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No. 24 (44) December 2006
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Who are we?
Ainur Baigozha (Almaty), Artem Fradchuk (Dushanbe)

Almost all eats, gives the initiative to a woman, does not believe in the best and is afraid of the worst.

Who is the "average Kazakhstani"? Of course, residents of other Central Asian countries roughly outlined the contours of a typical Kazakhstani. Often, these are stereotypes, and the true “portrait” of a citizen of a particular country is completely different.

Dosym Satpayev, a political scientist: “The peculiarity of Kazakhstan is a very large territory, a variety of regions, not only in terms of geography, but also in terms of socio-economic. Therefore, it is difficult to derive a “portrait” of the average Kazakhstani in the whole country. Suppose Almaty is dominated by a dynamically aggressive type of behavior, which is typical of any large cities, where many rules resemble the rules of the jungle laws: “the strongest survive.” Here the norm is the presence of an apartment, car. But in the provincial regions of Kazakhstan, people are more calm and unpretentious. However, try to identify common traits for the majority of Kazakhstani people are feasible. In any case, data on incomes, consumer preferences of citizens, their attitude to what is happening can tell a lot. ”

Population income

The average monthly nominal wage is 36495 tenge ($ 272). The average per capita cash income of the population in Kazakhstan is 16,815 tenge ($ 125).

The high level of remuneration is maintained in the financial sector - 85,866 tenge ($ 640), which is 2.4 times higher than the average for the country, the mining industry is 64,729 tenge ($ 483) - 1.8 times higher, in the field of transport and communications 49,801 tenge ($ 371) - 1.4 times. The average national wage is 36-46% lower in wages and salaries of education and health care workers, 23537 ($ 175) and 19898 ($ 148) tenge. From this it follows that an ordinary Kazakhstani person cannot afford to have an annual rest at any foreign resort, and the daily lunch and dinner at a local restaurant are not easily accessible to him. After all, he strictly monitors the size of the subsistence minimum. Calculated on the basis of minimum food, it is 7525 tenge, or a little more than $ 50.

Housing construction

During January-December 2005, the state allocated 241 billion tenge ($ 1.8 billion) of investments to housing. It was built 24,770 buildings with a total area of ​​6,430.7 thousand square meters. m, including residential purposes, respectively, 20240 buildings and 5041, 1 thousand sq. m. And although everyone is “shouting loudly” about purchasing this property through a mortgage, as the most realistic way to acquire their own apartment, those who want to try come to a sad conclusion. The new housing mortgage program is not designed for the common resident of Kazakhstan. Even a fairly decently earning person, having familiarized himself with the price market for housing, will not risk acquiring “apartments”. Only in Almaty dozens of elite high-rise buildings are empty without owners, and in Astana, construction companies have generally suspended the construction of residential buildings. Their main motivation is the inability to meet the calculation of $ 350 per square meter. m. - designated by the president price benchmark.

Since the solution of the housing problem is difficult, the average Kazakhstani today, spending money, is mainly engaged in filling the stomach. 30% of the household budget is spent on food. In general, the post-Soviet middle class tends to eat up their income. For Kazakhstanis, against the background of recently increased incomes, this is already a total hobby. 60% of the inhabitants of the country strictly adhere to the diet, not denying themselves breakfast, lunch and dinner. However, the Kazakhstani consumer basket does not look very comforting. Suffice it to say that potatoes and bread in it are allocated 50% of the total contents of the basket, which takes into account 49 items of products.


According to the Statistical Register in the Republic as of January 1, 2006, there were about 157.6 thousand small businesses registered. The number of workers employed in business amounted to 582.8 thousand people, enterprises 538, .7 thousand. "If we want to live in a stable society, we must have at least 40% of the economy due to small and medium businesses" - this is the opinion the president. Now the share of small and medium-sized businesses is determined by the fact that it adapts faster to external changes, and the middle class is formed in it.

Average kazakhstan woman

As the statistics show, the average Kazakhstani person is mostly a woman with a higher or secondary special education, which can be found in government organizations (15.2%) or in the offices of private firms (20%). According to a sociological survey of the Association of Business Women of Kazakhstan, 77% of women are engaged in entrepreneurship for the sake of improving material well-being, 27% for pleasure. Women head the majority of travel companies, notaries, medical and educational organizations.

