Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Kyrgyzstan History

The name qirqiz or kyrgyz comes from the 8th century. The Kyrgyz people are originally from the Siberian region of Yenisey Valley and moved to the actual area due to pressure of the Mongols. It is believed that the name Kyrgyz means Kirkkyz (forty girls) as reference of the 40 tribes.

Jeti Orguz Valley

Nowadays most of the ethnic Kyrgyz lives in the Kyrgyz Republic, but there are also some groups in Afghanistan, China, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan.
Kyrgyzstan was before known as Kirghiz Soviet Socialist Republic or Kirghizia.

The total are is 76,500 squares miles (198.500 square kilometers). It is surrounded by Kazakhstan to the north, China to the southeast, Tajikistan to the southwest and Uzbekistan to the northwest.

Country is 94% mountainous with only 20% arable. The valleys are widely populated with only a few roads paved.
A beautiful Kyrgyz Valley

The capital of the country, Bishkek, is located north of the country very close to the border with Kazakhstan. It was known by the name of Frunze by Soviet times. Northern side of the country had more Russian influence, while southern part adopted most of the Uzbek traditions. Naryn region in the center is where we can find more pure Kyrgyz culture.


The population of Kyrgyzstan by 2011 is estimated in 6 millions. Approximately 60% are Ethnic Kyrgyz, with 22.5% of Russian and 12,6% Uzbeks. There is several smaller groups as Germans, Ukrainians, Dungans, Kazakhs, Tajiks. Uighours, Koreans and Chinese. Most of the German and Russian minorities emigrates after the Fall of the Soviet Union, but the Government is trying to slow down this process.

Woman wearing traditional clothes

Kyrgyz is a Turkic language and it is related to Turkish and Kazakh language. Many Russian words had been adopted. Kyrgyz was originally written in Arabic, but Soviet changed this into Latin alphabet and later into Cyrillic. After the independence they decided to go back to Latin Alphabet, however this transition did not took place yet. Russian is considered official language too since 2000 and it’s widely spoken by the population, especially in the north and the Capital. All the students in a University degree must study in Russian language.

Militia building in Aksuu, Karakol

There is many streets, fountains, building and even Bishkek airport dedicated to the national hero Manas, who is the symbol of Kyrgyz bravery and often represented riding a horse with sword in hand, beating the Kyrgyz enemies.
But more than warriors, Kyrgyz consider themselves as artist. Komuz is the national instrument and felt is widely used for decoration.
You can find the komuz in the very uncommon 1 som note

Source:, Kyrgyz people knowledge
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