In December, it’s easy, as an expat, to forget that Kazakhstan is a predominantly Muslim country. Christmas decorations festoon the capital city, the unofficial holiday’s opulence a perfect complement to the white marble, glass, and gold towers. Year-round, Astana is enamored with flashing night-time lights and the seasonal plastic fir trees are ready for a rave. All is bright in the steppe.
Once a year, the day before Christmas Eve, the residents of Lincoln Avenue gather in the Perry family’s garage for our annual luminaria-making party.
While others see the holidays as an opportunity to decompress, I seem them as a time to do more work.