Known for its natural beauty, Kyrgyzstan is a Central Asian country whose vibrant nomadic culture attracts visitors from all over the world. Kyrgyz nomads are famous for their hospitality and they welcome visitors to their yurts and daily activities. Kyrgyzstan is the birth place of a millennium-old Epic of Manas, recognized as the longest epic in the world. It takes 5 days to recite the epic in full; Kyrgyzstan still has a living tradition where storytellers who know the epic by heart recite it at celebrations and gatherings. A millennium ago, Kyrgyzstan was also home to some of the centers of world civilization and cosmopolitan cities of the Silk Road, whose merchants brought cultural and culinary influences from far and wide. Today, the monuments of the bygone era stand next to Soviet-era cities and nomad camps.
Led by an expert on the post-Soviet space, Nina Wieda, this course illuminates Kyrgyzstan's rich history and culture. Designed to inspire curiosity and future travels, participants will come away with an increased fascination for Kyrgyzstan and an understanding of its unique cultural and political landscape.
Nina Wieda is a native of the Caucasus living in Chicago, USA. She holds a Ph.D. in Slavic from Northwestern University and an MA in Nationalism Studies from Central European University. Nina also has experience in journalism, advertising, and consumer research – her writing has been published in three languages. She wrote her Master's thesis about the Northern Caucasus region. Dr. Wieda currently teaches at Northwestern University near Chicago.
This conversation is suitable for all ages.
90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.