Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Independence Day!

Well, this blog post is for my niece, Piper. What do you do on 4th of July when you go to Massachusetts?

So, many people have long-standing traditions for the 4th of July. The independence day celebrations are as varied as they are colorful. Was it 234 years of independence being celebrated this summer? To top it all off, the USA is a fairly young country.

What if you celebrated only 19 years of independence just last week? In 1991, Kyrgyzstan became independent of the falling United Soviet Socialist Republic (USSR). They celebrate it on August 31st, to commemorate the day that the country officially voted to be independent of the USSR, and celebrate they do!

Katie and I took a walk through downtown Bishkek in the evening of the 31st. We had been warned not to be out later in the evening, but I suspect it would have been no different than Santa Cruz or any hoppin' place in the states on 4th of July. I think the only thing missing was Jack Martens' marching band(!) and, the Mountain Goat Run!

The main street through the center of the city is closed for this (and other events), and there were people everywhere.

Lots of families, lots of cotton candy, lots of ice cream (but no Mike Holmgren), lots of kids games (in the park), and a lot of people offering to take your picture next to an August 31st banner.

There were even doves you could put on your shoulder for the photos, or carriage rides!

There were large groups of people playing a game that looked a bit like circular shuffle board, but this version used the elbow bone of a goat! If I knew the name of the bone, I would also know the name of the game, but I don't.

In front of the main square was a person waving the Kyrgyz flag.

The fountains were all up and running.

The flowers were all beautifully blooming.

It was a grand time. We're glad we got to walk around. This is a beautiful city. (You should all come visit!)

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for writing to us! We love you and we miss you both. From Piper, August, Meaghan and Soren