Rural Kyrgyz Return to Folk Healers

Traditional healers are still popular in the more remote parts of Kyrgyzstan, despite warnings from the medical profession that their folk remedies do not work.

Rural Kyrgyz Return to Folk Healers

Traditional healers are still popular in the more remote parts of Kyrgyzstan, despite warnings from the medical profession that their folk remedies do not work.

Tuesday, 21 April, 2009
Reporter Ulukbu Amirova found that attitudes to this traditional trade among residents of the southern Batken region ranged from scepticism to belief.



She also interviewed Ayshekhan-Eje, a member of a dynasty of traditional healers, who has a constant stream of clients from whom she accepts any payment they choose to make.



Dr Inamjan Aminov has practiced modern medicine for a quarter of a century, and recently he has observed with alarm the revival of the old ways, especially in the countryside.



“A lot of people believe in healers now. It’s people in rural areas. Probably because medicines are expensive,” he said. “First they go to a healer and only later, near the end, when things have got really bad, do they come to us.”



Apart from tradition and cost, Dr Aminov sees another, less obvious cause for the revival of traditional healers – Moscow television channels, which are popular here and often show programmes about folk healing.



“They’ve provided extra advertising for the healers here,” he said. “Nevertheless, you really should go and see a specialist.”
Kyrgyzstan
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