Shymkent, formerly known as Chimkent, is the capital city of South Kazakhstan Province, the most populated region in Kazakhstan. Shymkent is the third populous city behind Almaty and Astana. The city is a major railroad junction on the Turkestan-Siberia Railway. Shymkent is also notable as a cultural center. Culture of Shymkent grows as well as other areas of life. 19 national cultural centers often organize folk festivals in the parks of the city. There is philharmonic hall, art gallery, museum, library, various theaters.
Shymkent reveals its etymology as a "green city". In Turkic "Chim" or "Shym" means "turf", "meadow," and Kent stands for the "city".