First random item for you is the traditional rug of the Kyrgyz people, which is made of wool but it is pressed and not woven. I have to admit I do not know how this is done exactly, but it is a quarter inch thick and very dense. On this they sew what appears to be cut outs of another rug and the traditional design represents the local deer. Unlike other types of rugs these hold up much better if they are on the floor being walked on (it continues to get the wool pressed together) than if they are hung on the wall.
Second, out in the country I saw several small building all over the place that looked like little mosques. Turns out these were Muslim graves (see the quarter moons?). A lot of them were ten feet squared and inside there was a mound of dirt. I don’t know if the bodies were placed on the ground and then had dirt piled on top of them or if they were buried in the ground and the mounds of dirt are from the construction of the building.
The finally thought for you is about food. Traditional Kyrgyz food is rather bland to me. You see sheep play a big role in the traditional diet and it is almost always boiled. I witnessed, actually helped with, the slaughtering of a sheep for our dinners. They used every part of that animal including what I thought to be the most interesting. They inflated the lungs and poured a type of cream into it and then boiled it. It came out looking and tasting a bit like butter. The other staples are potatoes and tea…..lots and lots of tea. I enjoyed my time in the mountains seeing the traditional ways, but the whole time I was eating the boiled sheep for three days I keep thinking “man we should grill this bad boy and get some yummy charred flavor on it”. 🙂