The other new year! noorus kirgizstan



Of course we didn’t stay for 2 month in this tiny country for no reason. It was not only the Russian lessons we signed up to. That was awesome, because that way we even got to take part in the traditional Noorus festival.


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Even up here is obviously still some Iranian influence. It was the Archämids that defined this day as the beginning of the year. And still, in Iran, this is the beginning of the traditional Persian calender. It is the day when night and day are of the same length. It were propably the Zoroastriens thought that celebrated this day in the first place. So Noorus is not really a muslim festival as it is celebrated in various countries and religions. It is one of the most important ones in Kirgistan though. So we were invited by staff and families of the TES guest house. We missed our class for that day and joined the action. It all began with cutting down some trees early morning for me, while Ann-Katrin was delegated to chop onions. So while I was still cutting and splitting wood they were already making delicious Samsas. As soon as I was done they started the fire to make the famous Sumolok. Sumolok is the tradtitional dish they would especially prepare only on this day. This day would be something inbetween New years and a spring festival. The Sumolok is pretty much washed out wheat that is boiled in a huge pot until you get a brownisch mash. When it is finished all of the participating families get their share. To keep it from sticking to the pan they put a bunch of small rocks into it and stir it. At the end the majority is removed whilst some stay inside. Whoever finds one gets a whish. So the brownish mash is a kind of a breadspread like Nutella or you eat it with jogurt or just plain. Sounds quite easy after all, it is not really though. It takes about 24 hours and 4 people to make it. Two stir permanently with something big like shovel, one is taking care of the fire and one brings in the experience. Another 10 people hang around pretending to have experience. The rest is playing ping pong. So while I’m pretending to be an experienced Sumolok maker, Ann-Katrin is still in the kitchen learning to make awesome Kirgiz food. In late afternoon pretty much everybody gets together to eat and watch games and speeches. By that time I had made it to decent stiring companion and watched the games from the fire. The rest of the day we spent at the fire or the ping pong table with some live music out of the Kirgiz national Instrument the Komuz. Just about around 10 the mash was about ready to be covered. So they let the fire burn down and covered it overnight. In the morning then it was opened and shared with everyone. We did also get two big glasses and are still desperately waiting to find a rock in there.

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