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Kazakhstan's “Bilingual” Currency Turns Twenty

Kazakhstani tenge, the 2008 series. Image by, used with permission.

Kazakhstani tenge, the 2008 series. Image by Serikzhan Kovlanbayev, used with permission.

Kazakhstan has recently marked the twentieth birthday of the national currency, the tenge. Blogger Serikzhan Kovlanbayev presents [ru] a brief history of the tenge, showing how it has changed since 1993 and what is unique about it:

A unique thing about the Kazakhstani currency is that it is “bilingual”, that is, the [tenge] carries texts in both Kazakh and Russian. There are no other currencies like this in the post-Soviet countries… Kazakhstan was also the last among the [former Soviet countries] to introduce the national currency.

Kazakhstani tenge, the 1993 series.

Kazakhstani tenge, the 1993 series. Image by Serikzhan Kovlanbayev, used with permission.

This book, published by the National Bank of Kazakhstan, contains poems that tell children about the national currency and its history.

This book, published by the National Bank of Kazakhstan, contains poems that tell children about the national currency and its history. Image by Serikzhan Kovlanbayev, used with permission.

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