20 лет спустя – Twenty Years After, Part 1 Posted by Natalie on Aug 22, 2011 in Culture, History, News
Well, «друзья» [friends], it has happened again: I sat down to write «про грамматику» [about grammar] and instead I wrote about something completely different. I found this «фоторепортаж» [photo essay] on the website of «магазин Внешняя политика» [the magazine “Foreign Policy”] called, in English, “Russia’s Big Backyard.” I have opted to translate the title as «ближнее зарубежье» [the near abroad] since that’s basically what the English title implies.
I do not know much «авторское право» [copyright], which is why I am not putting any of the excellent photos in this post. Instead, I will provide links to appropriate photos throughout this post, so you can click on them if you want.
Since it is «двадцать лет после СССР» [twenty years since the USSR], many news websites are writing about what has happened «за двадцать лет» [for twenty years]. «В центральной Азии» [in Central Asia] there are «две религии» [two religions]: Christianity and Islam. There are still remnants of Soviet rule in «Узбекистан, Туркменистан, Таджикистан, Казахстан, и Киргизия» [Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan], like «этот памятник Ленину в Таджикистане» [this monument to Lenin in Tajikistan].
Unfortunately, «в сельской местности» [in rural areas], it can be difficult for people to get access to health care and social services. These countries’ political systems are not perfect, either. Most of them could be classified as «диктатуры» [dictatorships].
«Узбекистан» [Uzbekistan] has a large Russian minority, though many have left «в Россию» [for Russia].
«Казахстан» [Kazakhstan] appears to be doing the best of all the Central Asian countries. «Экономика» [The economy] has grown a lot. Unfortunately, «Нурсултан Назарбаев» [Nursultan Nazarbayev] has had power «за двадцать один год» [twenty-one years]. «Я очень хочу поехать в Казахстан» [I really want to go to Kazakhstan] just to see the world’s largest tent. «На последнем этаже – пляж!» [There is a beach on the top floor!]
I do not know much about «Киргизия» [Kyrgyzstan], except for the fact that there was a revolution there recently. Oh, and one of my friends was there recently, and she rode a horse, just like the people in this photo.
You would probably be fine with speaking just Russian in all the countries I’ve mentioned so far, with one exception: «Туркменистан» [Turkmenistan]. The first president had «культ личности» [a cult of personality] that included emphasizing native culture over the Soviet-era Russification. Luckily, there is less of a personality cult since the first president died — «его преемник» [his successor] was his personal dentist, of all people. The current president «очень любит лошадей» [really loves horses].
I’ve never been to any of these Central Asian countries. If you have, please share your experiences in the comments!
I’m planning four parts for this series. «Часть первая» [Part 1], this part, is about «центральная Азия» [Central Asia]. «Часть вторая» [Part 2] will be about «Беларусь, Украина и Россия» [Belarus, Ukraine, and Russia]. «Часть третья» [Part 3] will be about «Кавказ» [the Caucasus]. «Часть четвёртая» will be about «балтийские страны» [the Baltic countries]. I originally was going to write «прибалтика», which is what I had learned to call the Baltic countries, but a native-speaking friend told me that is an imperialist term that should be avoided. Thoughts?
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