14 December 2005

Geography Lesson

There seems to be a great deal of confusion about whether Kyrgyzstan is in Europe or Asia. I never know if I should go to the Europe section or the Asia section of a website. Obviously this is a leftover from the old Soviet Union, but even then, most of the USSR was in Asia, not in Europe.

Kyrgyzstan is clearly not a European country. The national drink is fermented mare's milk; the most-favored meat is horse meat. Is there a country in Europe that can claim that? There are lots in Asia. A country that borders China cannot be in Europe. The technical division between Europe and Asia are the Urals, and we're a long way from them.

The trouble seems to be that people often don't realize how huge and diverse Asia is. When we refer to an "Asian," we're often talking about someone from Japan, China, Korea, or maybe SE Asia. Rarely would we be referring to someone from Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Siberia, or Uzbekistan. But they're all Asian too.

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