FwC: Kyrgyzstan

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.

Remember:

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.)

A piece of the World Map with a spotlight on Kyrgyzstan

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:

Cалам! Mенин атым [insert name].

Google translate (salam! menin atım…)
Flag of Kyrgyzstan
Kyrgyz Republic’s flag

(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?

Sources:
10 Interesting Facts About Kyrgyzstan
Kyrgyzstan
Facts about Kyrgyzstan
More facts about Kyrgyzstan

Aлтын бойдон кал [pronounced: altin boydon kal]

Which means:

Stay golden,

SGK signature.png

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45 thoughts on “FwC: Kyrgyzstan

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  1. When I checked my stats I discovered that I have had one blog visitor (in over 5 years) from there so there must be some ability to connect. I can imagine that with such a sparse population and travel being done by horseback hopping on line and reading blogs is probably not a priority for most.
    I do like both gold and walnuts! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Interesting. 1 visit in 5 years. Good enough. I wonder if those one-off visits from specific countries are simply by Westerners who travel through that country. I remember trying to hunt down travel bloggers back in the day, but most of the time they posted about their travel in those countries AFTER they had returned home. And then it was too late for them to visit my page from that “exotic” country.

      Liked by 1 person

          1. You might remember the one I wrote “garlic soap” I wrote it because I saw that people were finding my blog because they were searching for the term “garlic soap”. I think it has been my most viewed post over all.

            Liked by 2 people

  2. Kyrgyz and Russian must be very similar languages. Those words are conjugated a little differently than Russian words would be, but I can tell they come from the same roots. Also, the “b” character in the Cyrillic alphabet isn’t exactly silent, it’s more like a L that you swallow, if that makes any sense. (I know absolutely nothing about Kyrgyzstan, but a little bit about Russian. So I’m playing to my strengths.)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I very interesting post. I heard of Kyrgyzstan many years ago when a company I worked for set up a news office there. I too have some visit my blog from there. ‘Stan’ I honestly thought that was a hindi word, as it is used all over india and I think it can also mean place, land, etc. Maybe as you say many empires have owned it may be it could have been through the mogul’s.

    Anyway, Very interesting post.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Interesting. very. Interesting.

    Nope never been there but have come across references to that part of the world in movies and books… I think Rambo was set in oneof the stans, and The Kite Runner is in a neighbouring stan, so I looked them up in the world Atlas.

    ~B

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Very interesting piece!. I know the serbian cyrillic alphabet, but I think the Russian version is more complicated.
    I knew Kyrgyzstan was a mainly Muslim country, which I don’t usually assiocite with the cyrillic script. So that is very interesting.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. I thought there were more letters in the Russian alphabet, but not too much difference.
        Serbian is easier for me because it is nearly the same as bosnian and croatian. And the rule for those languages is, you write as you say it.
        For example, the word “computer” is written as “kompjuter”. Easy as that 😁

        Liked by 2 people

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