This is the third installment in my series entitled “Fun With Countries.” If you have missed the previous ones, click on the hyperlinks below to take a trip.
Golden Airlines – the only one that will keep you 100% safe, while satisfying your lust for adventure.
Previous installments in this series:
Unfortunately, I am yet to be visited by someone from those regions of the world. But that is alright. At least now I have something to put on my Christmas list (aside from a private jet) that I will forward to Santa. (Psst: Feel free to become a noble elf and help the old man.) On the bright side, I got a visitor from Papua New Guinea the other day. How cool is that? I never thought it would happen! (If you visit again, please feel free to introduce yourself, PNG person.)
As you already know from the title, today, we are traveling to visit Stan. Kyrgyz Stan. No, I am not a stand-up comedian, but yes – I know I am hilarious. (Just so you know – we will add a couple more Stans to the family in the future.)
Kyrgyzstan belonged to many. If Kyrgyzstan was a woman, … I am not sure how to finish this. Maybe this is why I am NOT a stand-up comedian after all. This part of the world had been ruled by many different empires throughout history, but finally regained its independence in 1991.
How did this country get its name? It is said that a man named Manas united forty clans from around the area to stand up to the Uyghurs – an empire that ruled that part of the world in the 8th and 9th centuries. It is believed that the name Kyrgyzstan means “we are a country of forty.” Kyrgyz – “we are forty” (derived from a Turkic language) and -stan – “country” (Persian). While the country has its own language (Kyrgyz – related to the Turkish languages), Russian is also recognized as an official language and is commonly used.
To say “Hi! My name is…” in Kyrgyz, you would say:
(There are forty rays of sun to commemorate the original forty clans.)
It will probably be of no surprise to you when I tell you that it is the ethnically Kyrgyz people that make up most of the population in that country. However, Russians and Uzbeks create large minorities. When it comes to religion, the majority of the population identifies as Muslim. The country’s culture is said to be based on Turkish influence, as well as Iranic, Mongolian, and Russian. It sounds like a pretty confused nation to me. Does it not?
A vast majority of the country (90%) comprises of mountain ranges. I would have never guessed, but those mountains are home to numerous glaciers, with at least one being considered as one of the largest in the world. Depending on the elevation, and which part of the country you are in, you might experience a subtropical or a polar climate. Quite the diversity.
What more can you find in the Kyrgyz land? Apparently, there is gold and rare-earth metals to be found there. If that is not something you care about, then how about walnuts? Do you like walnuts? I love them. Kyrgyzstan’s walnut forests are one of the largest natural ones in the world.
If you are not a fan of gold OR walnuts, you must be hard to please. I wonder if population density might do it for you. There are fewer than 30 people for every square kilometer (0.6 miles) in Kyrgyzstan, making it one of the least crowded countries in the world. Sounds like paradise for some of us writers, does it not? I even read that the most famous person in Kyrgyzstan is… no, not a sports personality, not a politician, not a celebrity, but A WRITER!
Have you ever drank mare’s milk? A mare is a female horse. In Kyrgyzstan, mare’s milk is very popular. So is horse meat. If you are not into milk, you might choose to settle on tea, which is widely popular and practically drank with every meal.
Should you plan on visiting Kyrgyzstan, keep in mind that, currently, there are no planes flying directly there from the European Union. And no airlines from Kyrgyzstan are allowed into the EU countries due to a difference in safety protocols.
In the US, it is not uncommon for there to be three cars in a single household (both parents and a 16+-year-old kid). In Kyrgyzstan, there are 160 registered vehicles per 1,000 people. Because the terrain is mostly mountainous, people rely on horses more than on cars. The thought of no traffic is music to my ears. Plus, it sounds like the air quality should be much better, too.
Is there a monetary denomination of 3 in your country? Not here in the US, but there is 3 som in Kyrgyzstan. How weird is that?
Kyrgyzstan seems like the perfect country to get drunk – beers cost just a little over 1 euro, and a bottle of vodka is less than 4 euros. However, the country is known for its potholes on roads and sidewalks, as well as uncovered sewers, so be safe.
Do you know how the Great Wall of China came to be? It turns out that it was the people of Kyrgyzstan that kept raiding the borders of China, raising the need for a … more substantial border.
Have you been to Kyrgyzstan?
Were you, like I, surprised by the glaciers and walnuts?
Would you like to go?
What did you find most interesting about the country?
What kind of information would you like me to include in my FwC posts?
Aлтын бойдон кал [pronounced: altin boydon kal]
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