New symbols resolve problems – a Kyrgyz know-how
Homebase, Kyrgyzstan, Politics and SocietyOne Comment
Kyrgyzstan celebrated its birthday last week. For some countries the first 20 years of independence might be very difficult during which the country goes through many hardships – writing a constitution, introducing currency, building state institutions, establishing relations with neighbors and, finally, bring about conditions for state-society relations and harmony in society. But not for Kyrgyzstan, where one finds to no serious problems to tackle! This young, vibrant, free and enthusiastic country is free from any problems. Because its leaders know the way that others do not – imploring pagan gods and forces to improve their lives, and then just relax because “things will now certainly get better!”
That is one’s impression upon hearing the initiative to introduce changes into the state symbols – the coat of arms, the flag and the hymn – promoted by several MPs. According to the idea “promoter,” an Ar-Namys MP, the necessity to do so is so huge because the will of the vast majority of the 5 million strong Kyrgyz society was expressed in… 300 (!) letters to the parliament. The MP says the flag is causing “bloodshed,” “turmoil,” and revolutions because of its color, which resembles blood. By that very God he seems to defy – what a pagan! Well, how about the Turkish flag? How about the Chinese flag? While these countries do have internal conflicts, is it their FLAG or their internal policies that are causing problems? Well, how about the Canadian flag, or the Swiss? For your information, the flag of Wales has a BIG RED DRAGON on it, which is NOT urging the Welsh to rise up. If all social, political and economic problems are emanating from a piece of cloth, then I’d recommend the initiators to consider copying the flags of economically sound countries…
Meanwhile, the MP told an interview that the never-existed hero – Manas – had three different flags: red, blue and white, which coincidentally are the flags of the three Kyrgyz conglomerates. He recommends finding a way of somehow concocting the three. You heard it right – only Kyrgyz tribe groups’ and no other ethnicity’s symbols will be considered.
As far as the anthem is concerned, there are “5 or 6 words” with ambiguous meanings. Aha, not “these specific 5 words” or “so-and-so 6 words”, but “5 or 6”…
But let’s put the political implications aside for a moment and ponder over the economic aspect of the issue. Changing the state symbols – any or all – will inevitably imply replacing (not in order of importance) passports, university diplomas, driver’s licenses, car license plates, official letterheads, birth certificates, and many other documents that need not to be mentioned here. Doing so will also inevitably entail colossal expenditures from the state budget, which is already shaking, and is only barely prompted thanks to foreign donors’ pittances.
Of course, the whole parliament has not plunged into the absurdity of “feeling” the necessity to replace state symbols at such a difficult moment. Although claiming the reign of the nation, Kyrgyzstan is a democratic state when only the authorities are concerned. So, several of these democratically elected (huh?) MPs do not share their colleagues’ aspirations.
While the two camps disagree on the necessity of changing symbols and the lack thereof, the government has already replaced one major symbol with another. The Atambayev government unveiled two statues – one for the epic hero Manas and the other for the prominent writer Chingiz Aytmatov – on the eve of the independence days last week. This was done for the sake of improvements, progress and pagans’ gods know what. And as neweurasia’s Schwartz rightly pointed out, if symbolism is so powerful and meaningful for the Kyrgyz mind, then it should look into the implications of replacing “freedom” with “warrior”