Who knew that Bill Murray was Turkmen?

I’m surprised no one noticed this! In the 2009 horror/comedy film Zombieland, there’s a brief cameo by Bill Murray. The scene takes place in his luxurious Los Angeles mansion, which includes among other things a painting of the comedian in full Turkmen traditional garb situated on the mantle of his fireplace. Clearly, the filmmakers find the getup outlandish, and I wonder how the idea even occured to them. But I’ll tell you this: if that painting’s real, I want it! ;-)

A mysterious Kyrgyz kalpak in Zagreb’s Museum of Broken Relationships

I’m freshly returned from an impromptu vacation to Croatia. It’s an intriguing country, a borsch soup of Germanic, Slavic, Christian, and Communistic ingredients. The geographical and aesthetic diversity is quite surprising, ranging from the Mediterannean-like qualities of Istria and Dalmatia, to the Velebit’s sunbaked, naked seaward side and misty, wooded landward side, to the abruptly Continental interior around Zagreb. I intersected with two close Belgian friends, a couple from the Antwerp area, in Zagreb. There’s something gloomy and mirky about the Belgian national character — they are, in a sense, the most “Slavic” of the Northern Europeans, and just about…

When will Metro 2033 come to Almaty or Tashkent, or for that matter, New York?

Around this time three years ago, I posted about the video game “Metro 2033”, based on the novel by Russian journalist Dmitry Glukhovsky. The sequel (“Last Light”) has just been released, thus prompting this post. The setting of the series is an underground society founded by survivors of a nuclear war that was waged in 2013 (yikes!). They scrape by in the Moscow subway system, which has transformed into an almost Biblical sheol. NewEurasia’s snobbish managing editor Sanjar says, “it’s no War and Peace”. Sure, sure. But speaking as a person who’s probably imbibed way too much post-apocalyptic fiction since…

Alpamysh is not done yet!

The Alpamysh epic is not yet finished! Since our last installment, we’ve been editing the last batch of posts. So, if you’re hankering for more steppe legendarium, stick around! And we would also like to remind our readers that this edition of the Alpamysh is based upon H.B. Paksoy’s critical academic edition in English. Go check it out if you’re curious to learn more about the editorial and conceptual history behind the epic. :-)

European Parliament celebrates Nawrúz

Although not an official holiday of the European Union, that didn’t stop the European Parliament in Brussels from partying hard to commemorate Nawrúz this year. My friend and colleague Kawa Ahangari, a Kurdish secularist/federalist activist from Iran, has provided NewEurasia with a cache of photos from the event, which saw representatives from across the Iranian-Central Asian world, from Azerbaijan and Iraqi Kurdistan in the west to Tajikistan in the east.

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