A life in pictures

Fulmer diary

A life in pictures

A life in pictures

They are kind, open, tolerant, and concerned [?] interesting [?] people. The 20- to 30-year-olds I’ve met are all well-educated.

The towns are mostly made up of old, ’Stalinist-baroque‘ Soviet-style buildings, but in Bishkek, even at a small family-run hotel we stayed, all [?] most [?] spoke good English. In villages people live in poor, simple buildings, usually with large families.  Children are in school during the day, where they wear uniforms. Young children go to school alone, up to 5-10 km away, as 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 vibrant social life. One of the interpreters told us that his grandmother was abducted to become a wife, a crime that is now prosecuted by the state. His story also goes that the grandparents lived happily ever after.

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 kind they are. Many older country folks 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.

Omur, a 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 do not name their animals; in a conversation Omur calls his horse simply ‘the horse’. Same as the interpreter, he wonders why we assign individual names to our animals. Omur worked to build and guard the camp. He is an honest man, whatever he promises, 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 party for the camp. He was seated at the same table as the people from the Ministry, at which no one clashed. I made chicken barbeque [?] with homemade Hungarian dried and ground red pepper. Our Hungarian food tastes were enjoyed by everybody.

Tariel, who is now working for us, is a modern young man, critical of his surroundings, with a similar vision of the world for the Hungarian youth.

The local helpful beekeeping family invited our party to their home, welcoming us with a princely lunch, hardworking and kind people all. We returned their invitation at the camp. The woman has a beekeeping shop. She had her children educated, they went to university, and one of them worked in South Korea.

About the author

As for myself, my early childhood experience has left a fundamental mark on my thinking. In the early 60s, farming was what the land gave you. In the village where I grew up in Somogy, people sprayed exclusively against the potato beetle. I really came from the Middle Ages. My ancestors 500 years ago treated the land just as my grandparents did.