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Kyrgyzstan Culture and Development Report

 The dominant group in Kyrgyzstan is the Kyrgyz despite the country having many ethnic groups to make up the country. According to Advantour, Kyrgyzstan culture takes its roots in antiquity. Its formation was largely influenced by the Turkic tribes that migrated in the early Middle Ages from the territory of Altay and East Turkestan[1].

Regarding cultural development, Akdn said “cultural development work in the Kyrgyz Republic focuses on music and music education as development instrument. Music and musician have historically played a vital role in Central Asia, and nowhere more than in the culture of the Kyrgyz where music and oral poetry were traditionally transmitted orally from master (Ustat) to student (shakirt). During the Soviet era, this transmission was ruptured, and transformed into western style music education rooted in the study of the instrument such as piano, accordion, and balalaika. Following the demise of the Soviet Union, a vacuum in support of art and culture was filed by an influx of western pop. Recognizing the importance of revitalizing local musical traditions, His Highness the Aga Khan established the Aga Khan Music Initiative (AKMI) in 2000.”[2]

In an everyculture report, it was reported that until the advent of Communist control, the Kyrgyz were still a nomadic people made up of individual tribes. The idea of a Kyrgyz nation was fostered under Soviet rule. Kyrgyz traditions, national dress, and art were defined as distinct from their neighbors. Today people will name the Kyrgyz national hat ( kalpak ), instrument ( komuz ), sport ( uulak ), house (boz-ui), drink ( kumyss ), and foods[3].

Stalin then intentionally drew borders inconsistent with the traditional locations of ethnic populations, leaving large numbers of ethnic Uzbeks and Turkmen within Kirghizia’s borders. This was supposed to maintain a level of interethnic tension in the area so that these closely related groups would not rise against him.

Kyrgyzstan, like many of its neighbours, voted against independence when the Soviet Union collapsed. With no history as an independent nation, they have struggled with the loss of centralised government control. The people of Kyrgyzstan are, however, meeting these challenges, and Kyrgyzstan is held up as the most democratic and market-oriented country in Central Asia[4].

Also, it was reported that the common dishes in the country is Lagman (hand-rolled noodles in a broth of meat and vegetable), manti (dumplings filled with either onion and meat or pumpkin), plov (rice filed with carrot and topped with vegetables in spicy broth and pieces of congealed corn starch), Samsa (meat or pumpkin-filled pastries), and fried meat and potatoes. Most meat is mutton, although beef, chicken, turkey, and goat are also eaten. Kyrgyz people don’t eat pork, but Russians do. Fish is either canned or dried. Lagman and manti are the everyday foods of the north, while plov is the staple of the south[5].

Most people eat four or five times a day, but only one large meal. The rest are small, mostly consisting of tea, bread, snacks, and condiments. These include vareynya (jam), kaimak, (similar to clotted cream), Sara-mai (a form of butter), and various salads.


Kyrgyz cafes, chaikanas, and ashkanas usually will have six or seven dishes, as well as two or three side dishes, on the menu. Many places also will serve shashlik, which is marinated mutton grilled on a skewer. It is common for only a few of the menu items to be available on any given day. Drink options are limited to tea, soda, and mineral water[6]. Patrons are expected to order as a group, and all eat the same entree. Ristoran (restaurants) usually have more varied European and Russian dishes.

As such, the major culture and development of the Kyrgyz is deeply rooted in their history with the Soviet Union and most importantly, with the history of the people of the country being a nomad from the starts of the creation of the country.

While writing this, I realized there are not enough texts or papers on the development and culture of Kyrgyz Republic but nonetheless, the texts and articles found about the country explains their food, the relationship between development, culture and music and most importantly, the linkage of the country with the Soviet Union, Nomad and the major tribe of the country “Kyrgyz”



[1] http://www.advantour.com/kyrgyzstan/culture.htm

[2] http://www.akdn.org/where-we-work/central-asia/kyrgyz-republic/cultural-development

[3] http://www.everyculture.com/Ja-Ma/Kyrgyzstan.html#ixzz4vn2SXMA9

[4] http://www.everyculture.com/Ja-Ma/Kyrgyzstan.html#ixzz4vn2SXMA9

[5] http://www.everyculture.com/Ja-Ma/Kyrgyzstan.html#ixzz4vn2SXMA9

[6] http://www.everyculture.com/Ja-Ma/Kyrgyzstan.html#ixzz4vn2SXMA9

[i] http://www.everyculture.com/Ja-Ma/Kyrgyzstan.html#ixzz4vn2SXMA9 this article explains more about the culture of Kyrgyz and it is the most documented article in regards the Kyrgyz culture but no particular emphasis was made on the development part of the country culture.

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