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The first ever official celebrations of Kazakhstan's Independence Day were held in Luxembourg
The event was hosted by the Honorary Consulate of Kazakhstan, one of the latest additions to the set of diplomatic missions launched this year in Luxembourg. Accompanied by Kazakhstan's traditional instrumental music, songs and national cuisine, the reception at the Schéiss Cultural Hall also featured a kerege, a decorative element of the traditional Kazakh yurt.
A gala reception to mark Kazakhstan's Independence Day was jointly organised by the Honorary Consulate of the Republic of Kazakhstan in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg and the Embassy of the Republic of Kazakhstan to the Kingdom of Belgium. The event was supported by Eurasian Resources Group (“ERG” or “the Group”), a leading diversified natural resources group, headquartered in Luxembourg.
Attending the event were H.E. Aigul Kuspan, the Ambassador of the Republic of Kazakhstan to the Kingdom of Belgium and the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg; Mr Benedikt Sobotka, the CEO of ERG and Honorary Consul of the Republic of Kazakhstan to the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg; members of the diplomatic community, employees and partners of ERG, the Embassy and the Honorary Consulate; and Kazakh expats.
‘I am honoured to welcome you today to this reception devoted to the Independence Day of the Republic of Kazakhstan. On December 16, 1991, a new state appeared on the political map of the world – the Republic of Kazakhstan. Since then, we have been dedicated to creating a dynamic, prosperous, sustainable and peaceful state. Our country is open to economic and technological cooperation with Luxembourg. The Embassy and the Honorary Consulate are ready to promote economic relations, especially in areas that are a priority for us, and where Luxembourg excels,' H.E. Aigul Kuspan said in an opening speech.
Her Excellency thanked the Honorary Consul and ERG's team for supporting the reception.
'This is a special year for us. We have officially opened the Honorary Consulate of the Republic of Kazakhstan in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. This year also marks the fifth anniversary of Eurasian Resources Group in the country and the 25th year of our operations in Kazakhstan, which has always been and will remain at the heart of our business. We are deeply honoured to represent Kazakhstan in Luxembourg and Europe as a whole. I am pleased to see such interest in Kazakhstan among representatives of Luxembourg's business community, and I am happy to share my experience with them as part of my honorary duties,' commented Mr Benedikt Sobotka.
The event included the screening of a video presenting key milestones in the history of Kazakhstan-Luxembourg relations and showcased the rich culture of Kazakhstan. An ensemble of employees of the Aktobe Ferroalloy Plant, a branch of TNC Kazchrome (an enterprise of ERG), gave a live performance. Amirkhan Kadir, a ferroalloy furnace operator, Aysultan Taumanov, a crusher operator and Ganibek Essenzhulov, a safety engineer, delivered a skilful rendition of popular folk tunes on the dombra, a national musical instrument. Ainur Arashapova, Group Corporate Travel Manager at ERG, performed Kazakh folk songs. The event also featured a performance by the Artel Quartet, which includes musicians from Kazakhstan. For the first time in Luxembourg, the quartet performed a piece by Kuat Shildebayev, a famous Kazakh composer.
Guests of the event were offered treats of Kazakhstan's national cuisine and sweets. Luxembourgers showed particular interest in the kerege, a decorative element of the Kazakh yurt installed in the reception hall. An exhibition of works by Ospan Ali, a talented young Kazakh photographer, showcased some of the special features of Kazakh culture and everyday life and the beauty of the country's capital.
The Honorary Consulate of the Republic of Kazakhstan in Luxembourg started its work in January 2019. On May 12, 2019, an official opening ceremony was held as part of the celebration of the 5th anniversary of Eurasian Resources Group, attended by the Prime Minister of Luxembourg, Mr Xavier Bettel. Throughout the year, a number of events were organised to strengthen business and cultural ties between Kazakhstan and Luxembourg. In March, Nauryz celebrations were held, which included a performance by the Zhubanov Orchestra of Kazakh Folk Instruments and the Akku Dance Ensemble. In September, ERG supported the inaugural Festival of Kazakh Cinema in France. Plans for 2020 include Nauryz celebrations on March 22 – 23 as well as a number of cultural and business events.