Zulfiya Balgimbaeva, psychologist: “What was typical of the eastern mentality is already receding. This is especially noticeable in urban centers. The direct orientation of women to professional growth, the desire for independence, material and psychological, is pronounced. If earlier a woman was more tolerant, now she has an authoritarian notes in her character. The institute of family and marriage became more egalitarian, the roles of men and women began to be equally distributed. The emergence of bikerer families, where both are set for career growth, has become the norm. Not all men are willing to accept such social roles. The weak half of humanity is more mobile and quickly adapts to the vicissitudes of life. ”

Satisfaction Level

In December 2005, a survey of 1600 respondents (urban and rural population, employees of firms and banks, government agencies and organizations, housewives, pensioners) was conducted. 38% reported an improvement in the economic situation in the country over the past 12 months, while at the same time 13% of consumers reported a deterioration in the situation. Almost 39% of respondents expect a further improvement in the general economic situation in the country in the next 12 months, 11% believe that it may worsen.

In general, experts have identified a society as stable. Good tendencies have appeared, dependent moods are inferior to market ones. The stereotype “the state owes me” was replaced by the opinion “what can I do for myself”. If, as a Soviet people, a Kazakhstani person identified himself as a part of society, now individualistic tendencies have appeared. Before the election, sociologists made a statement: Kazakhstanis are not satisfied with their standard of living, but they do not want change.

Azimbai Gali, political scientist: “The society of Kazakhstan is now at the stage of awareness. Now in our country it is supposed to use the resources of authoritarian rule for rapid economic development. Easy authoritarianism will continue for at least another 7 years. Despite this, the average Kazakhstani is quite pleased with the situation. The last elections showed that people are afraid, no matter how worse things happen. There is a syndrome of fear - there was something that can be lost. The Kyrgyz and Uzbek events have extremely frightened the average Kazakhstani. ”

Dosym Satpayev, a political scientist: “The main segment of Kazakhstan’s society, mostly young people, deliberately withdraws from active political life. This has a completely logical explanation and is characteristic not only of our country. Now many are trying to spend more time and effort on earnings, especially since the state has created certain conditions. There was also an alarming trend - many people believe that there will be no better, and worse can be. And therefore it is hardly worth actively changing something in the politics of the country. Appeared apathy to political activity. "


The activity of the past caused the passivity of the present ...

It is believed that nostalgia for the Soviet past does not allow ordinary Tajiks to objectively evaluate the current changes in the country. This year will mark the 15th anniversary of independence, and it is time to analyze how the formation of the new Tajikistan has affected the average Tajik.

In drawing up a portrait of an average Tajikistan, it should be borne in mind that Tajikistan is the youngest demographically from the countries of Central Asia. The average age of the population is 24 years. In Kazakhstan, this figure is 31.5 years, in Kyrgyzstan - 26.1. Accordingly, in Tajikistan, significantly higher than in the neighboring republics, the proportion of children and young people, who constitute more than half of the country's population. But there are relatively few pensioners in Tajikistan - only 8% of the population.

According to statistics from the State Statistics Committee of the country, in recent years, the diet of ordinary Tajiks has become much more modest than before. So, for example, meat consumption in 1991 was 26.1 kg per year per person, and in 2004 - only 7.3 kg. Milk and dairy products also became much less likely to appear on the tables.

But significantly increased the consumption of fruit and vegetable products. Thus, it can be said that, in accordance with the saying “We are what we eat,” it can be stated that Tajiks are not far from the widespread transition to vegetarianism.

More recently, the world community ranked Tajikistan among the poorest countries in the world. This “recognition” allows foreign countries to write off their foreign debts. The external debt of the republic, today, is about $ 780 million. Therefore, every Tajik, and the one who lies in the cradle, both working and elderly, have a debt of more than $ 1,000.

The state has officially determined the size of the minimum wage of 12 somoni (about $ 4). The Ministry of Labor and Social Employment found that real wages were about $ 36 per person. The lowest wages are fixed in agriculture, health care and education - $ 12- $ 35. Bankers, public utilities, employees of governing bodies and small entrepreneurs have the highest wages - about $ 50.

