Posts tagged Frunze

Stunned Bewilderment over Kyrgyzstan Events (Part II)

Relieved to know that most of my American friends living in Bishkek are okay but am still waiting to hear about two other couples I have known since 1993.  They have lived in Bishkek for nearly 20 years and have sacrificed much to be in this Central Asian country they love. In a piece written by Evgeny Morozov in “Kyrgyzstan’s ‘Analog Revolution’” he helped answer the question for me why this Bishkek event last week which still seems so HUGE to us in Central Asia barely got any attention in the rest of the world media.  I’m thankful for Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and other ways that some of the news DID get out about this Kyrgyz revolution.  E-mail seems so twentieth century in this day and age of globalized revolutions.  Here’s Morozov’s take on it.

“First, for obvious geopolitical reasons, pundits are paying much less attention to protests in Kyrgyzstan than they did to protests in Iran and Burma (or even Thailand)…the Kyrgyz revolution is not “trending” as a popular topic.

Unsurprisingly, we don’t see much eulogizing about the Internet’s “revolutionary power” in the Western media either. But this does not mean we have suddenly become more reflective or less cyber-utopian; it only means that “Kyrgyzstan” is much harder to pronounce than Iran and most people couldn’t care less about it; there is no critical tweetering mass that could fuel the kind of collective fantasy that was fueled by “iranelection” on Twitter.”

To continue with yesterday’s blog posting written by my American friend:

“I went straight to the “White House”. A garbage truck had attempted to crash into a side gate, but a bullet had put a hole in one of its tires. I saw the police, they were heavily armed. Many were hiding behind trees or shields. They carried not only AK-47s, but also larger guns. They all wore bulletproof vests, some that resembled Batman’s costume. The gunshots continued. A man in a black leather jacket urged me away. The 100 police at the previous station had blockaded the road so I went down Frunze to the Consul and the Park Hotel and then tried to call people, but the reception wasn’t good. I heard megacom had problems.

I then headed back up and met with my brother (we got separated before). One guy told us to go back home. Joniel saw more police coming and saw a lady whose face was burned off. I asked him if I could have 10 more minutes. So I went to the columns and everyone was gathered around there. Suddenly, everyone started cheering and a few hundred people rushed around the corner of the columns up towards Kievskaya. I saw the puddle of blood and then saw another large puddle of blood. A large jacket was placed on top of it, with a large beating stick and lots of flowers. Obviously, the man had died there. I saw that many people had gathered pretty close to the gates of the “White House”, and that the fires on the trucks had died down. I saw the place where the man was shot. It was obvious that they had dragged him. There was a lot of blood, it was like a river of blood. Lumps of flesh also remained on the ground. There must have been enough blood to fill a bath tub. I’m not exaggerating. I think it would be impossible that he would have survived.

One man was weeping in rage and yelled, “Is this Kyrgyzstan? Is there a Kyrgyzstan? What are we doing?” Other men also joined in, but some yelled at the police “Go home! We don’t want to fight!” I saw men hiding behind trees and shouting in Russian and Kyrgyz at the guards. People were nervous, I could tell. Many smoked and spat all the time, for the others, you could see the fear in their eyes. Some men walked straight into the gate, shouting. Others had to go in there and rescue them. Whenever someone came close, the guards would fire warning shots into the air. I continued along and met with Joniel and then we headed back. I got a text from Rachel that she heard that Go-in was burnt down, so we decided to check it out on our way back. At Jibekjolu, close to Erkendik, we saw about 300 people blocking the road and standing in front of a police station/government building. I could hear dogs barking and people yelling. Many were holding red flags that said “Ata Mekten”.

We passed 7 Dnei and it was boarded up. Go-in was not burnt down, only closed. On front of the closed door, it said, “Muyi Cnarodim”. We got home, and saw that two local tv stations were shut down. We looked on line and found out that 12 people were killed right after we left and the square. We continued hearing more news and seeing more pictures and videos of what was going on. Facebook was all buzz and many people said they were praying.

