Institute for War and Peace Reporting | Giving Voice, Driving Change

Kyrgyz Acquire New Language Skills

In recent years, people in Kyrgyzstan have become used to buying Chinese goods and eating dishes once regarded as outlandish. Now they are taking up the language as well.
Reporter Ayday Tokoeva discovered that there are already four schools teaching Mandarin to children – two in the capital Bishkek, one in Karakol in the east and another in Osh in the south.

The Confucian Institute in Bishkek plans to launch a Chinese language programme for kindergartens this spring.

These may be small steps but the new interest in Chinese culture shows just how far things have come since the old days, when the then Soviet border was sealed and people in Kyrgyzstan regarded China as a threat and an unknown quantity.

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