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  • Let me tell you a little story: Once upon a time there were two brothers : Kazakhstan & Kyrgyzstan.

  • The older one was favored by his adoptive father, went to a university,

  • Got a good job, built a corporation that employed thousands of people and made billions, whereas the younger brother, was like:

  • Kyrgyzstan : "Hah! Nerd. I'm gonna go, like, party in the mountains or something and, like, I don't know. Party and whatever man?"

  • and that's basically Kyrgyzstan.

  • Everyone I'm your host, Barbs. If you don't know anything about Kyrgyzstan,

  • which I wouldn't be surprised if you didn't, basically they are, like, the party animals of Central Asia.

  • Dude, they love to dance, and what better way to start the party than by telling you where the party's at?

  • Okay, guys, seriously, I'm gonna have to ring the bell, again. Kyrgyzstan is a tripster nation,

  • one that few people go to, that you might want to start checking out now,

  • before the massive flocks of annoying tourists come in and ruin everything.

  • First of all, Kyrgyzstan is landlocked, located in Central Asia

  • Surrounded by four countries with a horrible mess of enclaves and exclaves mostly mixed in with Uzbekistan, in this area known

  • as the Fergana Valley. We'll talk more about this in a bit.

  • The capital city is Bishkek

  • located in the north, and the country is divided into seven regions or Oblasts, with the two largest cities,

  • Bishkek and Osh, acting as independent entities with the same status as an Oblast.

  • Of course after those two, the third largest city is Jalal-Abad,

  • However Karakol is a more popular tourist destination.

  • The largest airports are of course also found in the largest cities Bishkek's Manas International and Osh International Airport.

  • Okay, now back to the enclaves/exclave thing. Basically over here you see a ton of choppy scraps of land that make no sense

  • because they belong to other countries within Krygyzstan.

  • You have the four Uzbek exclaves including the largest one, Sokh which is strange because it's a Uzbek territory

  • Even though it's 99% populated, by Tajiks. With Tajikistan you have Vorukh as, well as the area of Kayragach

  • but I think Google Earth got it wrong because they put the borders here

  • Which is just an empty stretch of uninhabited road.

  • This all happened because a number of factors. Some being because of things like:

  • Areas having historically inhabited people groups

  • And others things like, you know, (Russian accent) making Soviet Russia anything was being possible.

  • But, yeah, that basically covers it. I mean, the country kind of looks like a fish with deformed back fin

  • but, yeah, that pretty much concludes the land demarcations.

  • All right, there's the part we mentioned some notable places of interest. So, here we go

  • (Forgive my horrible pronunciation)

  • Karakol Dungan Mosque

  • Ala Too Square with the Manas Complex

  • The Ak Örgö Yurt Workshop

  • The State Museum of Fine Arts

  • Jayma and Osh Bazaars

  • Karakol Animal Market

  • The Koshoy Ruins

  • The Monument of Yuri Gagarin

  • These petroglyphs (Cholpon Ata and Ak Sai)

  • Tasha Rabat

  • Hippodrome

  • And probably the most iconic national monuments: Barana Tower

  • which is like one of the oldest buildings in the country that still stands today

  • even though some of it was destroyed but it's still there.

  • Sweet, moving on

  • Now the biggest appeal to Kyrgyzstan is hands down the landscape

  • I mean they have thousands of lakes over 400 rivers and canals

  • 88 mountain ranges forests and almost all of it is untouched, so far.

  • First of all

  • the country is over three-quarters mountainous, with the Tian Shan Mountains making up the majority of the land

  • Here, you can also find the source of the longer river being The Naryn that flows westward.

  • But the Chu river is probably the most important, as it flows through Bishkek and empties into the largest

  • and most iconic fiscal landmark: Issyk-Kul Lake, the largest in the country

  • Issyk-Kul is the second largest saline lake after the Caspian Sea

  • The second largest high altitude lake after Lake Titicaca in South America

  • (Heheh, South America)

  • The cool thing is, the salt water in addition to hot springs causes the lake never freeze, even in winter freezing months

  • Just to hop away and you can find the tallest mountain: Jengish Chokusu

  • which is shared with China at the border.

  • Yeah, China kinda has this thing, where they like to take: "Share, share half of everybody highest points"

  • China: "Dude, that's the second time you make that joke"

  • and i'll keep it coming

  • China: "I'm watching you..."

  • Hehehe, no, you're not.

  • Ooooooooooohhhhhh, eddddgggyyyyy

  • The sixth largest non-polar glacier in the world, Inylchek

  • They have crazy looking canyons

  • Like, Fairytale Canyon and The Seven Bulls Cliff

  • And on top of that, at over 27.000 acres, they have the worlds largest walnut forest

  • Yeah, WALNUTS

  • Speaking of which food wise, they are very so much of their brothers Kazakhstan up north

  • but they add a little mountain flare to the dishes, like:

  • Beshbarmak

  • Plov

  • Kuurdak

  • Oromo

  • Which is also a name of that people group that we study in the Ethiopia episode. Remember, Oromo people?

