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The "Awakened"

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Statues dressed in fresh snow



Prospect Chui -Abdrahmanova

Martyrs of the Revolution Monument

             Click here to see the tour                                                                                       Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan

    There is quaintness about the place. Sure, it’s a capital city and it’s a big city, but there’s something about the square-ness of things and the signs in Russian. There were long rows of almost uniform block buildings occasionally punctuated by neon signs and brightly lit billboards. Plain boxy little cars shared the road with Mercedes and delivery trucks. Things just seemed not as historic as they did old and perfectly preserved...cared for. It all comes together to leave a unique impression.  

    It's a short walk from the Hotel past the Museum of the Arts to the park on the corner of Chui St. and Sovetskaya St. The Martyrs of the Revolution Monument is dedicated to Urkuya Salieve. She was a popular politician/activist that helped the Krygz form their version of the Soviet government in the early 1900's. The people featured with her are those awakened by her calls. No words were needed to see that this monument represents freedom and equality to the Kyrgz. It has a sense of history, but don't expect a somber mood.     

     It’s an urban park and many people streamed by, but what was unusual is how many people just enjoyed the day despite the bitter cold. There were couples of all ages walking close or on benches and teenagers standing around chatting as I stood in plaza taking photos. The other American in the plaza recognized me and greeted me with “Are you American?” Mike, an Anthropologist from Chicago, and his wife took some time to tell me about the local places to grab a bite and gave me some background info. He says monument is close to many cafes, coffee shops and shops. The only dish he missed from home was American pizza. I did have local dish "Shashlyk" that was a tasty and healthy alternative; it’s lean lamb and vegetables cooked over an open fire….excellent.  

     This is only one of the many “monuments” in Bishkek and every one with sense of history, but “When in Rome do as the Romans do…” When in Bishkek, don’t just come to see the sites. Come to enjoy the day whether it’s snowy or sunny.

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20 Nov 12

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