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About Kyrgyzstan

The Kyrgyz Republic is a country located in the north-eastern part of Central Asia. It borders with Kazakhstan in the north, with Uzbekistan in the west, with Tajikistan in the south-west, with China in the east and south-east.

Total area: 199,900 km2

Capital: Bishkek

Languages: national language is Kyrgyz, official language is Russian.

Administrative division: 7 regions, 40 administrative districts, 22 cities and towns, 429 rural municipalities

Largest cities: Bishkek, Osh, Jalal-Abad, Karakol

Population: 5.6 million people

Population density: 29 people/km²

Time: + 6 hours from Greenwich time (GMT + 06:00)

Currency: Kyrgyz som (KGS)

Geographical information:

Kyrgyzstan is a landlocked country. More than ¾ of the country is mountainous. The highest point is Pobeda Peak (7439 m). The lowest point of Kyrgyzstan is located in Batken region, at an altitude of 401 m above sea level. The average altitude of the country is about 2750 m.

Throughout the country there are two major mountain systems. They are Tien-Shan in the north-east and Pamir-Alay in the south-west. In Kyrgyzstan there are 40,000 large and small rivers, over 2,000 lakes, 8,000 glaciers.

Climate:

Most of the country is located in the temperate climate zone, the southern regions are in the zone of subtropical climate. In general, the climate is continental, but in Issyk-Kul region it’s close marine climate. The average January temperature is between -4°C and -14°C, the average July temperature is between +17°C and +38°C.

 

Passports & Visas

Visa free regime in the Kyrgyz Republic applies to the citizens of the following countries: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Vietnam, Cuba, Malaysia (up to 30 days), Mongolia (up to 90 days), Turkey (up to 30 days), Ukraine (up to 90 days), Uzbekistan (up to 60 days) and Japan.

According to the Law of the Kyrgyz Republic “About introduction of a visa-free regime for citizens of some states within 60 days”, the citizens of the following countries are exempt from the visa requirement for up to 60 days:

  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Bahrain
  • Belgium
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Brunei
  • Canada
  • Croatia
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Great Britain
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Kuwait
  • Latvia
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • Monaco
  • Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Qatar
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Singapore
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • South Korea
  • Spain
  • Switzerland
  • Sweden
  • UAE
  • USA
  • Vatican

 

Customs and traditions

Culture of Kyrgyzstan
Kyrgyzstan cultureCulture of Kyrgyzstan takes its roots in antiquity. Its formation was largely influenced by Turkic tribes that migrated in the early Middle Ages from the territory of the Altay and East Turkestan. Before the 20th century there was the Kyrgyz tribal division. Some of the Kyrgyz still adhere to this tradition. This can be seen even in the division of the Kyrgyz into the southern and northern Kyrgyz. Customs and traditions of the southern Kyrgyz of the Ferghana Valley and the Eastern Pamirs differ from the traditions of the northern Kyrgyz living in areas of the Tien Shan, Issyk-kul lake region and areas of the Chu and Talas rivers. The nature of the prevailing economic structure – nomadic herding and the patriarchal family life left a deep imprint on the material culture of the Kyrgyz. Dwellings, traditional clothes, food – everything is dictated by the need of frequent nomadism.

Settlements
Kyrgyzstan culture Prior to joining the Russian Empire the main type of settlement were villages, and the Kyrgyz , because of their nomadic lifestyle, moved from place to place.

But during the Soviet era Kyrgyz were gradually subside, resulting in a radical change in their lifestyle. Today most of the Kyrgyz are settled, moving to larger cities, but there are still traditional villages in the mountains and rural areas.

Clothing
Traditional clothing of the Kyrgyz has undergone many changes during its development. As other aspects of material culture, the Kyrgyz clothes clearly show distinctive features that were peculiar to individual tribal and territorial groups, it is also distinguished by the unique typical for the nomads. In common use was clothing made of coarse woolen cloth of domestic manufacture, made from animal skins, felt, leather and wild animals.

The traditional costume element is a Kyrgyz felt hat – Ak-kalpak (white cap), which is characteristic for both the men’s suits and dresses for women. Another element of the native Kyrgyz clothing is top felted clothing with sleeves – kementay- and white felt boots. Married women wore a loin skirt – beldemchi,with flaps converging in front. Also a coat “chapan” with a high collar was very popular among the men and women. It should also be noted that completely embroidered shirt thread “zhaka” and the traditional conical hat that ladies wore on ceremonial occasions were among the elements of women’s dress. Men wore trousers of tanned leather or suede, which had several names – chalbar, kandagay, zhalgak shim. The most common shoe among the Kyrgyz were boots with high tops and narrow, slightly turned-up noses.

Spiritual Culture
Kyrgyzstan culture The spiritual culture of each nation is kept from generation to generation in the form of traditions and customs, as well as oral and written records. Due to the nomadic lifestyle Kirghiz have not left behind so much written evidence, but from generation to generation, they passed their epics and legends.Tthe Kyrgyz poem “Manas” is the largest piece is a heroic epic. It is a large volume of the trilogy, collected as a result of creativity of many generations of storytellers – manas’chy. Until the 29th century poem passed down orally, and even today many people come to Kyrgyzstan to listen to and enjoy the famous epic by talented storytellers. Storytellers may tell a poem during several days. The deeds of the hero Manas are main story line of the poem.

Kyrgyz culture is rich and varied. It combines more elements of the nomadic culture, but some regions of Kyrgyzstan (south) are originally agricultural. Such co-existence is unique and indicative only for the Central Asian region.