Friday Lens Affair #92

Kyrgyz soldiers, Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan

This Friday I’m featuring photograph of Kyrgyz soldiers taken by Stephen Lioy from Monk Bought Lunch Blog.

I love traveling Central Asia. There is something very genuine about this region.

I enjoyed Stephen’s blog from very beginning but when I saw his photography website I couldn’t resist asking him to take a part in Friday Lens Affair!

You will love his pictures as well. To stay updated with his crazy travels do follow him on Facebook and Google+.

Picture Story: Kyrgyz soldiers, Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan

One of the most interesting aspects of traveling in Central Asia is seeing the various cultural influences that battle for supremacy in this often-conquered land. The traditional New Year celebrations hearken back to Persian roots. Much of the cuisine is based the nomadic Turkic past, and of course so frequently remnants of the many years spent as part of the Soviet Union.

Of all those post-Soviet aspects, one of the most celebrated moments is the anniversary of Nazi Germany’s surrender to the Soviet Union in World War Two. The end of the ‘Great Patriotic War’ is still marked on May 9th of each year in Kyrgyzstan, where these photos were taken.

Still well within the grasp of winter, the snowy streets of the capital Bishkek fill for a day with the sounds of marching and chanting by the country’s military united. Parading down the main avenue of the city, these active military united are followed closely by the sons and grandsons of veterans who fought and fell in World War II. Arriving at Victory Square, the parade falls quiet as wreathes of flowers are presented to the Eternal Flame and the statue of a young Kyrgyz mother eternally waiting for her husband and sons to return home from war.

Shortly thereafter speeches are given and the military band plays, and while entertaining the somehow cannot match that initial moment of emotional poise. Soon enough the snow will melt on Victory Square and it will return to being little more than a place for newlywed couples to take their photos or for drunks to drink. For today, though, it stands as a special reminder to the many Kyrgyz who fought and died to defend a faraway land that no longer even recognizes them as its own.


22 thoughts on “Friday Lens Affair #92

  1. Excellent photo! I really would love to visit Central Asia, it’s one of my dream destinations! I even had tickets to Kyrgyzstan for this past April but had to cancel due to the situation in Ukraine (long story…) I really hope I will be able to go there soon!
    kami recently posted…Where I stayed: Vibe Hostel, ParatyMy Profile

    • Oh yes, Central Asia is the best!

  2. Incredibly photo, the snow definitely adds some extra dimension to it!
    antonette – we12travel recently posted…Things you just have to do when in FinlandMy Profile

    • I think that snows adds an extra dimension to everything! :)

  3. Zależna w podróży

    It’s really amazing. This place – Bishek – is so… not from this land.

  4. Aga

    Great picture! Very well shot & powerful – feel bad for this guy in the middle, he must be freezing.

  5. It is a great photo! I feel cold just looking at them though! I wonder how their music sounds…
    Lauren recently posted…Learning a Language To Enhance Your Travel ExperienceMy Profile

  6. Wow–what a great photo! I love the story behind it too! Would love to head to Asia soon!
    Jenna recently posted…A Peek Behind the Scenes at the Orpheum TheaterMy Profile

  7. Love this pic Marysia and Stephen! I really hope to explore this region in the future, looks magical especially in winter.
    Margherita recently posted…Borghetto di Brola, an Italian secretMy Profile

  8. I love this photo; culture is written all over it. I met some of the nicest people while traveling through Southeast Asia and it just so happens one of the nicest was a military man from Vietnam. He was extremely hospitable, showed me around and even offered to buy dinner as well. Super nice people. Can’t wait to see Kyrgyzstan for myself…I’ve heard great things. :-)
    Ron recently posted…Homestaying in Sapa, Vietnam: Touching Base w/ the LocalsMy Profile

  9. Meg

    Wow, what a moving and captivating story and photograph. Seriously – phenomenal shot!
    Meg recently posted…Harbor City Hamburg – Why You Shouldn’t Miss Germany’s Maritime TreasureMy Profile

  10. Sammi Wanderlustin'

    This picture makes me feel cold! Looks stunning tho’
    Sammi Wanderlustin’ recently posted…Discovering the Golden Circle with Time Tours IcelandMy Profile

  11. Maria Falvey

    Thanks for the intro to Stephen Lioy’s photography – I love this shot; they’re so dedicated they’re ignoring the weather, which is no easy task… living in the Arctic I can’t easily forget the temps. Wow!

    • Yes Stephen has a great eye and the soilders are super interesting subject at any point, and when the play saxophones even more!
      Marysia recently posted…Friday Lens Affair #92My Profile

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