12/30/2017, 12.27
KYRGYZSTAN
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Lawmakers outraged over dog wearing traditional Kyrgyz hat, call for owner to be punished

The police will look into the case. For one politician, the country was treated like a dog. After the last uprising in 2010, politicians in the former Soviet republic are sensitive to slights to traditions.

Bishkek (AsiaNews/Agencies) – A dog show has caused nationwide outrage because one of the pooches strutted around the field wearing a traditional Kyrgyz hat.

Some lawmakers were so incensed that they called for the owner to be brought to justice for insulting the traditional Ak Kalpak hat, which is honoured with its own national day in March.

The police promised to examine the case, whilst many people have signed a petition urging the authorities to punish the dog owner and the organisers of the dog show for the “insult”.

“We put our national symbol on a dog. They made a dog Kyrgyz, and a Kyrgyz a dog,” said Ryskeldi Mombekov, an MP for the governing Social Democratic Party of Kyrgyzstan.

“Tomorrow a pig will wear a Kalpak and the national flag will be used as cat litter,” he fumed.

Since a popular uprising in 2010, Kyrgyz politicians have focused on matters of national identity and traditional culture.

In 2011, a freedom statue was torn down amid arguments that it was a bad omen. Erected in the middle of the capital’s main square, the statue represented a woman with wings holding aloft the symbolic ‘tunduk’, the criss-crossed centrepiece of a yurt that is on the country’s flag.

The same year lawmakers ritually slaughtered seven sheep in parliament to exorcise “evil spirits”.

At the beginning of this year, the authorities seized a 1,500-year-old mummy from Kyrgyzstan hitherto displayed in a museum and buried it on the advice of self-proclaimed mediums.

In 25 years of independence, Kyrgyzstan has seen two revolutions, which have led to the fall of the country’s president in 2005 and 2010, not to mention several episodes of ethnic violence.

Last October, for the first time, the country experienced a peaceful transition of power with the election of President Sooronbai Jeenbekov.

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