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Kyrgyz people represent the title nation of the Kyrgyz Republic, which is one of the most ancient people in the world. The first written evidence of the Kyrgyz people as a nation is found in Chinese chronicles dated as far back as 2,000 BC. They emerged from many etnoses who settled in South Siberia and Central Asia. In the 4-3 centuries BC, the ancient Kyrgyz were part of strong nomadic tribal unions, which proved to be a serious distress to China. It was at this time that construction of the Great Wall of China began.
In the 1-2 centuries BC, a part of the Kyrgyz tribes moved to Enisey (“Ene Sai” translates as “Mother River” from the Kyrgyz language) and Baikal (“Bai Kol” in Kyrgyz means “Abundant Lake”). It was there that the Kyrgyz tribes organized their first state and Kyrgyz Khanate, which began the consolidation of the Kyrgyz nation and formation of its culture. The Kyrgyz written language emerged here, but was lost after the state was dismantled by conquerors. However, the human memory was alive: the outstanding epic "Manas" is a genuine encyclopedia of the Kyrgyz history, society, habits and lifestyle of that time.
It is possible to say that the statehood of Kyrgyzstan was recreated thirteen years ago. Century-long hopes and expectations of the nation have come to reality through the route of sovereign and independent development.
Kyrgyzstan was the first Central Asian country to declare its independence in 1991 and emerge as a democratic and liberal reform-oriented country, providing a comprehensive program of market reforms.
Kyrgyzstan is in the Tien Shan mountain range, which stretches for hundreds of kilometers across the northeastern part of Central Asia. It is located on the same latitude as New York, Italy, Northern Turkey and Japan.
Kyrgyzstan is beautiful, with mountains covering 94 per cent of the country. Their sheer untouched beauty, largely free from ski lifts, funiculars, frequently used paths and observation platforms, stands majestic and intact.
In 1998, the United Nations General Assembly declared the year 2002 as the International Year of Mountains (IYM). During 2002, people all over the world participated in events to celebrate mountains and discuss ways to promote their conservation and sustainable development.
Kyrgyzstan is a remote and mysterious place to many, yet one filled with exotic sights, colorful, pleasant and ruggedly beautiful scenery.