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KYRGYZSTAN AT A GLANCE
Name: Kyrgyz Republic, conventionally shortened to Kyrgyzstan (the former: Kirgiz Soviet Socialist Republic).
Geographic Coordinates: 41 00 N, 75 00 E
Area: 198,500 sq km (76,640 sq miles).
Borders: Uzbekistan 1,099 km, Kazakhstan 1,051 km, Tajikistan 870 km, China 858 km.
Climate: Dry continental to sub-polar in high Tien Shan mountains; subtropical in the SW (Fergana Valley); temperate in northern foothill zones.
Data Code: KG
Government Type: Republic
State emblem presents the circle with wide rim. In the centre on the blue background there is the lake Issyk-Kul – the pearl of Central Asia. The waters of the lake symbolise natural beauty, the source of life and energy. Behind the lake there are seven peaks symbolising seven regions of Kyrgyzstan and there are also the rising sun and white eagle – symbol of liberality and vigilance, height of thoughts of Kyrgyzstan citizens, inhabiting the country of celestial mountains. On the rim there are wheatears – symbol of diligence and peace and twigs of cotton plants with opened cotton balls.
Adopted on 14th of January, 1994.
Capital: Bishkek [formerly Frunze]
National Holidays: National Day – 2nd December; Independence Day – 31st August
Constitution: adopted 5th May 1993
National currency: Som
Population: 5,067,000 (UN estimate 2002).
Ethnic Groups: Kyrgyz 52.4%, Russian 18%, Uzbek 12.9%, Ukrainian 2.5%, German 2.4%, others 11.8%
Religions: Muslim 75%, Russian Orthodox 20%, others 5%
Languages: Kyrgyz and Russian (the Kyrgyzstan legislature amended the constitution to make Russian an official language along with Kyrghyz in March 1996)
Time: GMT + 5 hours
Electricity: 220 volts AC, 50Hz; round two-pin continental plugs are standard.
Aliases: The Kyrgyz Republic, Khirghizstan, Kirgizstan, Kirgizia, Kirgizskaya Respublika, Kyrgyz Respublikasy, Khirghizische Republic.
Kyrgyz carpets – "kiyiz" and "shyrdak" are made of warm felt and are always rich decorated with ornament. Shyrdak is made with help of mosaic technique of application, based on closing of felt blanks with multicolored threads. Ala-kiyiz is made by ramming, rolling the different-colored fur into the friable felt basis. In first case –…
Kelin aluu (the marriage of the son) Wedding ceremonies of Kyrgyz people are the most interesting. We would like to tell you about Kyrgyz nuptial tradition, which exists today and the difference between an old tradition and the present. So imagine a young couple that cannot envision their life living separately. At first they should…
Sookko kiruu (Washing the body) When a man dies, before he is buried, according to the shariat (law of Koran), his body must be washed. At first three closest persons of a family must wash the body. It is called "mayram suuga aluu" – the last purifying washing. Then seven representatives from that person’s relatives…
"TUSHO’O KESU’U" (Cutting the strings of a young baby) Tusho’o kesu’u is a Kyrgyz tradition, which is held when the child is one year old, and he just begins to walk. Wishing the child’s future steps to be better and faster, or just wishing him a bright future, happiness and success in everything his parents…
Yurta is a small dwelling, decorated with hand-made felt carpets and strips. Having its routes at ancient Turkic tribes yurta took all the best from many centuries’ experience of people. Kyrgyz tribes, occupied with nomadic cattle-breeding in mountains, worked out the best type of transportable dwelling that is easily disjointed, moved on pack animals and again…
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