DESTINATION: Culture of Kyrgyzstan

DESTINATION KYRGYSTAN


The Kyrgyz are the predominant ethnic group in Kyrgyzstan, which features a diverse mix of other ethnic and cultural groups. The 40-rayed golden sun in the center of the flag represents the 40 Kyrgyz clans, according to general consensus. A yurt is supposed to be represented by the lines inside the sun. Sunni Islam is the majority religion in Kyrgyzstan (91%). Russians are Russian Orthodox in religion.

Languages

Only Kyrgyzstan, a former Soviet republic in Central Asia, began with two official languages, namely Russian and Kyrgyz. Russian is still widely used, and the non-Kyrgyz population, the majority of whom are not Kyrgyz speakers, are hostile to forcible Kyrgyzification. However, an aggressive post-Soviet campaign was established to make the latter the official national language in all commercial and government uses by 1997.

Kyrgyzstan has a high rate of literacy (99%) and a long history of providing education to all residents. Its ambitious plan to reform the Soviet educational system, though, is constrained by a lack of funding. Through the ninth grade, attendance in school is required.
Kyrgyz is being used more frequently for education, however the switch from Russian to Kyrgyz has been difficult due to a lack of textbooks. It is uncertain whether Russian will continue to be the second language of preference or if English will replace it as the universal language.

Demographics

The population of Kyrgyzstan was estimated to be 53% ethnic Kyrgyz, 22% Russian, 14.5% Uzbek, 1.9% Tatar, 0.5% Ukrainian, a tiny group of Germans, and a population of Dungan, a group of Chinese Muslims. The Uyghurs have some potential political significance. In Kyrgyzstan, there were only about 36,000 members of such ethnicity, whereas in Kazakhstan, next door, there were about 185,000. The Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of China, which is northeast of Kyrgyzstan and has a population of roughly 24 million, likewise has a predominantly Uyghur population.

Literary works

Manas is both the name of the epic poem’s titular hero and an oral epic poem narrated by manaschis. One of the longest epics in history, the poem has about 500,000 lines, making it twenty times longer than Homer’s Odyssey. It is a patriotic work that recounts the exploits of Manas, his ancestors, and followers who, according to tradition, fought to defend Kyrgyz independence from the Chinese and Kalmyks in the ninth century.

The national author of Kyrgyzstan is frequently referred to as Chingiz Aytmatov. The well-known Kyrgyz authors Kenesh Jusupov and Kasymaly Jantöshev are also noteworthy. One of the most well-known books in Kyrgyzstan is the book Kanybek by Jantöshev.

Textiles

The majority of the textiles manufactured by Kyrgyz women are felt made from the wool of their own sheep. All yurts and the majority of homes have handmade carpets or felt rugs called shyrdaks, which are adapted from ancient designs for the tourist and export markets today.
Large, ornately embroidered wall hangings called tush kiyiz are typically created by senior women in Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan to mark the marriage of a son or daughter.
The national hat of Kyrgyzstan is the kalpak, which is almost always made of felt.
Colors and patterns are chosen to represent rural life and Kyrgyz traditions. These intricate and vibrant embroideries frequently feature flowers, plants, animals, stylised horns, national themes, and motifs representative of Kyrgyz culture. When a design is finished, which could take years, the artist will occasionally date and sign it. The tush kiyiz, which is hung in the yurt over the couple’s marriage bed, represents their pride in their Kyrgyz culture.

Cuisine

In many ways, Kyrgyzstan’s cuisine resembles that of its neighbors. Mutton, horse, and various dairy products are staples of traditional Kyrgyz cuisine. The nation’s nomadic lifestyle has had a significant impact on the culinary methods and key components. Therefore, the majority of cooking methods are helpful for long-term food preservation. The preferred meat is mutton (lamb), despite the fact that many Kyrgyz cannot afford it frequently.
There are many distinct nationalities and cuisines in Kyrgyzstan. Larger cities like Bishkek, Osh, Jalal-Abad, and Karakol have a wide variety of regional and global cuisines to choose from. The locals consider the typical Kyrgyz foods, which are served on the road and in the villages and are liberally seasoned with oil or sheep fat, to be both delicious and healthful.
The national dish of Kyrgyzstan is pilaf (paloo). The national beverage is thought to be green tea.

Traditions

The custom of bride kidnapping is prohibited but is still carried out.

REFERENCES:

By: Miss Cherry May Timbol – Independent Reporter

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