Kazakh Leader Changes National Anthem
<div class="caption"><div class="watermark"> <a href="http://gdb.rferl.org/C608B324-2452-4D67-97DB-100AB0C66530_mw800_mh600.jpg" rel="ibox" title="President President Nazarbaev (file photo) (epa)"> <img alt="President President Nazarbaev (file photo) (epa)" src="http://gdb.rferl.org/C608B324-2452-4D67-97DB-100AB0C66530_w203.jpg" class="photo" border="0"></a></div><p>President President Nazarbaev (file photo) (epa)</p></div>6 January 2006 -- Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev has decided to change the music and the wording of Kazakhstan's national anthem.
The old national anthem is being replaced with 'My Kazakhstan', a song written in the 1950s. Nazarbaev inserted words to the text of the song, and is now officially a co-author of the anthem. Kazakh lawmakers passed the changes today.
Explaining the changes, Nazarbaev said the anthem should reflect "the heroic centuries-long struggle" for Kazakh independence.
Lawmakers also passed a law obliging everyone to stand and press the palm of their right hand to the left side of their chest when the national anthem is performed in public.
Nazarbaev won a presidential election in December, extending his 16-year-rule of the oil-rich country with another seven-year term.