (1991) the young generation of the Kazakhs and the Koreans, led by their elders, have been returning to their own roots and learning their native languages. In addition, as Esther Lee concludes, Koreans as well as other ethnic groups living in Kazakhstan, should also learn the state language, Kazakh, as a tribute to the country they are part of.

Ellison Center, Central Asian Studies Seminar