Our travels in Kyrgyzstan overlapped with Ramadan this year (13 September – 12 October). For Muslims around the world, Ramadan is a month of fasting, reflection and renewal. While the majority of Kyrgyzstan’s Muslims do not appear to strictly adhere to the fasting requirements of the holiday, it still plays an important role in the country’s social and cultural landscape. The timing of our visit there offered us a unique window of insight into Kyrgyz culture…and a few challenging moments of discomfort.
We had just completed a beautiful two day journey on horseback and arrived on the shores of Song Kul Lake. Within 15 minutes of dismounting our horses, our horse trekking guide quickly switched gears. In what appeared to be an honor for him as a newly arrived guest, he was given the task of gutting a goat for the evening feast. Continue Reading »