30 October 2005
Today we visted the Ala Archa cemetery on the west side of Bishkek. Some friends of ours took us; one also had some relatives buried there. Many famous Kyrgyz are buried here with elaborate markers, as you can see in this picture.
Kyrgyz used to know their ancestors back seven generations. But most of that was forgotten with the Soviets, and since records weren't kept during the Soviet years, very little is known now about most people's ancestors. The best our friends have been able to do is learn the names of a few of their great-grandparents.
There are several other cemeteries around town; I'm hoping to be able to visit those too. Cemeteries are quite interesting here in Kyrgyzstan.