ITB Berlin Files: Focus on Kazakhstan

Kazakhstan at ITB Berlin - Photography by Lola Akinmade Åkerström

I’ve always been interested in Kazakhstan ever since my uncle spent a couple years there living and working for a US agency. His stories were intriguing and often hilarious as he narrated his experience learning Russian and immersing himself in local Kazakh culture.

But at ITB Berlin, it was the smell of something frying that actually drew me over to Kazakhstan’s booth. Far from sweets and lollipops you’ll find at other booths, Gulnur pictured above was actually kneading dough and making them into small bite-sized pieces. In front of her, a large wok filled with piping hot oil was shimmering.

It was going to take about ten minutes, she told me, for the next batch of Baursaki – yeasty unsweetened doughnut-like snacks – to be ready. Baursaki are made from flour, yeast, milk, eggs, margarine, and a bit of sugar. The minute they were scooped out of the hot oil, they were gone within seconds. Hands from nowhere often reached in.

So with a ten minute waiting time for the next batch, I walked around the flip side of Kazakhstan to find some gorgeously soft artwork from a local Kazakh artist.

Kazakhstan at ITB Berlin - Photography by Lola Akinmade Åkerström

Flowers, decorations, the cutest baby boots, feather light scarves – all made from silk and felt. They were handmade products from Aigul Line – made by stunning artist Aigul Zhanserikova, PhD pictured below. I had to take more photos of the intricately made pieces.

Kazakhstan at ITB Berlin - Photography by Lola Akinmade Åkerström

Kazakhstan at ITB Berlin - Photography by Lola Akinmade Åkerström

Kazakhstan at ITB Berlin - Photography by Lola Akinmade Åkerström

By the time I was done gawking at her work, Gulnur’s Baursaki were about ready and so I rushed back over before they disappeared again.

Kazakhstan at ITB Berlin - Photography by Lola Akinmade Åkerström

Kazakhstan at ITB Berlin - Photography by Lola Akinmade Åkerström

Up next -> Focus on Africa and Luxury at the Waldorf Astoria.

  • http://www.lolaakinmade.com Lola

    @Monica-USA – Her work was beautiful.

    @Carla – Yes! We’ve got one in Nigeria too called poff-poff -> http://www.food.com/recipe/puff-puff-415720

  • http://www.carladurham.com Carla Durham

    Every country seems to have their version of fried dough. It is my quest to try as many as I can. I’ll have to put Baursakis on my list.

  • Monica-USA

    The hand made products are beautiful and the detail is amazing.