  • Manti

  • Boorsoq

  • Kurut

  • Shorpo

  • and Vodka, it's super cheap, is like only 4$ a bottle.

  • The national animal is the Snow Leopard

  • and Kyrgyzstan's wildlife is a little more diverse and unique from their cousins

  • They have things like the Marco Polo Sheep, the largest in the world

  • Stone Marten

  • Brown Bear

  • Pallas Cat

  • of course horses which they like to both meat and milk

  • Which by the way, milking a horses is really difficult.

  • Kyrgyzstan is also famous for being an insane the untapped potential candidate for green energy

  • In fact they make so much energy through hydroelectric dams they actually ended up exporting it to their neighbor countries.

  • Outside investors have been keeping their eyes on Kyrgyzstan for a while,

  • it's like:

  • Investor: Hey, Kyrgyzstan.

  • Kyrgyzstan: Yo, whats up?

  • Investor: How many day your sunshine you have?

  • Kyrgyzstan: I mean, 250, give or take

  • Investor: Okay and those valleys and the Alai Mountain range are pretty windy year-round aren't they?

  • Kyrgyzstan: Yeah, definitely

  • Investor: Okay, okay, so here's an idea for you, why don't we like put the ton of solar panels and wind turbine

  • Kyrgyzstan: WAIT...I mean, that's cool, man we'll get to that eventually but I think we should dance first.

  • Investor: .....What?

  • Oh, they also have the world's last pure mercury mine in the world.

  • I mean they have a lot of mines and gold makes up a huge portion of their exports

  • but yeah, mercury is big deal too. That stuff can kill you if you're not careful.

  • OH NOW YOU TELL ME!

  • Kyrgyzstan is beautiful with a lot of economic potential but they don't seem to tap into it too much

  • I mean, they'd rather climb trees than cut them down.

  • That's kind of like the Kyrgyz way, which brings us to...

  • Kyrgyz....that's, what you call, these people Kyrgyz, not Kyrgyzstani, not Kyrgyzstanian, Kyrgyz. Got it? Good.

  • Kyrgyzstan originally comes from a word that means something along lines of "We Are 40" referring to the original 40 tribes that inhabited the area

  • 40 is an important number to these people and everything starts with

  • This guy, Manas. We'll jump into that in a sec, but first

  • Kyrgyzstan is made up of about 6 million people and has one of the most evenly distributed populations per square kilometre

  • At over 65% of the population being rural.

  • The country is about 75% Kyrgyz, 12% Uzbek, 6% Russian, and the remainder is made up of various other people groups like

  • Chinese, Chinese Uyghurs and so on.

  • They also use the Som as their currency

  • Which is one of the only currencies that uses a denomination of 3.

  • They use type C plug outlet and they drive on the right side of the road.

  • Now I ask some of you Kyrgyz subscribers

  • What your culture is like and the responses I mostly got work, we are very similar to our Kazakh brothers, but we are mountain folk

  • We grew up with a very different terrain, that has forced us to live a very different life

  • We have a more relaxed party atmosphere and enjoy nature but, we aren't pushovers like, some of our neighbors.

  • If there's a problem, we face it and we will fight back. Why do you think we kicked out two of our presidents?

  • I'm not even joking, that was like literally in one of my emails that one of you guys wrote to me.

  • Surprisingly, EU and US citizens do not require a visa upon entry unlike some of their neighbours,

  • Turkmenistan: "Hey, you want to see Doorway to Hell, you pay and then get out!"

  • Nah Turkmenistan is cool it's just wow they make entry so difficult.

  • Anywho, as mentioned there are historical tribes however these were all united by the hero of Kyrgyzstan, Manas,

  • A guy from the 10th century who fought against the Khitan and Oriat enemies

  • making him the central figure of the longest epic poem in the world.

  • So many things are named after this guy;

  • Streets, statues, universities, radio stations, national parks and the largest airport.

  • The whole Manas thing kind of solidified the Kyrgyz identity apart from their neighbors.

  • Now they could claim a whole new culture based off of mountain tribes and warriors.

  • Speaking of which, they were part of kind of like the invading people groups

  • that forced China to build their great wall which brings us to History,

  • Scythians, Turkic tribes invade, different Turkic tribes defeat the Uyghur Khante, the Manas guy comes in,

  • they formed their own Kyrgyz Khante, Genghis Khan and the Mongols, 19th century Khante of Kokand,

  • 1850s Russians come in, 1918 Kyrgyzstan becomes part of the Soviet Union until 1991 when Kyrgyzstan gains independence,

  • Two revolutions one in 2005 and another in 2010 and here we are today.

