The fragments of my identity


The kite runner 

I believe any journey is a journey within. Especially those that take us back to the roots and those that gift us the wings. I rarely write about my life in this blog, more about my impressions from places I go to. This post is different. It is an attempt to describe things that identify me.

Up to age of six, I spoke only Kyrgyz. Not a word in another language. Then I studied 11 years in Russian language. Another 6 years in English. And now the use of languages depends on whether I am at home, on the street or at work. All three of these languages, I feel like my own. Yes, I think in all of them too. Usually mixing up words in my head.

I am a village girl, my household chores for years were milking cows and feeding chicken.I grew up watching big sky and bright stars, in a place where everyone knew, who my grandfather was.

I love riding horses. Perhaps, this is when I am the happiest. At all times.

I live in cities for the last 10 years and I love it too.  I love street music festivals, art fest, cinemas, favourite bars in my district, at which I am a regular. I enjoy my cosmopolitan life when my Greek, Turkish, French friends and I meet for a reunion in London, or Istanbul, or Mykonos, or Cairo. Or when I can pay 250 Kyrgyz Soms and watch a premiere of Alice in the Wonderland in British English in the capital of Kyrgyzstan, Bishkek.

Or when I can drink Kyrgyz milk straight out for the cow, from a local farmer, eat for lunch Iskender kebab and have mulled wine with my dinner.

I lived in the South Dakota, Ohio, London, Brussels, Bishkek and I felt at home. Everywhere.

This summer I spent a week lying on a Greek beach by Aegaen sea and thinking that I belong to see waves, and tides and this turquoise blue coast.

A week after that I was on the road to mountains for Muras 2016 tour, to camp with 20 other young Kyrgyz people in a yurt, a traditional Kyrgyz hut house, which my people used  when we were nomads.

You spend days to select a place for new settlements, then a day to unwrap your load off the horses. Everyone has a function, children go to pick up wood, women prepare the food, young men put up the yurt. Everything has a meaning, in the environment, where you are so close to heavens you choose words carefully, you act freely, but kindly to each other. The rules are of sisterhood and brotherhood. Everything is shared.

We, the city youth, strangers to our traditions. We come here to learn, who our ancestors were. How they lived, what clothes they wore. What songs they sang. We listen carefully, greedily, sometimes in denial. Surprised by how much meaning every item or word had.

And then it hits me. All this years I felt, like I had to choose. I am either a village or a city girl, I love English, Russian or Kyrgyz more. I am traditional or liberal. I am settled or moving. But the truth is that I don’t have to choose. My world is so wide that it encompasses Tian-Shian mountains and Aegean see, Naryn and Thames river, listening to Amy Winehouse and Zemfira. It is like the components of yurt, each very distinct, yet functional. And I am all of it. Together. And I am still a nomad. Going places. Because whole Universe is my home.