I noticed that it wasn’t only in the square that there were demonstrations; we could hear things all over the city, even on Jibek Jolu and Kievskaya.

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Today, my brother and I went out again to see what was left of the city after the looting. We saw Go-in was burned pretty badly. Lots of trash littered the floor. It was all black, and light gray smoke was still rising from the inside. We continued down sovietskaya and saw many furniture stores, casinos, and big stores looted with a lot of shattered glass close by. We turned right on Chui and things seemed really busy. It seemed like any other normal day. When we reached the square, we saw many people gathered again. We saw a pretty nice burnt down building close to the front of the square and saw lots of rubble, broken glass, broken furniture, and other stuff. People had already finished looting.

A large furniture store on kievskaya had lots of rocks thrown at it. We went down to the white house, saw the APC with lots of guys on it. I saw a stuffed giraffe in the middle, black from all the ashes. The gates to the White House were open, so we decided to take a tour. I mean, it’s not everyday someone goes to the white house, right? Well, it was chaos. We went to the front and guys with white ribbons around their arms kept us back. The front was a mess, with broken furniture and lots of paper fluttering about. Smoke was still rising from the windows and we could see that some of the top story windows were burned. Lots of shattered glass also. We proceeded to see the side and saw the guard house that was destroyed and the trucks that smashed into the sides. Most had their tires burnt off.

The side wasn’t any better, a terrible mess and people wanting to go in. At the back, it was still messy and they brought in 5-6 fire trucks to put out fires on the top floor. Guys climbed up ladders with a hose. We then went back out, saw some memorials for the dead. Lots of blood stains still and in respect, no one set foot on them. We went back to the columns, and saw lots of bullet holes, with rubber bullets and real bullets. Oh yea, found a bullet case close to the white house. Almost every column had a blood stain with flowers close by. There was a broken apteka at the corner, close to the APC. It was broken into and I went inside and saw bloody bandages, a hat, and the floor had blood splotches.

We saw bullet holes in the walls of the white house too. People were just milling about. Some were giving speeches, others were sleeping, others weredrinking alcohol that they looted, others were sleeping, others were taking pictures, and others were trying to clean up. We tried to help.

We came back, passed by the police station close to Philemon House. Nothing there, and there were policemen there walking about without helmets or weapons. We then went to 7 Dnei and it was wiped clean. Nothing was left, save for some shopping carts and racks. People threw cakes on the walls.”

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“That Was Him All Over…” Rakhat’s Grandfather

My grandfather was born in Issykkul, Kyrgyzstan in 1930 in the family of mother and two sons. He was the youngest one. His father died when he was only 5 years old and he didn’t even remember him. When he was studying at school, his mother told him to leave the school so that he and his brother could help her to raise up the family. Nevertheless, he didn’t listen to her and, finally, made the decision to study, while his brother dropped out of school at the age of 11.

         Then WWII broke out, and it wasn’t that easy to study and work at the same time. I never stop admiring Soviet people who stood up for the life of the whole country, fighting against fascist invaders as well as people serving on the home front. Everybody starting from children to old people was involved in this war, because they were all part of one great country.

He was only 11 when the war started. He and his brother used to smoke a lot in order to fill in their stomachs with something, because there was almost nothing to eat, except water and a little piece of bread for the whole family. Despite the difficulties, he continued to study so that in the future he could earn a living for his family. No matter how hard it was, he always believed in a better life.

         The war ended. He started to write poems about everything he was concerned about when he had a free time. Soon he successfully graduated school and then moved to Frunze (now Bishkek), the capital of Kyrgyzstan, leaving his mom and brother, but being on the way of his dream. There he entered Medical Institute to become a doctor. Actually, he could spoke only Kyrgyz language, while the main language was Russian. In fact, he had to learn absolutely new language!

