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Kyrgyzstan

 

A landlocked country, Kyrgyzatan is located in Central Asia. Ninety five percent of the country is covered by the Tien Shan mountain range. Its neighbouring countries include Uzbekistan in the west, Kazakhstan in the north and China on the southwest. Its location in the mountains allows the country to be divided in into to the northern and southern regions. The cooler region of the north is made up of Naryn oblasts, Chui, Talas, and Issyk-Kul. While the southern, warmer area is composed of Jalalabad, Osh and Batken. The southern half of the country also contains Fergana Valley, providing the country with its fertile agricultural region.

Nomads by tradition, the Kyrgyz are a very friendly and hospitable people. The Nomadic traditions can be seen all around the country, especially their love for horses. A favourite pastime is Kok Boru. In this game the male players wrestle each other while mounted on a horseback for the victory prize of a headless goat carcass. Crowds enjoy watching and cheer their favourite rider. Another Kyrgyz passion includes birds of prey, especially the Eagle and Falcon. Hunting rabbits with trained eagles is the norm.

The country is endowed with natural resources like large deposits of gold and electricity from hydro power. These constitute their country’s major exports on which the economy depends. Other materials include coal, oil, natural gas and deposits of uranium, mercury, nepheline, lead, zinc and bismuth. Agriculture is the major sector responsible for the production of wool and meat for local consumption while cotton and tobacco are exported.

Kyrgyz culture relies essentially on nomadic traditions that are linked to the days of the Mongols. Even though the modern citizens live in apartments and houses, it is still possible to see people living in the yurt with herds of goat, horses and at times yaks during certain times of the year. There are a number of tourist yurt camps catering to the needs of the tourists. 

 

Fast Facts:

Capital:    Bishkek

Government:    Constitutional republic

Monetary unit:    Som

Languages:    Kyrgyz (official), Uzbek, Russian (official), Dungun

Ethnicity:    Kyrgyz, Uzbek, Russian, Dungan, Ukrainian, Uygur

Religions:    Islam; Russian Orthodox

Total area:    73,861 sq mi (191,300 sq km)

 

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