Almaty - Post Report Question and Answers

Are there problems with ethnic, race/racial minorities or religious prejudices? Gender equality?

I haven’t heard of it, not in big cities like Almaty. Kazakhs are majority Muslims and they respect their culture and traditions but prejudices and inequalities exist more in rural places, gender inequality is not an issue here. - Sep 2023

Yes, internally there are issues between ethnic Kazakhs, Russians, Uzbeks, etc. Prejudices exist, but you will not likely encounter much of this as a foreigner. There is a growing trend towards Kazakh language to replace Russian, but Almaty is a very ethnically diverse city and Russian is still the language of daily life. In terms of religion, Kazakhstan strictly regulates religious practices, so freedom of religion is non-existent, but there is a modicum of religious tolerance. There is a high level of sexism, you will even occasionally hear women disparage their own gender. Women will get straws when they order their beer, men will not. - Aug 2015

These issues don't affect expats. Most Kazakhstanis are ethnic Muslims, but most aren't religious. Almaty is a culturally diverse city. Because many ethnic Russians live here, almost anyone with an Asian, European or South American look will blend in and might be taken for a local. African Americans do stand out, but not in a negative way - it's just clear that you are "not from around here" and "probably a diplomat." - Feb 2013

Coming from another post-Soviet state, one of the most pleasant surprises about Kazakhstan was tolerance for different religions and races. Many different ethnic groups were deported to Central Asia during Stalinist times, so it's quite a diverse population that rubs along together fairly well. There are definitely traditional gender roles in relationships, but in a Western workplace things are quite normalized. - May 2012

It seems to be a pretty tolerant city. There are many "local" people from different backgrounds (ethnic Russians, Kazakhs, Chinese and Koreans) here. I have not felt any discrimination. - Mar 2010

I would have to say no, there seems to be no specific prejudices that I've noticed. - Mar 2008

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