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Asian Studies Program
Asian Studies Program Virtual Friendship Quilt Project


 

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  Asian Studies Virtual Friendship Quilt Block
Block contributed by Elizabeth Montgomery
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Traditional embroidered men's hat from Kazakhstan


Story of the block:

Little did I know that when I signed up for a masters class in global decision making at East Carolina University it would change my life forever. As a result of a research project for that class, I decided to trek half way around the globe to adopt my adorable son from an orphanage in Rudny, Kazakhstan. After a year of paper chasing and securing enough loans, I began my in-country/Kazakhstan adventure in March of 2004. I spent 52 hours in transit, but it was worth the wait to finally meet the little boy I had been looking at through pictures for over a year. 

When I first met him, he without any hesitation took my hand and gave me the tour of his world. It consisted of a coat/clothes room, a room for learning, eating and playing, a bathroom and a bedroom that contained 20 small beds for each child in his group. I spent the next 14 days going to his orphanage and visiting with him each day; getting to know more about him and allowing him time to learn to trust me. This little boy of 6 years old was going to leave everything he had ever known and go beyond the gates of both the orphanage and the country where he had been raised.

Before we made our journey back to the United States, we went to the large market to buy some items from his country. I wanted him to have some things that he could take with him that represented his country of origin and the proud Kazakh culture. My son is of Kazakh origin, not that of Russian, and the hat that we bought to take with us I thought most represented the past culture and history of Kazakhstan; the nomadic life that included falconry, horse riding and art. Our hopes are that we will once again trek back to Kazakhstan so my son can re-connect with his heritage and learn more about the Kazakhs and their history and struggle to keep their culture alive. 







View of hat:
Embroidered black wool felt traditional men's hat from Kazakhstan