In ancient times, people kept diaries through which future generations acquainted themselves with their ancestors, learned their desires and thoughts, heeded their guidance, and continued their lineage.

In Kazakhstan, there is a concept called ‘Zhettу Ata’ – knowledge of seven generations or more through the male line of every Kazakh. Those who are unaware of this are derogatorily referred to as ‘mankurt,’ a person without memory.

The word ‘mankurt’ originates from the ancient Steppe. During those times, there existed a gruesome method of punishing the guilty – they would place the stomach of a dissected ram over the person’s head and expose them to the scorching sun until the animal’s skin began to contract. After a certain time, people either perished or went insane from the bites of flies, gnats, and pain.

We are not mankurts, and we remember our ancestors. I hope our descendants will remember us as well.

We are creating our own history, and it is unfolding at this very moment.


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