Peaks of Tien Shan and associated valleys and basin encompass entire nation
Dry continental to polar in high Tien Shan Mountains; suptropical in southwest (Fergana Valley); temperate in northern foothill zone
Population: 5,548,042 (July 2013 est.)
Languages: Kyrgyz (official) 64.7%, Uzbek 13.6%, Russian (official) 12.5%, Dungun 1%, other 8.2%
Muslim 75%, Russian Orthodox 20%, other 5%
It is a poor, mountainous country with a dominant agricultural sector. Cotton, tobacco, wool, and meat are the main agricultural products, although only tobacco and cotton are exported in any quantity. Industrial exports include gold, mercury, uranium, natural gas, and electricity. The economy depends heavily on gold exports and on remittances from Kyrgyzstani migrant workers primarily in Russia. Following independence, Kyrgyzstan was progressive in carrying out market reforms.
The traditional Kyrgyz home is a yurt or yurta— a round, felt-covered structure built upon a collapsible wooden frame. Most Kyrgyz today live in individual permanent homes, but about 40,000 Kyrgyz still live in yurts. The arched opening of a yurta is called the tundruk . The flag of the Republic of Kyrgyzstan features a tundruk. Life in the city has some challenges. There is a lack of housing, and public transportation does not run on schedule.
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