ABOUT KYRGYZSTAN

Kyrgyzstan

 is a land of magnificent mountains and beautiful valleys, crystal clear lakes and mighty mountain rivers. It lies in the very heart of Central Asia, where nature, still untouched, offers breathtaking views and experiences.

Kyrgyz literally means “we are forty” in reference of forty Kyrgyz tribes.

 Although partly urbanised, Kyrgyz people still keep their traditions. These include respecting elders, birth and burial ceremonies, celebrating Noruz – the New Year at the vernal equinox, playing traditional musical instruments, and many others. For example, the importance of horse riding is reflected in a number of traditional sports, such as At chabysh, Kyz kuumai, At oodarysh, Ulak tartysh, and others. Another example of a traditional game is hunting with the birds of prey: gold eagles and falcons.

 

Manas

is our legendary hero who united forty regional tribes against the enemies.

 The Epic of Manas is a traditional epic poem. With approximately 500,000 lines, it is about the same length as the famous Indian epic Mahabharata, but its uniqueness is that it was carried through centuries orally, without being recorded, until the turn of the 20th century. It is traditionally delivered by specially trained narrators who tell the tale in a melodic chant unaccompanied by musical instruments.

 

 

Traditions

Kyrgyz people have carried through centuries their authentic culture and distinctive character. Since ancient times they have been known for their warmth and hospitality. No guest will go hungry after visiting a Kyrgyz family.

 Although partly urbanised, Kyrgyz people still keep their traditions. These include respecting elders, birth and burial ceremonies, celebrating Noruz – the New Year at the vernal equinox, playing traditional musical instruments, and many others. For example, the importance of horse riding is reflected in a number of traditional sports, such as At chabysh, Kyz kuumai, At oodarysh, Ulak tartysh, and others. Another example of a traditional game is hunting with the birds of prey: gold eagles and falcons.

 

Quick Facts about Kyrgyzstan

  • Kyrgyzstan is a parliamentary republic. It gained an independence from the Soviet Union in 1991.
  • Population 6.4 mln.
  • Kyrgyzstan is a bilingual country, with 4.1 mln. people speaking Kyrgyz, and 2.5 million speaking Russian as native or second language. Kyrgyz is a member of the Turkic group of languages.
  • Capital: Bishkek (one mln. people)
  • The southern capital, Osh, is claimed to be 3,000 years old.
  • There are three mountain peaks at least 7,000 metres high; an average altitude is 2,750 metres.
  • Lake Issyk-Kul is the second largest mountain lake in the world.