Life At Point C

Experiencing Life along the Silk Road


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One of the biggest holidays here in Kyrgyzstan is Nooryz.  This is when they celebrate the Kyrgyz New Year and is a time full of traditional games, foods, and house building.  A few of my students told me that they wanted to take me around on Nooryz to show me all of the goings on in the town and to show me what their traditional houses and attire look like.  We started in the center of town and made our way around the temporary yurt houses set up in the middle of the square.  The yurts are circular tent-like houses with a domed roof that are native to the Kyrgyz people.  We also had the chance to see some men and women dressed in their traditional gear, and once we had exhausted all of the sites in the center, we decided to move on to the park where carnival-like rides were keeping children occupied and old grandmothers were preparing food for any passerby feeling a bit hungry.  At lunchtime we sat down and enjoyed some Ashlanfoo (a local dish here with noodles, spices, a little bit of meat, etc…) in the park and then headed out looking for somewhere else to go.  After a quick stop in the Russian-Orthodox Church (none of us had been before and we were really curious), we thought a picnic would be the perfect way to end the holiday.  We bought some food and soda and took a marshrutka (Kyrgyz bus) to the bottom of their ski base, walked up a little ways to a restaurant situated on the slopes and enjoyed snacks while just hanging out and talking.  While seeing all of the festivities surrounding Nooryz was interesting and fun, I think my favorite part about the holiday is the emphasis it places on family and friends and the importance of spending time together.

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