Photo Friday: World Nomad Games 2018

The World Nomad Games proclaims its slogan for all to hear: “United in Strength! United in Spirit!”

The 2018 iteration of the biennial games took place in the Kyrgyz Republic on September 2, nestled in the northeast of Centra Asia and the Tien Shan mountains. 90 percent of the country’s land is over 1,500 meters above sea level, and it’s almost entirely mountainous, so it is no surprise that the main source of water is from glacial meltwater.

The games were created in 2012 to revitalize and preserve nomadic culture. This year featured thousands of athletes from 77 countries competing in 37 types of ethnosports. “The mission of the World Nomad Games covers the revival, development and preservation of the ethnoculture, diversity and originality of the people of the world in order to foster a more tolerant and open relationship between people,” states the official website. The event is broken into three sections: ethnoculture, enthnosport, and science. It features diverse activities that range from folklore and traditional intellectual games to traditional wrestling and salbuurun, their form of hunting with local wildlife.

For this week’s Photo Friday, take a look at the 2018 World Nomad Games, as well as competitions from years past.

Promotional material for the 2018 World Nomad Games with the Tien Shan mountains in the background (Source: World Nomad Games).

 

A nomadic village congregating for the 2016 World Nomad Games (Source: Save the Dream/Flickr).

 

Athletes participated in traditional forms of wrestling, as featured in the promotional video for the World Nomad Games 2018 (Source: World Nomad Games).

 

Opening ceremony of the 2016 World Nomad Games (Source: Save the Dream/Flickr).

 

Nomadic children playing “Ordo,” a traditional game involving teams throwing cow and sheep bones at a coin in an attempt to knock out the other team’s playing pieces (Source: World Nomad Games).

 

 

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Photo Friday: Lake Issyk Kul

Located high in Central Asia’s Tian Shan Mountains, Issyk Kul is one of the world’s largest alpine lakes. Though Issyk Kul literally means “warm lake” in the Kyrgyz language, the crystalline waters vary in surface temperature from as high as 73 degrees Fahrenheit in July to as low as 36 degrees Fahrenheit in January. Still, warmth is relative, and at 1,607 meters (5,272 ft) above sea level, summer surface temperatures seem practically balmy.

The lake is picturesque, with glaciated Tian Shan peaks flanking its northern and southern shores, and is a popular tourist destination for both Kyrgyz nationals and foreign visitors. Don’t have time to trek to Kyrgyzstan just yet? Photo Friday has you covered!

 

The color contrasts of the foothills, water and glaciated peaks are mesmerizing (Source: Ronan Shenhav/Creative Commons).

 

Horses are integral to the semi-nomadic lifestyles found across the region (Source: Ronan Shenhav/Creative Commons).

 

The Kyrgyz practice a form of Sufi Islam, which has deep historical roots in the region (Source: Ronan Shenhav/Creative Commons).

 

A lonely tree, quiet and austere with the enormous Tian Shan in the background (Source: Ronan Shenhav/Creative Commons).
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Photo Friday: Kyrgyz Glaciers

Kyrgyzstan, located in Central Asia, is a country with enormous glaciers. About 30% of the total land area in Kyrgyzstan is covered by permanent snow and 4% is covered by glaciers. The total amount of glaciers in Kyrgyzstan is equivalent to 580 billion cubic meters of water, which can cover the whole country to a depth of 3 meters. The most famous glacier is the Enilchek Glacier in the Eastern Tien Shan mountain range. The Kyrgyz are semi-nomadic herders and their nomadic movements still take place seasonally.

To learn about political controversies surrounding mining near glaciers in Kyrgyzstan, click here.

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Photo Friday highlights photo essays and collections from areas with glaciers. If you have photos you’d like to share, let us know in the comments, by Twitter @glacierhub or email us at glacierhub@gmail.com

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