Inside Baiterek in Astana, Kazakstan, visitors place their hand in a golden imprint cast of President Nazarbayev’s right hand, the national anthem sounds and a nearby plaque suggests to make a wish.
Baiterek is the quintessential symbol of Astana, itself alluding to a Kazakh folktale of the mythic bird Samruk and its golden egg, laid high in a poplar tree. The Baiterek monument and observation tower has become the symbol of Astana and was supposedly sketched out by President Nazarbayev himself.
Astana, in northern Kazakhstan, is a futuristic city that has risen from a forsaken landscape and post-Soviet rubble. In 1997, the small town of Akmola replaced Almaty as capital of Kazakhstan, and subsequently was renamed Astana (meaning "The Capital" in Kazakh). The planned city has exploded in population and is now home to ultramodern buildings and skyscrapers. This year, from June 10 to September 10, Astana hosts the World Expo. World Expos have been around for 160 years and each of them is organized by a host country that invites other countries to participate. @natgeo @natgeocreative @thephotosociety #Baiterek #Astana #Kazakhstan # Nazarbayev #gold