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! ;-)

‘Tis The Month of Turkmen Melons

Food means many things to many cultures, and many-a-time, foods themselves are seen as cultural symbols. From pasta to pirogues—pilaf to pad thai, national foods and cultural dishes nourish neighbors, invite friends, educate travelers, sooth souls, distinguish one traditional group from another and so much more. On a grand and far-reaching scale, specific foods even have their own exclusive days, from National Cheesecake Day (July 30th) to National Zucchini Day (August 8th). Particular to Central Asia, in regards to national food days, Turkmenistan claims the famous day for Melons. Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty educates: “Since 1994, the second Sunday of August…

What public “anti-corruption” dismissals are really about in Turkmenistan

I guess each country has its own rules and habits of fighting corruption. Here is the Turkmen style, keeping in mind that our country has some of the most widespread corruption in the world. In a practice dating back to Niyazov’s day, ministers are regularly sacked. But the current regime seems to like sacking ministers and workers despite successes. The heads of transporation infrastructure were dismissed for “failing to fulfill their duties” even though the first phase of a new rail has been started. Meanwhile, the grain return for 2013 is being praised for meeting targets — and voila, some…

How many people in Turkmenistan are technically “stateless”?

NewEurasia received this communiqué, which makes us wonder how many people in Turkmenistan, who were members of other Soviet republics when the Union collapsed and got trapped inside the new Turkmen state, are officially registered with the government as “stateless”? (The photograph of the passport has been anonymized to protect the identity of its owner.) I am so upset, actually angry. How much do you know about the temporary passports of Turkmenistan non-citizens? A friend of mineis struggling to get out of country and she finally got a (useless) certificate, after so many years of writing to the President and…

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