Image via Wikipedia
Life in the country of Kazakhstan is divided by several schools of thought, polygamy being one of them. Polygamy is illegal in the country, but was decriminalized in1998 when the people tried to legalize it but failed.
In the Kazakhstan Democracy, polygamy has been voted on several times since it was banned in 1990, always losing the vote. But many citizens see it as a temporary restriction since a large portion of northern people still practice it today.
There is a famous saying, “Almaty is for baibishes and Astana’s for tokals.” Baibishes are first wives, tokals are younger wives. Almaty used to be the country’s capital, but when Kazakhstan became a sovereign republic, the capital was changed to Astana. Many political officials and employees have to commute from home in Almaty to their jobs in Astana, where they take apartments and other wives.
Some Progress Is Slow in the New Kazakhstan
One such wife is Shynar-apai, a 57 year-old baibishe (first wife) in the city of Shymkent. She expresses that she doesn’t mind polygamous marriage at all. The first wife of Absattar Myrzabekov, Shynar-apai, says that polygamy is fine, but when a man has a mistress, or secret affair, that’s deplorable, and those women and their children have no familial rights.