Estegul Eshimova from Kant town has been living in New York city with his family for the past ten years. She brings up a daughter, helps her son and daughter-in-law look after her granddaughter in her spare time.
Estegul told 24.kg news agency how a Kyrgyz can adapt to the frantic pace of life in New York.
— What were the difficulties in adaptation to climate, mentality, lifestyle in the USA?
— At first, I was a little sad, I really missed my relatives. And it had been raining constantly on these days in New York that saddened my mood even more. But then I gradually began to get used to the city, to the apartment overlooking Manhattan and the Statue of Liberty.
After moving to the USA, I did not work for a long time. I completely devoted myself to my newborn daughter Madina. My children have a 14 year age gap. Since my husband was constantly on business trips, my son helped me. At the same time, he was one of the best students in the school, a member of the school swimming team. He already has his own family, a daughter now.
- What do you do now?
— I work as a day care teacher. When my daughter was small, she attended this day care center, and I started working there. I have a very flexible and convenient work schedule, so I can spend time with my daughter, granddaughter and have time for a small family business. After a lunch, I have an opportunity to take my daughter to a music school, karate, dancing and various castings. And I don’t forget about myself — I go in for oriental dances.
— What can you say about life in America: is it difficult for a Kyrgyz to get used to the metropolis, pace of life and society in New York?
— One has to work, study, do not break the laws for a comfortable life. One has to love this country, the city that is unique in its diversity in all spheres of life.
I think it’s easy for people from Kyrgyzstan to adapt not only in New York, but also in other cities in the USA, because the Kyrgyz are nomads by nature.Estegul Eshimova
The Kyrgyz are very educated, adhere to family values, they are hardworking. For ten years of life in the USA, I have not seen a single compatriot who has lost himself into drinking or was homeless. On the contrary, I know how they work, develop and rise to their feet. There are so many young people from Kyrgyzstan who study and work. Undoubtedly, our boys and girls are the most beautiful here.
It is pleasant that many make families and buy houses.
Having a family and maintaining a house in America is an indicator of success and self-sufficiency.
— What is the difference between our community in the USA and Kyrgyzstan?
— We do not judge a person by clothes, car, place of residence and work here. Everyone has different fate, but there is one thing in common — we are all from Kyrgyzstan. We all love our country and start our day the same way — with reading the news from Kyrgyzstan.
— Does the diaspora in New York often hold meetings with compatriots?
— Yes, we often meet, celebrate our birthdays, birthdays of children and grandchildren together. Our son married a beautiful girl from Talas here. There were many guests from Kyrgyzstan and the USA at their wedding. The event was held in English and Kyrgyz.
By the way, we tried to observe customs. For example, at the beginning of the wedding, the wife of my husband’s brother Emily Hall put on a white scarf on the head of my daughter-in-law, which she brought. And my father-in-law and mother-in-law gave money to the co-mother-in-law as a payment for ene sutu.Estegul Eshimova
My husband’s relatives love our traditions, feasts. Last year, we held a beshik toi for out granddaughter, and this year — already tushoo toi. My three nieces got married: each of them had a kyz uzatuu.
— You are in the United States with your family, is it difficult to educate children, maintain the family?
— I, my husband, daughter, son, daughter-in-law and granddaughter live in the USA. My parents and two sisters with their families also live here.
Two years ago, I undertook a master’s degree in social work. At least 97 out of 400 people have been enrolled. Of course, it is sometimes very difficult to combine study and work, to have a house and a family. We need patience and support from relatives. Many students take student loans because of financial difficulties. Our son graduated, obtained a diploma. It is good that we had the opportunity to pay for his study. Now, if he wants to continue and get a master’s degree, it will be at his own expense.
Keeping a family is not easy. Almost everything here is purchased on credit. If you have good earnings, you can safely pay loans on time and have everything you need for a comfortable life.
— What do you miss in America?
— There is everything you need in New York, but there are no mountains. I miss the view of the mountains, the tops of which are covered with snow.
— Do you often come to Kyrgyzstan?
— I try to come to Kyrgyzstan every summer so that my daughter does not forget that she is an American of Kyrgyz origin. I will start taking my granddaughter to Kyrgyzstan soon. And every time I come home, I admire the mountains. I love to go to Dzhar-Bashy village in Issyk-Ata district, to the summer house of our okul ata and okul apa, to the great composer Sardarbek Dzhumaliev and his wife, our Gulya apa. I like to go to Sotsialchi village to my sister, sit on the banks of Issyk-Ata river. And, of course, I enjoy morning tea from a samovar in the courtyard of my parents’ house in Luxembourg village. I love drinking tea and admiring the orchard planted by my father, which is now being cared for by a younger brother and his wife.
— What are your plans for the future and are they connected with your homeland?
— I have common plans for the future with my husband, like many parents — to raise daughter, give her a good education. Grow apple trees, pears planted three years ago, as well as grapes and a walnut tree brought from Kyrgyzstan.