  • The Kyrgyz language is almost completely identical to the Kazakh language

  • which is pretty intelligible to the Turkish language as they are all Turkic based.

  • Nonetheless Russian is also an official language as it was taught during Soviet times.

  • The majority of people around 88% of Kyrgyzstan identifies as Muslim.

  • However you don't really see a strong Islamic presence as it was suppressed during Soviet times

  • and plus the traditional Turkic and Mongoloid culture kind of infuses pre-Islamic concepts in their lifestyles.

  • You see it a lot during their celebrations and traditional music and dances.

  • Marriages are very interesting in Kyrgyzstan. To avoid relative marrying,

  • most children learned their male ancestors down to the seventh generation or so.

  • And yes, there is that stigma of kidnap weddings however it's not exactly what you think.

  • Basically most people in the past were arranged to be married by families that were close friends.

  • However if there were two people that loved each other but their families didn't approve,

  • The only, way to get married would be if the woman was 'kidnapped'

  • by her lover and once married the families couldn't do anything.

  • It was kind of like a "weird illegally romantic" thing. Unfortunately in the more common era, this practice has become corrupted

  • and some men took it to the extreme of literally kidnapping women that they just wanted to marry regardless of the woman's consent.

  • Today the practice is shunned upon and it's left a tarnished mark on the Kyrgyz people.

  • Oh, and uhh Kyrgyzstan is also famous for their dances that they take very seriously.

  • Their traditional style incorporates a lot of shoulder jerking movements and bending,

  • which is probably where the modern performers like these guys got their inspiration from

  • Ughhh, that shoulder thing. I mean, I know it will give me nightmares but I can't stop looking.

  • Speaking of performers, some famous people of Kyrgyzstan might include:

  • Chinghiz Aitmatov, Roza Otunbayeva,

  • Isa Akhunbayev, Valentina Shevchenko,

  • Igor Paklin, Talant Dujshebaev, Eldar Djangirov,

  • Salizhan Sharipov, Suimankul Chokmorov,

  • Kurmanjan Datka, Mahmul Al Kashgari and Yusuf Balasaguni.

  • All right, so basically Kyrgyz people are like mountain folk Turkic Mongoloid, hybrid, Muslimy people with cool dance moves.

  • I could've just summarized this whole segment with that but you know

  • Gotta hit that 10 minute YouTube mark so extra monetization

  • All right, moving on.

  • All right, Kyrgyzstan's friends are interesting considering how politically diverse they all are

  • but you know with Kyrgyzstan, it's like "Meh, I don't care if you lean on complete anarchy

  • if we open up trade deals, you have my attention."

  • With China, things are kind of good as they make up the largest trade partner

  • especially after the city of Naryn gained free trade zone status.

  • Tons of Chinese people have opened up businesses and moved in.

  • This however gives Kyrgyzstan a vigilant eye considering what happened to the Uyghur autonomous region, so yeah.

  • When it comes to Russia, Kyrgyzstan actually really like being part of the Soviet Union during Soviet times

  • and was always trying to fight for attention that they unfortunately didn't get too much of.

  • It was actually Russia that had to kind of encourage them to go and adopt their own economic model and currency.

  • To this day, Soviet Memorabilia is still on display in public squares

  • and even after independence, they still love getting visits from their former occupier.

  • The USA on the other hand provides humanitarian and military assistance

  • and help them get into the world trade organization so there's a friendliness aspect there too.

  • When it comes to their best friends however, almost all Kyrgyz people I talked to have said

  • Kazakhstan and some said Turkey as well. Turkey was the first country to recognize Kyrgyzstan's independence

  • and has an eternal friendship cooperation agreement with them as well as embassies and investments.

  • Kazakhstan is basically Kyrgyzstan's big brother that does all the business and trade that trickles into Kyrgyzstan.

  • When squabbles with Uzbekistan come in like pipeline shutdowns,

  • they run to Kazakhstan who mediates and fixes things up for them.

  • They speak the same, they eat the same.

  • When Kazakhstan is pushing himself too hard, Kyrgyzstan is like:

  • "Hey bro, stop it. Just take a break. Come get some fresh mountain air

  • and take a dip in Issyk-Kul. Beshbarmak is on me."

  • In conclusion, Kyrgyzstan is the little brother that knows he's surrounded by economic giants

  • so rather than getting intimidated, he just dances, dances all his worries away.

  • Stay tuned, Lao is coming up next.

Let me tell you a little story: Once upon a time there were two brothers : Kazakhstan & Kyrgyzstan.

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地理Now!キルギスタン (Geography Now! Kyrgyzstan)

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    林宜悉 に公開 2021 年 01 月 14 日
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