The social and historical situation in the nineteenth-century Kazakhstan and the anti-colonial trend in Kazakh literature

Alya Akimkizi Oskembay, Bakytzhan Bekenovna Kelgembaeva, Baurzhan Amangeldyevich Yerdembekov

Sarsen Amanzholov East Kazakhstan state university, Ust-Kamenogorsk, Kazakhstan. Email:

  Volume 10, Number 3, 2018 I Full Text PDF

DOI: 10.21659/rupkatha.v10n3.11

Received May 03, 2018; Revised September 09, 2018: Accepted October 27, 2018; Published November 02, 2018.


The paper features a brief review of the history of Russia’s colonization of Kazakhstan in the nineteenth century. During this period, Russia was engaged in colonial activities in Asia. After conquering the Kazakh lands, Russia launched a policy of russification and started to force a new sociopolitical model upon the Kazakhs. The research investigates the status of the Kazakh population in Russia and that of the people who were forced to move to China. The research also reviews the attempts of Kazakhs to regain their independence through rebellions, which were suppressed violently by imperial armed forces. The authors analyzed the works of East Kazakhstani poets in the context of the sociocultural processes of that age. The poetic works best reflect the mood of the nation and its attitude to the new policy. The poems of Arimzhan Zhanuzakuli, Argynbek Apashbayuli, and Nogaybay Suleymenuli discover and contemplate the themes that reflect the political and social controversies of the age of economic, political, and cultural expansion into the country (the theme of disappointment with the past and fear of the future) and unite the poets into the “times of tribulation” literary trend. The works of the “times of tribulation” poets gave impetus to the national rebirth of Kazakhs and the return of independence and the possibility to choose their own policy. Due to the subjects addressed in their works, many poets were subject to purges. Nowadays, the Kazakhs have their own independent state of Kazakhstan, which became possible thanks to the national idea that was formed in the works of nineteenth-century poets.

Keywords: colonialization of Kazakhstan, “times of tribulation” literary trend, social lyric poetry, direct nomination.