         Many years passed, now his life was much better than it was. He became a Candidate of Medical sciences, built a maternity home in Naryn region, Kyrgyzstan, and other things that I just can’t put them all together here. Later, he met his future wife and they got 5 wonderful children: 4 daughters and 1 son, which is my father.

         Till the end of his life my grandpa was trying to teach us to be honest, generous to people, he didn’t like selfishness. He was very committed to the Kyrgyz people, so just and strong with spirit, their culture and traditions, which were one of his favorite themes in poems. Unity, prowess, aspiration to the freedom and justice were the things he admired the most in Kyrgyz and soviet people.

         He died this spring at the age of 77 years. We were planning to celebrate his eighteth anniversary together with our big and friendly family, but unfortunately we lost our lovely grandfather. At the end of his life he had 5 children, 11 grandchildren and 3 great grandchildren. We all loved him not only as a father & grandfather, but he was our teacher of life, the person we all wanted to be like. He decided to leave this world so unexpectedly, not disturbing anyone. And that was him all over. We all will remember him as the greatest person we have ever seen. And I’m very proud to be a granddaughter of such a wonderful grandfather.

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Akinai’s Kyrgyz Grandmother “We Have Many Trials…”

Till ninth grade in the school my grandmother put up with all cruelty from her stepmother, but then she decided to go to the capital city of Kyrgyzstan, Frunze, but now is Bishkek. In Bishkek nobody waited for her, but she put purpose that she will reach everything that she wants in order to be happy. She went to Bishkek, there for the first time she lived with her aunt, who was not any better than her stepmother. Her aunt was cruel and she also made my grandmother do everything in her house, and however her aunt did not know about cooking, housekeeping anything, she always seized on my grandmother. Her aunt was kind a “white handed woman”, that did not do anything at home, she just could talk a lot, and tell everybody how she is clever and beautiful. She always told my grandmother: “You are stupid girl, who came from the village to conquer the city, you can’t do that, I can’t understand you, how can you go to the institute? For what? To dishonor me in the face of my friends? They will say what a stupid niece I have. Please do not go there, just sit at home and do housework, and say to me thanks that I gave you a shelter!”

In spite of that my grandmother did not listen to her mad aunt, she went to institute and also she worked. And all salary that she earned her aunt took from her, she gave her only 20 kopeck in a day, that was not enough for my grandmother, and often my grandmother was hungry at lunch time.

Since my grandmother is hard working also good person with a kind heart she began to grow up [be promoted] in her post at the job. Then at her work she met my grandfather, who was attractive and handsome guy.  They started to date and then they got married. Everything would be ok, except their living place, during that time was so bad houses; firstly they lived in communal flat, which is not superb place for living.

Eventually was born their first daughter, so that they were young, the flat was not so good, and they both worked, my grandparents’ daughter was taken away by my grandfathers’ parents in the village, and she grew up there. Then after year from the birth of my aunt, was born my mother. It was difficult times for my grandparents, because of living place, they moved from one place to another. In that time they could not just to take and simply buy a flat, like now. In that time were queues to get a flat, even if you had money you could not buy.

Since my grandfather was a man, it did not disturb him that they did not have permanent flat, it was ok to him just to come home after work to eat and to sleep. It disturbed only my grandmother, she ran after people who decided to give flats to people. She talked with them in order to have a flat, sometimes she curse with them, and then only when some time passed, she get her own  flat!!!!

After my grandmother gave a birth to my uncle, it was happy times to grandparents. But then there were some problems- my grandparents did not understand each other and could not live with each other anymore. Like her first baby my uncle was taken by force away to the village by my great grandparents, and my grandmother could not do anything to stop them.

She missed both her children a lot and often went to the village in order to see them , she always supported them with everything what they wanted, but what she wanted she couldn’t do , she couldn’t take her children with herself to Bishkek, and live together, because great grandparents did not give permission.

