Name: Kyrgyz Republic (5.6 million people)
Capital: Bishkek (over 1 million people)
Territory: 199,900 sq km
Neighbors: Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, China
Language: Kyrgyz (state), Russian (official)
Currency: Som (KGS)
Country code: +996
Big cities. Crowded streets. Everyone is in a hurry. Many telephone calls and you have no time even for a cup of coffee. Everyday work, so much to do, people are waiting for your answers and offers. You are running for another meeting. Traffic jam. Cars are staying in a long line. Nerves, stress… Stop!
Imagine: Silence of the mountains, pure nature, boundless blue sky, fresh air, cool breath of glaciers, challenging snow white peaks, untouched slopes and all of this is Kyrgyzstan! A wonderful country where 95% of the whole territory is mountains. 88 ridges of the great Tian-Shan mountain system are stretched from the West to the East. Most of the mountain chains lead their summits over the snow line; there are the most known peaks such as Pobeda (7439 m), the legendary pyramid of Khan-Tengri (7010 m) and many others. The biggest mountainous system at the territory of Kyrgyzstan is Pamir with its well-known seventhousender – Lenin Peak (7134m) and other not less famous summits.
There is so much to discover in Kyrgyzstan: variety of wild life and landscapes, lakes and rivers, people and traditions, history and culture. We can easily call Kyrgyzstan – country of contrasts. One day you have a chance to see dry empty scenery of desert and then get to the foothills of mountains with their fur trees, rivers and peaks covered with permanent snows.
Meet up with culture of hospitable nomads. “Guest is a messenger of God” – said ancient nomads. Nothing has changed. Open heart and friendly people give their best for their visitors. You can be easily invited into a yurt (dwelling of nomadic people) regaled with the bread, mares milk and hot tea.
Travelling in Kyrgyzstan you will touch the ancient history of the great Silk Road; drive the way that caravans crossed many years ago. Try national dishes. Climb legendary mountains.
Kyrgyz cuisine is so various and it is not difficult to imagine how many dishes you can find here as the country was located on the way of the Great Silk Road. Caravans brought not just goods for trade but also culture and traditions of other countries: Turkish, Arabian, Persian, Chinese, Indian, European and Russian. As the result of cultural mixing Kyrgyz cuisine has elements from all the countries people of which travelled by the routes of Silk Road. Some of dishes are very similar to each other in Central Asia. Kyrgyz dishes have mainly meat, bread, milk products that are very typical for nomads. Turkish people (Uzbeks and Uigurs) have brought with them kebabs, pilafs and noodles. In turn most of herbs and seasoning came from India, Pakistan and Iran. Today in Kyrgyzstan live more than 80 nationalities and you can find any kind of cuisine: Russian, Turkish, Indian, Georgian, European, Chinese and etc.
Most popular local dishes
– Besh Barmak – meet (mainly lamb) and noodles, the name is translated as “5 fingers”, nomads usually ate it with hands without using fork or spoon.
– Shorpo – lamb bouillon
– Kuurdak – pot roast with potatoes and onion
– Manty – dumplings (meat, fat and onion)
– Lagman – long noodles with meat, sauce and vegetables
Holidays celebrated in Kyrgyzstan
1 of January – New Year
7 of January – Christmas
23 of February – Defender of the Fatherland Day
8 of March – Women’s day
21 of March – Nooruz (The vernal equinox)
1 of May – International Workers’ Day
5 of May – Day of Constitution
9 of May – Day of Victory (WWII)
31 of August – Independence day
Souvenirs to bring home
Most of the traditional arts and crafts are made of felt (sheep wool) or leather.
Shyrdak – tight felt carpet
Women’s Scarf – silk and felt
Kalpak – national men’s hat made of felt
Felt toys – nice and funny that will remind you of hospitable Kyrgyzstan
Slippers – made of felt in eastern style
Simple words that will help you in communication:
English Kyrgyz Russian
Yes – Ооба (ooba) – Да (da)
No – Жок (jok) – Нет (net)
Ok – Макул (makul) – Оk
Hi – Салам (salam) – Привет (privet)
Hello – Салам Алейкум (salam aleikum) – Здравствуйте (zdravstvuite)
Good bye – Кошкула (Koshkula) – До свидания (do svidaniya)
Sorry – Кечиресиз (kechiresiz) – Извините (izvinite)
My name is … – Менин атым (menin atym) – Меня зовут (menya zovut)
How are you? – Кандай? (kandai) – Как дела? (Kak dela)
Good – Жакшы (jakshy) – Хорошо (khorosho)
Bad – Жаман (jaman) – Плохо (ploho)
Welcome – Кош келиниздер (kosh kelinizder) – Добро пожаловать (dobro pojalovat)
See you tomorrow – Эртенке чейин (ertenke cheiin) – До завтра (do zavtra)
Thank you – Рахмат (rakhmat) – Спасибо (spasibo)
To the Right – Онго (ongo) – Направо (napravo)
To the Left – Солго (solgo) – Налево (nalevo)
How much? – Канча? (kancha) – Сколько? (skolko)
Mountains – Тоолор (toolor) – Горы (gory)
We got to the summit – Биз тоонун чокосуна жеттик (biz toonun chokosuna jettik) – Мы достигли вершины горы (mi dostigli vershiny gory)
Weather – Аба ырайы (aba yraiy) – Погода (pogoda)
Snow – Кар (kar) – Снег (sneg)
Sun – Кун (kyun) – Солнце (solntse)
Wind – Шамал (shamal) –Ветер ( veter)
Friend –Дос (dos) – Друг (drug)
Tomorrow – Эртен (erten) – Завтра ( zavtra)
Tasty – Таттуу (tattuu) – Вкусный (vkusnyi)