A life in pictures
They are kind, open, tolerant and interested people. Muslims. They live in perfect peace with approx. 10% with Christians. The whole country is safe! Some follow the religion, some don't. They accept each other, just like the Christians who live there. The whole country is safe and peaceful. Religion is not reflected in the way people dress, for example many people wear western clothes mixed with national dress. They express their identity not in religion but in nationality. The 20 to 30-year-olds I met presented themselves as well-educated, Western-oriented people.
The towns are mostly made up of old, Stalinist-baroque buildings, but in Bishkek, for example, even the small family-run hotel we stayed in spoke good English. In the villages people live in poor, simple buildings, usually in large families. The children are in school during the day (probably compulsory), where they wear uniforms. Young children go to school alone, up to 5-10 km away, which shows that public safety is good. Based on the division of labour in village families, it is observed that traditional gender roles are dominant, but girls and women are also part of the social life. One of the interpreters told us that his grandmother was abducted as a wife, a crime that is now prosecuted by the state. The grandparents lived happily ever after.
The shepherds in the mountains are engaged in traditional livestock farming, as their ancestors have done for centuries. They are cheerful, happy, friendly, curious and hospitable. The further people live from civilization, the more direct they are. Most cannot read or write. They travel by horse, never in a hurry. In summer, families live in yurts in the mountains, in winter they retreat to villages.
Ömür, the shepherd who grazed the pastures nearest to the camp, worked hard for us. He lives in the mountains with his wife and 6 young children from spring to autumn. They ride a gentle and well-trained back horse. They don't give their animals names, Ömür calls his horse simply horse, which came out in a conversation. Together with the interpreter, they wondered why we named our animals. He also worked to build and guard the camp. He is an honest man, what he undertakes, he accomplishes. On one occasion, he did not leave his post, guarding the camp until we returned with a huge delay without notice. He was happy to have been invited to the handover of the camp. He was seated at the same table as the people from the ministry, at which no one clashed. The Hungarian flavours were enjoyed by all.
Tariel, who is now working for us, is a westernized young man, critical of his surroundings and worldly-minded, with a similar vision of the world to that of Hungarians of a similar age. Narimbek has also studied in Hungary on a scholarship, is religious, does not drink alcohol, fasts, but is a modern, European-minded young man.
The local helpful beekeeping family invited us to their home, where they welcomed him with a princely lunch. We returned their invitation at the camp. The woman has a beekeeping shop, hardworking and kind people all. She had her children educated, they went to university, one of them worked in South Korea.