On December 16, a friend and I went “on assignment” to an annual festival that celebrates the diverse group of ethnicities that call Kyrgyzstan home. It was hosted in the Kyrgyz Drama Theater and included an open house of foods, crafts and souvenirs from each group, as well as a performance of songs and dances.
An embroidered portrait of a Ukrainian man is displayed near other merchandise such as traditional instruments, decorated eggs, or dolls wearing national costumes.
A group of ethnic Ukrainians kept up a continuous flow of folk songs and alcohol as they sold Ukrainian treats.
A presenter walks across the stage as two performers, center, prepare for their upcoming Chechen-style dance.
This young girl practices her song during a dress rehearsal before the start of the show.
Three men sang a song in Kyrgyz before the entire ensemble, who are all wearing costumes to reflect the many groups that live in Kyrgyzstan.
A group of young women performing a Ukrainian dance while another woman (not shown) sings in Ukrainian. (It is purely coincidental that there are so many photos of Ukrainians.)
The most adorable and charismatic little dancer, though I can’t remember what ethnicity she was representing. (I’d guess either Kyrgyz or Kazakh.)
Participants watch an ethnic Uzbek girl dance while they wait for their turn on the stage.
An ethnic Dungan man, wearing a costume adorned with a rhinestone dragon, waits backstage. He later performed a song in the Dungan language.
A group of ethnic Azeri girls performed an energetic dance, frequently shrieking in unison.
These two young dancers seemed to enjoy their twirling performance.