Thursday, February 20, 2014

Yes, Cossacks

After yesterday's gratuitous beating of a Russian punk band, I have been seeing commentators expressing wonder that Cossacks still exist. (e.g.)

Yes, they do! Cossacks were viewed as a separate "nationality" (what we would call an ethnic group) in Kazakhstan even though they were probably just the descendants of ethnic Russians or Ukrainians who lived within a militaristic community centuries ago. They even got their own dance number on Unity Day and a post from Vox Populi (the Kazakh photoblog).

True random fact: the only reason that the word "Kazakhstan" has an "h" in it is because of the Cossacks.