According to the Minister of Labor and Social Employment of the Population of Tajikistan, Zokira Vazirov, more than 40 thousand unemployed people are officially registered in the country. Meanwhile, UN experts in Tajikistan noted that the level of poverty in the republic decreased by 22% compared with 2002 and amounted to 64% of the population, that is, about 1 million 800 thousand people have a living wage below one dollar a day. Meanwhile, the cost of the consumer basket, which, according to the minister, includes 17 types of essential goods, today is 205 somoni (about $ 63) in the republic, while the minimum wage is 12 somoni (about $ 4.0). The minimum wage, which must meet, or at least be close to the subsistence minimum, is 17 times less, which makes it almost impossible to survive on government wages. Therefore, doctors, teachers, and many other workers, of necessity, and some other structures, of their own accord, rob their fellow countrymen.

An average Tajik who does not have benefits or special services has to spend monthly on medical treatment, training and other services, although these payments are not established by any law. Therefore, the average Tajiks are rather poor than rich. Although the country has a lot and the rich.

The need for spiritual food among Tajik people also decreased significantly. The Tajik director, winner of many grand prixs in the field of theatrical art, Barzu Abdurazokov, in a recent interview acknowledged that the theater, and with it all the art of the country, are in a deep crisis. The spectator does not go to the theater, because “he is not interested there, he (the theater — ed.) Is not needed by the state either,” complains the director. Hollywood rentals and endless Indian song films have become educators of the new generation.

The level of education in the country is drastically falling. It got to the point that the head of state, Emomali Rakhmonov, should have paid attention to the fact that schools and universities were mired in corruption and a non-professional approach to teaching students. The President demanded to strengthen control over the professional activities of educational institutions, focusing their attention on the study of foreign languages ​​and computer equipment.

Low wages and the futility of tomorrow, forcing the overwhelming majority of the economically active population of the country to seek happiness abroad. “What can I teach a graduate when he is programmed by the example of his relatives, and dreams of leaving school after work for Russia,” says a teacher at one of the capital’s secondary schools, Muzafar Teshaev. The importance of labor migration for Tajikistan is difficult to overestimate. According to experts, the amount of foreign currency transferred to the republic is comparable to the budget of the republic. According to the International Monetary Fund, if in 2004 Tajik migrants transferred about $ 433 million by the banking system, in 2005 this figure reached more than $ 600 million.

At the same time, it is recognized that migration is spontaneous, and no one in the republic can name the exact number of Tajik labor migrants working abroad. According to official data, only in 2005, about 410-412 thousand citizens of Tajikistan left for Russia only for Russia and returned to their homeland, and only 10% of them work legally in the territory of the Russian Federation. It is the spontaneity of the process and the low level of education of migrants that are advantageous to dishonest businessmen exploiting immigrants from Tajikistan. According to unofficial data, the number of Tajik labor migrants today amounts to more than 1 million people.

At present, the average Tajik is apolitical, which is completely correlated with the social and economic situation of the country. According to independent political analyst Rashid G. Abdullo, in the early 1990s, the population of the republic was overly politicized, and what it led to, everyone saw during the long civil war (1992-1997). The impoverishment of the republic’s population, which lasted for many years, when the main task was simple physical survival, programmed the passivity of the population. Analysts believe that, having survived the horrors of civil war and economic crisis, the inhabitants of this mountainous country received a reliable inoculation against their hostility to politics. The political scientist Rashid Ulmasov has the same opinion.

Nevertheless, the average Tajik is not politically enlightened, and moreover, he is very distanced from the political processes taking place in the country. “It would be better not to interfere, it is better not to do it at all,” is the opinion of the majority about politics. Intellectuals and scientists also keep a distance, and do not speak at all about the behavior of the authorities, although they speak very well and beautifully during a private conversation. But here they are convincingly asked not to voice their opinion officially, emphasizing that they say this “not for print”.

According to political analyst Rashid Ulmasov, “the past has caused the passivity of the present, and there will be no color revolutions in Ukraine and Georgia in Tajikistan.”
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13.03.2006, Tajikistan, Dushanbe
Good article, well done! A lot of facts and figures, but the style is a bit lame ...
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