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Kyrgyz Language Lesson #1

Nomad Life

Kyrgyz sounds like it is merrily tripping and skipping through a mountain meadow with its Ts, Ks, Rs, and Ngs. But it is equally happy wrapped up in a blanket and hibernating through a cold winter, with the Oos, the Uus, Shs, and Zs. Trying to learn it requires a remastery of lip movement and vowel ...

24.02.2020 242

Kalpak Day!

Nomad Life

The iconic cap of Central Asia was constitutionally recognized as a cultural symbol in 2016. Since then, every March 5th a sea of white hats fill the streets as men gather to celebrate the national pride and symbolism that is epitomized in the kalpak.Traditionally these headpieces are called ak-kalp...

05.03.2020 267

Kymyz | The Kyrgyz Cure-All

Nomad Life

Take a summer drive to the mountains, or to Issyk-Kul, or any valley stemming into the ranges of Kyrgyzstan, and you will undoubtedly see the large, hand-painted signs advertising “кымыз”. Kymyz is a form of fermented mare’s milk that gets collected, brewed, and consum...

01.04.2020 302

The Toi Table


Kyrgyz culture is known for its hospitality. Kyrygz people honorably meet guests with lots of national food and presents. They believe that guests bring luck and blessing to their family. Thus, they treat guests as generously as possible. Usually guests come over without invitation, and every family...

13.12.2019 891

Besh Barmak


“Besh” = five “Barmak” = finger The national dish of Kyrgyzstan is traditionally eaten without utensils, hence the name: besh barmak. Very little is required to make this dish, though a true platter of besh barmak represents at least 4 or 5 hours of ...

13.12.2019 296

W.O.W. | Kant


“Experience without theory is blind, but theory without experience is mere intellectual play.”-Immanuel KantTo much of the world, “kant” evokes images of an 18th century Prussian philosopher, but in Kyrgyzstan the word is much more common, although less quotab...

19.12.2019 244

Chai Ich | Drink Tea


An imperative command that is anything but rhetorical, “chai ich” is the summons to the table. Multiple times throughout the day, tea and bread are enjoyed by Kyrgyz families, friends and colleagues. A few of those times a much larger meal is eaten, but the presence of tea is ind...

28.01.2020 449

Bizarre Bazaars | Shopping in Kyrgyzstan


Osh bazaar, Ortosai bazaar, Alameddin bazaar, Town bazaar, Dordoi bazaar… Every corner of Bishkek has its place to shop, and every town in Kyrgyzstan has its central market, either open every day or exploding into an empty lot once a week.Like many places, Kyrgyz markets are ablaze with c...

31.01.2020 229

Lepyoshka | The Pretty Round Bread


As of yet, we’ve only alluded to it, but now is the time to discuss the third essential of a traditional Kyrgyz table: bread! For all of the gluten-free eaters (by force or by choice), you’ll want to skip this one. Next to sugar and tea, bread will always be present in a Kyrgyz h...

17.02.2020 670

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