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English

Bishkek through eyes of French General

 

Retired French General Georges Kuttlein has been living in Kyrgyzstan for several years. He teaches at the Kyrgyz National University named after J. Balasagyn and the Diplomatic Academy and almost became a local resident. He is fluent in Russian. We asked him several questions to get to know his impressions of Kyrgyzstan.

— What surprises you in Bishkek or in Kyrgyzstan in general?

— The cheerfulness and kindness of the inhabitants, the number of cultural institutions (Kyrgyz National Academic Opera and Ballet Theater, theaters, museums…) and places for recreation (cafes, restaurants, cinemas, clubs…). There is an opportunity to live well.

-What in Bishkek reminds you of your hometown?

-My hometown is Grenoble. We had winter Olympic Games, and the city is surrounded by mountains.

— What and whom do you miss in Kyrgyzstan?

-I would like, of course, to see the happiness of the children and relatives, but now I have such close friends that I would miss them if I have to leave. But everything is relative.

I get on the plane at night, and I’m with my family already at dinnertime. The French need culinary products but they have appeared lately. Wine, cheese…

Georges Kuttlein

— What is your favorite place in Bishkek?

— Erkindik Boulevard and the South Botanical Garden.

— What do you like in the national cuisine and what don’t you dare even to taste?

— Meat, meat and meat. I like Kyrgyz plov with brown rice, yellow onions and large pieces of meat. I know how to cook it. I also like ashlyam-fu and dymdama, manty and lagman. I like soups least of all.

People who eat snails and frogs can eat everything.

Georges Kuttlein

 — What has fascinated and disappointed you in close acquaintance with the local population?

— I like direct relations, kindness and strength of friendship as well as curiosity and openness to the new, the ability to have fun easily.

I did not like the fact that there is still a division according to ethnic characteristics, contempt. That is, there is no close relationship between different ethnic groups.

— What would you change in Bishkek?

— Illegal construction in parks, in courtyards of houses.

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