Turkmenistan’s marital opiate of the masses?

Like the sun and the moon rising and setting over the Garagum çöli (Karakum desert), Turkmen life is characterized by cycles — and noontime is marked by the wedding. When a Turkmen man comes back from army duty and officially begins adulthood, he is married off by his parents. Or, when a family purchases a new house, they shall often host a wedding, as a way of celebrating the change. Marriage is an industry in our country: wedding facilities to conduct wedding ceremonies and wedding saloons for wedding parties with wedding singers, and even wedding palaces that have all of…

Do we really need Turkmen singers in Eurovision?

As I intimated in my last post, Turkmen music in general, and Pop in particular, is still very much at the imitation stage of development, as our singers “borrow” famous songs illegally, adapt them, then sing them as though it were their own. It’s thievery, yes, and it’s a pity our regime’s actions have compelled them to such acts, but precisely for that reason, I cannot condemn them. Besides, it’s fitting somehow to our tradition of the master-disciple (halypa–shagirt), as the neophyte learns from the experienced singer. Still, the resultant music can sometimes be hilariously bad – badly mixed, badly…

I AM GOOGOOSHA! HEAR ME ROAR! (But not you. You shut up.)

Earlier this week, Uzbekistan’s notorious First Daughter, Gulnara “Googoosha” Karimova, released the music video of her newest single, “Round Run”. NewEurasia’s newest blogger, Khayyam, shows us YouTube audience reactions, and asks a professional music video producer about the production quality, right down to the ominous Soviet-era ZIL. Get ready for some stinging criticism.

Rare photos of Kumtor mine and environs

“People would prefer to have gold or silver or platinum, some tangible asset that can preserve their wealth. So, while we’re sitting out in this isolated part of Central Asia and it seems unconnected to much of the rest of the world, this is obviously very central issue to what’s going on economically and financially right now in Europe and North America.” — Dr. Robert Moran, hydrologist/geologist

Turkmenistan’s mystical election: watch the video yourself

With the help of a fellow Turkmen citizen-journalist, neweurasia’s Annasoltan has obtained and translated official media coverage of Turkmenistan’s recent presidential election, and needless to say, there’s some weird stuff in there, including chants to the “democratic process” and proclaiming the presence of “international monitors”.

Amazing video of Abadan blast

Ferghana.ru has uploaded an amazing video of the Abadan blast. At 0:31 there is an explosion, the shockwave of which appears to topple the cameraman. Meanwhile, a report from RFE/RL’s Turkmen Service makes Ashgabat sound like a small war zone: Heavy smoke was seen in Ashgabat and small fires were reported on a mountain behind the military base, which also has an air strip.

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