Uzbek Wedding in Gospitalniy, a neighbourhood where many Koreans live today. Tashkent, Uzbekistan. 2016.
Kim Pen Xva Museum, dedicated to the founder of one of the most successful Korean villages in Uzbekistan. The scrolls read: "I have found a home in this new land". Kim Pen Xva, Uzbekistan. 2016.
Kazakh soldiers in front of the Ushtobe train station watch a military parade welcoming soldiers returning from training in China. When Koreans were deported, the Soviet government ordered Kazakhs not to make contact with them. Nevertheless, Kazakhs helped Koreans dig holes in the ground for shelter and gave them food, and some hosted them, helping them to survive the first two harsh winters following their relocation. Koreans subsequently served in the Kazakh military during World War II. Ushtobe, Kazakhstan. September 2014.
Celebration of Nowruz at the first Korean school of Kazakhstan, where decades ago nine out of ten students were Korean. Today, only one out of ten students is Korean, and Russian is the main language used in the school, but students can still take optional classes in Korean language, music, and dance.. Bastobe, Kazakhstan. 2016.
A Kazakh man receives acupuncture treatment in a temporary clinic set up by Korean-American missionaries. Ushtobe, Kazakhstan. August 2014.
Ushtobe, the first place Koreans were deported to in 1937, now known as the Korean District of Kazakhstan. Most Koreans have now moved to bigger cities in search of socioeconomic success. Ushtobe, Kazakhstan. 2016.
Stubble burning in preparation of the rice harvest, initially developed by Koreans upon their arrival in the Kazakh steppe in 1937. Ushtobe, Kazakhstan. 2016.
Dried fish in a deportee's home. Much of the food that descendants of Koreans eat follows the tradition brought from the far east. Ushtobe, Kazakhstan. 2016.
Street scene in Samarkand, a city with one of the largest Korean communities in Uzbekistan. Samarkand, Uzbekistan. 2016.
Deportee's home. The Siberian tiger is one of the most important animals in Korean folklore, symbolising courage and good luck. Like the deported Koreans, the Siberian tiger inhabited the Amur region of the Primorsky Province in the Russian Far East, which was once Korean territory. Ushtobe, Kazakhstan. December 2014.
Nastya and Sveta Nam’s parents are half-Korean and half-Russian. The sisters learn Korean at a Korean church in Ushtobe and dream of studying language and traditional dance in South Korea. Ushtobe, Kazakhstan. September 2014.
Kazakhstani Korean food differs from traditional Korean food. Their cuisine has been influenced by ingredients used in Russian and Kazakh cuisine. Ushtobe, Kazakhstan. September 2014.
Korean Theatre of Almaty. Founded in Vladivostok in 1932, the Korean theatre was deported to Kazakhstan along the rest of the population. Korean-language schools were banned, but the Soviet government did not enforce the closure of the theatre. However, its productions were strictly controlled by the government, allowing only ten percent of the plays to refer to Korean culture. The rest was to be dedicated to Russian and Soviet plays. Almaty, Kazakhstan. September 2014.
Kazakh soldiers in Ushtobe train station during a military parade. When Koreans were deported to Kazakhstan in 1937, the Soviet government ordered Kazakhs not to make contact with Koreans and spread false rumours of cannibalism. Nevertheless, Kazakhs helped Koreans dig holes in the ground for shelter, gave them food, and some hosted them to survive the first two harsh winters following their relocation. Ushtobe, Kazakhstan. September 2014.
Kazakh children playing on a frozen river in Ushtobe, the first place Koreans were deported to in 1937. Ushtobe, Kazakhstan. December 2014.
Uzbek Wedding preparations near a Korean cultural centre and a language school in the district of Mirabad in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, where many Korean descendants live. Tashkent, Uzbekistan. 2016.
Celebration of a ‘dol’ (a Korean tradition that celebrates the first birthday of a baby) in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. While the Koreans of Uzbekistan have lost the language of their great grandparents, they still practice Korean traditions to this day. Tashkent, Uzbekistan. 2016.
Care home for victims of the deportation, founded with the help of the South Korean government. This care home regularly receives volunteers from South Korea. Sverdlov, Uzbekistan. 2016.
Skeleton frame of a Soviet building in Ushtobe, Kazakhstan, the first place Koreans were deported to in 1937, now known as the Korean District of Kazakhstan. Most Koreans have now moved to bigger cities in search of socioeconomic success. Ushtobe, Kazakhstan. December 2014.
Ethnic Korean teenagers wearing traditional dresses after a rehearsal in the first Korean-language school of Kazakhstan, where decades ago nine out of ten students were ethnic Koreans. Today, only one out of ten students is Korean, and Russian is the main language used in the school, but students can still take optional classes in Korean language, music, and dance. Eskeldy-bi, Kazakhstan. January 2015.
Lyrics of a Korean song titled "Seoul Forever", written phonetically in cyrillic. Less than 3 percent of the Koreans of Kazakhstan speak their Russified dialect, Koryo-mar, which has ties to an ancient version of the language that South Koreans are no longer able to understand. Those who can still speak the dialect write it phonetically, in cyrillic, in order to preserve old folk songs as well as new ones brought from the Korean Peninsula. Ushtobe, Kazakhstan. December 2014.
Sung-ok Tigay, 92, was deported from Vladivostok at the age of 13 and lost her parents soon afterward. She recalls that while living in earth dugouts that Kazakhs helped them dig, up to five people per dugout might die overnight due to the cold weather, illness, or starvation. Nowadays, Sung-ok sings herself to sleep with old Korean folksongs. She used to sing many of these songs in the rice fields of the arid Kazakh steppe, where she worked until her hands became fractured. Ushtobe, Kazakhstan. September 2014.
Fallen cross in Bastobe hill, one of the first Korean settlements in Kazakhstan, now a cemetery for ethnic Koreans. The deported Koreans spent two harsh winters in holes dug in the ground for shelter as they did not receive building materials, help, or compensation they had been promised by the state. As a consequence, many died of hunger, illness, and cold. Ushtobe, Kazakhstan. September 2014.
Sisters Anna and Aliona Kim, singing a Korean folk song. As a Korean living in the Russian Far East, their father was forcefully deported to Kazakhstan. Their mother was Russian thus free to stay, but unwilling to be separated from her husband, she decided to board the train with him. Eskeldy-bi, Kazakhstan. January 2015.