Portal:Kyrgyzstan

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Kyrgyzstan

Flag of Kyrgyzstan
National Emblem
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Kyrgyzstan, officially the Kyrgyz Republic, formerly known as Kirghizia, is a country located in Central Asia. Landlocked and mountainous, Kyrgyzstan is bordered by Kazakhstan to the north, Uzbekistan to the west, Tajikistan to the southwest and China to the east. Its capital and largest city is Bishkek.

The official language, Kyrgyz, is closely related to the other Turkic languages; however, the country is under a strong cultural influence from Russia and is rather Russified.

Kyrgyzstan is a member of the Commonwealth of Independent States, the Eurasian Economic Community, the Collective Security Treaty Organization, the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, the Turkic Council, the TÜRKSOY community and the United Nations.

Selected article

Kenesh Jusupov in On-Archa on 04 October 2012. Kyrgyzstan.jpg
Pictured left: Kenesh Jusupov, a prominent Kyrgyz writer, in his home village of Echki-Bashy in On-Archa village area.

The culture of Kyrgyzstan has a wide mix of ethnic groups and cultures, with the Kyrgyz being the majority group. It is generally considered that there are 40 Kyrgyz clans, symbolized by the 40-rayed yellow sun in the center of the flag. The lines inside the sun are said to represent a yurt. The dominant religion of Kyrgyzstan is Sunni Islam (91%). The Russian population is Russian Orthodox.

Kyrgyzstan is the only former Soviet Central Asian republic to start out with two official languages, in this case Russian and Kyrgyz. An aggressive post-Soviet campaign was established to make the latter the official national language in all commercial and government uses by 1997; Russian is still used extensively, and the non-Kyrgyz population, most not Kyrgyz speakers, are hostile to forcible Kyrgyzification.

Kyrgyzstan has a high literacy rate (99%), and a strong tradition of educating all citizens. However, its ambitious program to restructure the Soviet educational system is hampered by low funding and loss of teachers. School attendance is mandatory through grade nine. Kyrgyz is increasingly used for instruction; the transition from Russian to Kyrgyz has been hampered by lack of textbooks. It remains to be seen whether Russian will continue as the second language of choice, or whether English will supersede it as a lingua franca.


Selected biography

Almazbek Atambaev

Almazbek Sharshenovich Atambayev has been the President of Kyrgyzstan since 1 December 2011. He previously was Prime Minister of Kyrgyzstan from 17 December 2010 to 1 December 2011, having also been Prime Minister from 29 March 2007 until 28 November 2007. He also served as Chairman of the Social Democratic Party of Kyrgyzstan from 30 July 1999 to 23 September 2011.

Almazbek Atambaev was born in 1956 in the Northern region of Chui. He received his degree in economics while studying at the Moscow Institute of Management.

Atambaev has four children from his marriage to his first wife Buazhar, two sons Seyit and Seytek, and two daughters Diana and Dinara. In 1988 he married his second wife, Raisa. They have two children, a boy Khadyrbek and a girl Aliya. Raisa is an ethnic Tatar, born in the Urals in Russia, who moved to Osh as a child, with her parents. She is a doctor.

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