Kyrgyzstan is one of the Central Asian countries bordered by Kazakhstan, China, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. It is a mountainous country, 93% of its territory is located at over 1000 meters above sea level. Lake Issyk-Kul in the north-eastern Tian-Shan mountains is the largest lake in Kyrgyzstan and the second largest mountain lake in the world after Titicaca. The highest peaks are in the Kakshaal-Too range, forming the Chinese border. Peak Jengish Chokusu, at 7,439 m (24,400 feet), is the highest point and is considered by geologists to be the northernmost peak over 7,000 m (23,000 feet) in the world. Heavy snowfall in winter leads to spring floods. This water runoff from the mountains is also used to generate electricity.
The climate of Kyrgyzstan is a sharply continental climate with hot summers and cold winters in the mountain regions. Approximately 247 days a year are sunny. The temperature in January varies between -4º to -14 º C; in July and it fluctuates between +12 º to +40 º C;
In Kyrgyzstan one can see the subtropical climate of the Fergana valley and semi-desert of the Chui and Talas lowlands changing to the eternal frost of the mountains. In the valleys, the winter time is warmer than in the mountains. Because of this, light clothes are appropriate in summer, but in winter, warm clothes are essential.
As a result of its diverse and turbulent history, the country through the centuries has become a real
melting pot of nationalities: The ethnic group of the Kyrgyz makes up about 75% of the population. The two other important ethnic groups are Russians and Uzbeks, both with about 15 % of the population. The Russians came to the region during the 19th century, and especially the capital Bishkek being only 125 years old, is heavily influenced by the Russian way of life and Soviet architecture. The Uzbek people live to its biggest part in the south of the country, close to the border with Uzbekistan. It is necessary to say that the Kyrgyz population includes more than 80 ethnic groups including the Kyrgyz, Russians, Uzbek, Kazakh, Ukrainians, Uygurs, Dungans, Germans and Koreans, and all of them live in friendship.
In general the Kyrgyz are warm, sensitive and friendly people. The features of the Kyrgyz culture are tolerance, hospitality, open-mindedness and flexibility. It means that the people of Kyrgyzstan face other cultures and nations easily. However, since the Kyrgyz were nomadic people before the Soviet period it preserves its cultural identity and values. Presently, Kyrgyzstan is a democratic republic.
City of Bishkek
The capital Bishkek is situated in the Chui lowlands in the north of the country, between the Talas valley in the west and the eastern Issyk-Kul region. It was founded in 1878 and originally was called Pishpek, which is the name of the wooden paddle with which the Kyrgyz make their kymyz (kumiss – fermented mare’s milk), the national drink. Later, during the Soviet period, it was named Frunze after the famous Russian General Mikhail Frunze. At the time of Independence in 1991, it was renamed as Bishkek.
The city has been influenced by the Russians from the beginning, and actually more or less built by them. Most of the buildings you see today are built in a typically Soviet architectural style, and the trees in the parks, boulevards and alleys are watered by a system of canals built by people of Bishkek. Those boulevards and parks make this a pleasant city to live in, as they provide much shade in summer, when temperatures may reach 40 degrees Celsius (105 F), and the open canal system also helps to keep the summer bearable. Bishkek is known to be one of the greenest cities in Central Asia as a result of this planning.
Bishkek cannot claim to be one of the major cities of the world, like London, Paris or New York. It is, however, the capital city of Kyrgyzstan and does have a number of important and interesting buildings, monuments, parks, museums, galleries, theatres and other places worth seeing or visiting. This is not meant to be an exhaustive guide to the city but simply a brief introduction to the city and its history.
Like Kyrgyzstan generally, the climate is Continental – which means hot summers and cold winters. The average annual temperature is -1°C. The atmosphere is generally dry with rainfall occurring mostly in spring. There is an average of 322 days of sunshine per year. There are two rivers flowing through the city – Alamedin and Ala-Archa – both tributaries of the River Chui. Also, the Grand Chui Canal flows through the city. The city is said to be the greenest in Central Asia with more trees per head of population than any other.
Public holidays in Kyrgyzstan
When there is an official holiday in Kyrgyzstan most shops, public buildings and banks are closed, or have special opening times.
- 1 January – New Year`s Day
- 7 January – Orthodox Christmas*
- 23 February – Motherland Defender`s day
- 8 March – International Women`s Day
- 21 March – “Nooruz” (Kyrgyz traditional New Year`s holiday)
- 1 May – International Labour`s Day
- 5 May – Constitution Day
- 9 May – Victory Day in the Second World War
- 31 August – Independence Day
- ** – Orozo Ait (Eid-al-Fitr, Muslim holiday)
- ** – Kurman Ait (Eid-al-Adha, Muslim holiday)
* – non-official holidays
** – dates are corrected in accordance with the Moon calendar (the dates are not fixed)
Health care system:
The modern healthcare model of Kyrgyzstan maintains positive qualities of the earlier soviet system and also enjoys the experience gained by the advanced countries of the world.
According to WHO experts, Kyrgyzstan has achieved a lot more in the field of health care reformation compared to its CIS counterparts.
http://www.kg – The official site of Kyrgyzstan where it has some information about the country
http://www.med.kg – Medical site of Kyrgyzstan.