Nursultan studied diligently and with interest, remaining one of the first pupils not only in his class, but also at school. He plunged into reading all the books that only he could get, which were brought to him by his relatives, knowing the greedy curiosity of the young Nursultan.
Also, romantic nights at the fire were in his youth under the bottomless starry sky, when he helped his father during the summer holidays in the foothills of the Zailiyskiy Alatau. There were secret stories of parents, their heart-felt songs, which uncovered the powerful roots of the memory of ancestors who had lived on this earth since ancient times. About seven previous generations, ignorance of which was a shame for any Kazakh. There was a feeling of eternity and deep meaningfulness of this difficult, but also harmonious national life handing down from generation to generation, connecting the Kazakhs with their past and future.
He especially liked to listen to the stories of elders about ancient legends and superstition of ancestors. Later, in one of his books, Nursultan Nazarbayev wrote: “Recently, the fashion to boast of “proletarian” origins has suddenly changed to another fad: look for and by all means find "blue blood” from the ancestors. There was no "blue blood" in our family. I am a son, a grandson and a great-grandson of shepherds, that is, not at all from nobles. All my ancestors lived here, at the foot of the Alatau."
And although it later turned out that there were famous people in his family, Nursultan Nazarbayev always considered and still considers himself a man of the people, flesh of the people’s flesh. This feeling of being a half-part of a nation never left him and over the years it only grew stronger.
At the same time, he felt himself to be a hereditary Kazakh, heir to the culture and customs of his ancestors, and a man of a new formation, a new dynamic era of scientific and technological progress, which opened up unprecedented opportunities for everyone. Traditional folk and new industrial worldviews organically coexisted in his soul.
The head teacher of the Kaskelen school, Seythan Isayev, where Nursultan graduated from high school, immediately noted the curiosity and analytical mind of the young man: “He was the most grateful pupil. He listened carefully, asked questions not only about the program, caught every word of the teacher. He never parted with a book and read something all the time.”
Young Nursultan’s childhood and juvenility were short. By the age of 18, by the end of secondary school, Nursultan stood out among his peers with good knowledge and broad outlook. Constant work and regular exercises made him physically strong, he looked noticeably older than his peers. But the main thing that distinguished him was independence in judgments and actions and a constant desire for leadership. He knew how to build relationships with peers from the first minutes of their acquaintance, was an “instigator” and a public organizer. He loved to joke, sang well, attracted people and quickly became the soul of the company.
At the same time, one more characteristic feature was revealed - pragmatism. Learning about the Komsomol recruitment for a large construction site of a steel plant in Temirtau, Nursultan decided to become a metallurgist.
Nursultan wanted to become independent as quickly as possible and help his parents, his relatives financially. In fact, he was the eldest son in the family.
Young Nazarbayev instinctively felt that there, at a large construction site, a new big life was beginning, opening up wide personal perspectives. He was resolved to build his own life, his future fate.
Upon arrival in Temirtau, he was sent even further as a future metallurgist - to study in Ukraine, at a vocational school at the Dnieper metallurgical plant in the city of Dneprodzerzhinsk.
Nursultan fell into a group of blast-furnace workers, where the most physically developed young men were selected. However, the young Nazarbayev proved the strength of his muscles and character in sports, at wrestling grounds.
In one of the fights, he wrestled his fellow classmate, the stocky Ukrainian guy Nikolay Litoshko.
The surprise of “Mikola” quickly grew into respect and subsequently into a strong friendship between Kazakh Nazarbayev and Ukrainian Litoshko. Nursultan became a frequent and welcome guest in the Litoshko family.
A year and a half of study in Dneprodzerzhinsk flew quickly.
In 1959, Nursultan Nazarbayev won the competition of the All-Union Central Council of Trade Unions (AUCCTU). Thus, by the end of the specialized school, he not only mastered the difficult science of the metallurgist, but also became the master of sports of Ukraine in wrestling.
Perseverance and tenacity allowed him to master all academic subjects in his chosen specialty. Also, young Nazarbayev passed the final qualifying exams brilliantly, having received the "the eighth level second furnacemen of the blast furnace" certificate with honours.
I am a son, a grandson and a great-grandson of shepherds, that is, not at all from nobles. All my ancestors lived here, at the foot of the Alatau