In my childhood! used to hear the Kazakhs jeering at
You Sarts in wide skirts, you bring your rushes from
afar to thatch your roofs! You bow and scrape when you
meet someone, but you insult him behind his back. You are
afraid of every bush: you rattle on without stopping, and
that’s why they call you Sart-surts.
Encountering Nogais, the Kazakhs would ridicule and
scold them, too:
The Nogai is afraid of the camel, he soon gets tired
astride a horse and takes his rest walking. Runaways and
soldiers and traders all of them hail from the Nogais
Nokai is what you should be called, not Nogai*
About the Russians they used to say:
The red-headed Urus, once he spies an аи, gallops fit
to break his neck towards it, permits himself to do whatev-
er comes into his head, demands to hear all the rumours
and gossip, and believes everything he is told.
My God! I thought then with pride. lit turns out that
the whole wide world has по worthier and nobler people
than the Kazakh! Such talk rejoiced and entertained me
But this is what I see now: there is no plant that the
Sarts cannot grow, no land that their merchants have not
visited, and no such thing that their nimble fingers cannot
contrive. Their laymen live in peace and seek no enmity
Before there were any Russian merchants around, the Sarts
provided the Kazakhs with clothes for the living and bur-
ia robes for the dead, and they would buy up from the
Kazakhs droves of cattle that father and son could not
agree to divide between themselves. Now, under the
Russians, the Sarts have adopted the innovations more
quickly than others. Exalted beys and learnt mullahs
craftsmanship and luxury and courtesy- the Sarts have all
I look at the Nogais and see that they can make fine
soldiers and that they bear deprivation stoically. They face
death with humility, protect schools and honour religion
they know how to work hard and grow rich, and to dress
up and have fun.
Not we Kazakh, though: we labour for their beys for
a crust of bread. They will not let our beys into their
homes. Hey, you Kazakh, they say, our floor is not for
your dirty boots to trample on.
I will not speak of the Russians. We cannot hold a can-
dle even to their servants
Where has all our erstwhile joyfulness gone?
Where is our merry laughter?