Karaganda

From Academic Kids

Missing image
AbdirovStatue.jpg
Statue of Nurken Abdirov in downtown Karaganda

Karaganda (Russian: Караганда) or Qaraghandy (Kazak: Қарағанды) is the capital of the audany (Russian oblast) of the same name in Kazakhstan. It is located at Template:Coor dm, with a population of 437,000 (1999). It is the third most populous city in Kazakhstan, behind Almaty and Astana.

The name "Qaraghandy" approximately translates to "place rich in acacia". Karaganda is an industrial city, built to exploit nearby coal mines using the slave work of prisoners of labor camps. It was briefly considered as a candidate for the capital of the (then) recently independent Republic of Kazakhstan, but its bid was turned down in favor of Astana. In support of this bid, a large international airport was built, which today goes mostly unused.

It is the birthplace of the late Chechen president Akhmad Kadyrov. It is also the home city of Kazakh World War II hero Nurken Abdirov. A statue in Abdirov's honor is located in the center of the city.

Trivia

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Landsat_qaraghandy_.jpg
Landsat composite satellite image of Qaraghandy

Karaganda is often used as the punchline in a popular joke in the former USSR. The city is fairly isolated in a vast area of uninhabited steppe, and is thought by many to be "the middle of nowhere". When used in the locative case, the final syllable rhymes with the Russian word for "where", as well as with a Russian obscenity used to answer to an unwanted question "Where?". Thus the exchange: "Where is it?" "In Karaganda!" — has a rhyming and silly sound, and its nuance could be approximated in American English as: "Where are you going?" "To Kalamazoo!" or "Timbuktu!"

A local legend tells of founding of the city: Many years ago, a group of nomadic Kazakhs were breaking down their campsite, and throwing rocks on the fire to extinguish it. A boy threw a rock onto the fire, and it burst into flame. Thus were the coal deposits found, and the city was built nearby.

Template:CAsia-geo-stubkk:Қарағанды de:Karaganda ru:Караганда

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