Chaplin in Kostanai

Below is a translated post by  Nurgeldy from the Russian-language blog. A monument to Charlie Chaplin has appeared in [the northern city of] Kostanai last week. As reported, it is the 12th in the world. The very fact of a sculpture to the cinematographe idol being installed in our city is quite weird for the town’s standards, especially taking into account that the only movie theatre in Kostanai was recently demolished. In any case, now we have Charlie and a bench near charlie. And as Farid writes in the local newspaper, “the bench is good enough to sleep on it — that’s…

Central Asian Food in NYC

The Washington Post carries a snappy review of a Central Asian restaurant in NYC that specialises in kosher food. Taam-Tov is based in the Diamond District and focuses on the cuisine of Bukhara, which has a long-established Jewish community. The reviewer writes: ’11:54 a.m. I’m on my way to the Diamond District, where young men in doorways mutter, “We buy gold, we buy diamonds,” while Hasidic men hurry past window displays of sparkling jewelry. At 41 W. 47th, I walk up two flights of stairs, past the appraisal shop on the second floor and on to the dining room of…

What mayor knows

This is a translated post by Arman from the Russian-language blog.   It has been on the eve of the May Day holidays (which by the way were celebrated much wider under the previous mayor of Almaty; however, that was more likely due to better overall economic situation in the country) when the new mayor of the Kazakh southern capital spoke to the local Nur Otal party’s branch. The media reports on this occasion were scarce and vague, provoking lots of thoughts, especially on such pressing issue for the city (and the country) as frozen construction sites. Here’s what was written by…

Rising Voices Seeks Micro-Grant Proposals for Health-Related New Media Outreach

Application Deadline: June 1, 2008  Rising Voices, the outreach arm of Global Voices, in collaboration with the Open Society Institute Public Health Program’s Health Media Initiative, is now accepting project proposals for the third round of microgrant funding of up to $5,000 for new media outreach projects focused especially on public health issues involving marginalized populations. Ideal applicants are dynamic NGOs or individuals who:

Jazz Festival in Bishkek Finished

An international jazz festival “Jazz Bishkek Spring” finished yesterday in Bishkek. I present photographs from the second and third days of the festival. Top-down: the Kyrgyz group “Aura”, a singer Aidai, the Uzbek group “Artsah”, Saadet Turkez and Nils Vogram, the Tajic group “Mizrob”.

The Moskvich song

There are many old Soviet cars still roaming the streets of Turkmen towns and villages. The Ladas Zhiguli model is most common, but one can also come across Moskvich cars (though much less often), which probably remember Brezhnev’s or maybe even Khrushchev’s times. The Turkmen must be feeling very sentimental about them, because they made this car the theme of one of the songs. Unfortunately, the guy starring in the video did not make much use of it. Just watch and listen to this. By the way, it is possible that the author of the song Japar Ovezov committed a…

Abbos Kosimov – a doira virtuoso

His name must not be unfamiliar for those who like Uzbek musical instruments. Abbos Kosimov is a living legend among Uzbek musicians. Not a single event in Uzbekistan is hold without his or his bands participation. In his hands, doira seems to become alive. A few notes for those who may not know what is doira. Sairam Tourism gives, I think, one of the best explanations of it. Undoubtedly, the most favorite percussion instrument of the Uzbeks is doira. One side of the wooden rim with diameter up to fifty centimetres is covered with tight leather membrane, whereas sixty metal…

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