Time passed, my grandmother was a workaholic, she did not think may be about her private life, however she had a lot of admirers, she did not want to suffer again and did not trust to men. She lived for the sake of her children; she did everything for the sake of their happiness. Sooner my grandmother got married for the second time and gave a birth to my aunt and uncle. Also sooner when the time was to enter university for my aunt, for the first baby of my grandmother, she came to Bishkek, and my grandmother did her best to give the best education to her daughter. My grandmother felt herself guilty in front of her daughter, so she was too kind to her. Also then my uncle was sent back to my grandmother, also in order to have an education. But what is the most sad that these two children my aunt and uncle, they are too cold with my grandmother till this day, because they grew up with great grandparents who always told bad things to children about my grandmother. And nowadays, my grandmother who gave everything to them like education, houses, they are cold with her and their relationship is not so good like with other children.

My grandmother in spite of all difficulties in her life reached all aims that she set in front of herself and now is happy with her big family. We, her grandchildren, try to be often near her, we try to support her always. We are her gladness and belief in the best things. She is an example for me, and I will try to live like she lives, not to give up in the difficult moment, on the contrary survive and be better. Because like she says: “We have many trials, that are given to us by God, but there aren’t such trials, which we can not pass, it is like testing are you strong and purposeful person, or just lazy and if you do not need that, nobody needs.”

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Aiperi’s Kyrgyz Grandfather and His Education

This story begins in the late 1938.  Our family was living in the village called Nookat, on the North of the Kyrgyzstan. There were only 5 neighbour families in our village. We had a house with 5 rooms and a farm with 200 sheep, 10 cows and 5 horses. Our family was large; there were 11 children in our family: 4 boys and 7 girls, of course for the new generation having 11 children in one family sounds very unusual but for us it was ok, because it was some kind of tradition.

 

          I was the smallest one in our family. None of us could write or read that is why I thought that I am the only person who can be educated. I was dreaming of reading, writing, calculating and so on. Well the first thing what I did was that I shared my idea of studying at school with my father. But the only thing that I heard from him was “No! Forget about it!” This answer got me disappointed.  But desire of studying still existed in me. Well what I did next!!! One day I with my 3 other friends planned to go to school and try to study. How I remember now it was 21 of September.  We woke up early in the morning and began our “journey” to school. It took us 5 hours to get there, of course on foot because at that time there were no cars, no buses, and no bicycles. Eventually we came to school. It was just named as a school, because there was only one room with no desks, no tables, no blackboards, well there was nothing except the poster of our leader V.I.Lenin. In the room were 5 other pupils and a teacher whose name was Aigul. And our first lesson was Kyrgyz language. Because of no notebooks we were writing on the floor with a rack. That day we had two lessons as I already said Kyrgyz language and mathematics. I found it very interesting and exciting. I was the happiest person in the world. When I came home and told my father about lessons he got angry and prohibited me from school. But in spite of it, I continued visiting.

 

Time passes and came one of the most frightful days in the life of the Soviet people – 21 of June of 1939. This awful day in the morning we got information from the radio that Germany attacked the Soviet Union. Our village was shocked and came to a standstill. At that time couldn’t realize what was happening. War? What is it? We didn’t even know about it. Next day all volunteers from our village were collected and transported to the battle-front. Among them were my father and my two elder brothers. Well, why did they do this? The answer is simple – they were patriots of their motherland, they were patriots of Soviet Union. Difficult days came. All members of our family were serving on the home front. What does it mean serving for the home front? It means cultivating vegetables, sewing clothes and doing it not for our own consumption but to give the soldiers. This passed 1 year, then 2 years, then 3 years. Then came 9 of May of 1945. All citizens of Soviet Union were celebrating this day as a Victory day. Soldiers were restored from the Front. Not one of my brothers nor my father came back. They were killed; they were killed as patriots of their country. After 2 years I went to Frunze [Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan] city which was the capital of Kyrgyz SSR. I passed to the university and it was the beginning of my happy life.  

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