A decent-sized protest formed outside of the parliamentary building (also next to AUCA) yesterday as Farrell and I walked to Russian class. We could see a large group of men waving red flags and we decided to inch forward and figure out what political party they represented.
“Butun Kyrgyzstan, бутун кыргызстан” waved red flags with a blue outline of Kyrgyzstan on them. Some carried banners with big, red block letters on them. They chanted halfheartedly and we headed to class.
At one point they all started yelling with more volume and emotion than was demonstrated before. We were seated in the furthest building from the protesters and desperately trying to conjugate new verbs when we all looked up to figure out where the commotion was coming from. When we mentioned the party name to our professor, she scoffed.
“Ze head of zat pahty? He iz a character.”
She made an awkward face that said, “What silly men they are. Get back to writing!”
Needless to say, бутун кыргызстан did not win any seats in parliament in Sunday’s election.
By the time we left class, most of the group was dispersing. Some carried their flags and banners down Frunze Street, behind the university. Noticing the number of police and volunteer militiamen around, Farrell and I opted for a less politically charged route home down Chuy Street.
Other than that, I haven’t witnessed any problems (yet). One classmate claimed to have heard something that his roommate convinced him was gunfire (a Russian-Tajik who grew up during the civil war and may be a bit more paranoid about gunfire than any other student). No no, our professor assured us that it was just fireworks. It’s been a popular week for weddings, you know.
Oh I know, I’ve never seen so many stretch limos and Hummers speeding through Bishkek, covered in flowers in ribbons.
We’re about to head out shortly to another wonderful Russian lesson. I’m positive that I have a better chance of seeing a wedding convoy than another demonstration.