Kyrgyzstan’s Revolution : a New Definition of “Partytime”?Written by Angelique van Engelen
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The events in Kyrgyzstan did surprise leading parties as much as rest of world. The irony in this is that leaders apparently think they have eternal rule so long as they manage to create circumstances that keep this situation status quo. By foregoing their duties to create truly collaborative institutions with their neighboring countries and by failing to instigate domestic democratic support, they relied on mechanisms similar to those their predecessors before them had relied on without considering that their home base was expecting change. Not creating systems necessary to effect better democracies and market economies, leaders slowly developed a blind spot for possibility that a transfer of power might occur. Over time, dramatic catharses tend to be result as Kyrgyzstan has shown. Observers say that now it’s likely dawned on everyone that Russia is not going to be able to increase its role in country and that US will only lend its support to democratic movements. It’s all up to people themselves to create a new structure out of what they so joyously went to town on during their short revolution. The only other source that could manifest an ambition toward becoming a regional hegemony wishing to exert influence is Uzbekistan, which is better equipped on a unilateral level and also happens to be region’s largest natural gas developer. The country has indicated its wish to improve intimate ties with its neighbours and has on occasion started to officially delineate its borders, an old Soviet way of showing who’s boss. However, after events in Kyrgyzstan, country quickly pinpointed on its map where border had been and closed it off without further deliberation. Kyrgyzstan’s largely impoverished market economy has hardly got a chance of picking up rapidly and international worries that its largely Muslim dominated population might turn to religion as an alternative to economic prosperity are still downplayed. Even though initial disappointment over benefits of independence 15 years ago led to a renewed focus on Russia, if country’s civil society turns out not to be adequately responsive in soaking up new disappointment and resultant negative sentiment, it’s unlikely that people will turn to their religion. Kyrgyzstan has never really been prone to fundamentalism. By comparison, Uzbekistan poses a way greater Islamic fundamentalist threat, and its leader Islam Karimov is held up as an example of how to manage these sentiments. Should anyone feel need to create insurgencies, they’d likely team up with Chinese Western region Xinjiang separatists, who’ve got plenty of experience in this field. The country’s ethnic differences were also highlighted in its revolution, but are not believed to have been a major factor in events. People also cited chisms in Ukrainian population along ethnic lines, yet recent elections proved opposite there. It is likely that as soon as people belonging to an opposition find they have a legitimate basis and can go about their business freely, ethnic issues tend to become associated with old regime. Ethnic Russians living in Kyrgyzstan –what’s a characteristically pieceful country- also are way less overtly Russian still than their peers in Ukraine. They are near assimilated and cross cultural marriages are common.
Angelique van Engelen is a freelance writer based in Amsterdam. She runs www.contentClix.com and contributes to a writing ring http://clixyPlays.blogspot.com
What is a Family?Written by Theresa Chaze
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The nineties and turn of century found definition of family including many whom had been excluded. Marriage no longer defines concept of family. Loving couples no longer have to make relationship legal to live together and have children. In addition, medical advances have given more options about parenthood. More accurate birth control, abortion, and “morning after pill” have given women control over their reproduction. In addition, it has become socially acceptable for couples to remain childfree. Advances in fertility treatments give women more options of motherhood. Women can be implanted with sperm, either from a loved one or from a donor, to create children they couldn‘t have had naturally. Men have also gained legal option of hiring a surrogate mother to produce a child for them. Adoption laws were changed to include qualified single men and women. Single parent homes, including those created by divorce, have become norm. Day care has become a growing industry to accommodate new demand for childcare from working couples and single parent homes. No longer is wife expected to give up her career opportunities for motherhood. Care of children has become a joint responsibility of parents as is providing for family. Fathers are no longer just a provider and disciplinarian, but an active participant in their child’s life. Economically more opportunities opened to individual as cottage industries and small business have begun to grow. Where once large companies controlled economic growth of country, now small, more specialized businesses compete for a larger of economic pie. More individuals chose to be independent both financially and socially. By doing so, they no longer have to conform to cookie cutter mentality of big business. Being able to work off their personal strengths and talents, they have been able to utilize assets that continue to elude inflexibility of big corporations. The continuing advancements in computers and communications have expanded individual horizons beyond clan mentality. No longer are individuals limited to their birth culture, country, or social status. The internet has opened a world of new experiences and ideas. Again old status quo has been challenged and has fallen by way side. In spite of fears and prejudices more “traditional” groups promote, today’s society has and will continue to become more accepting of differences within individuals; in doing so, country has gained more than it has lost. It is this diversity and ability to grow though change, which has kept this country strong. As women’s role in society has become more open and flexible, so has men’s role as well. Jobs that were considered to be “women’s” are now being filled by men. Just as women have found their place in traditionally men’s jobs. The individual’s talents and desires determine which path to take, giving not only more personal satisfaction but a more positive out look on life. The old saying, “do what you love and money will follow” has become a reality for those who are willing to do work and take chances. Although jobs in manufacturing have been on decline, jobs in medical and scientific research have been making great strides. No longer can a high school diploma guarantee a good job. The educational bar has again been raised to college or technical school level. Today a high school diploma is equivalent of Jethro of Beverly Hillbillies bragging he graduated from sixth grade. Only by being open new industries, staying strong educationally, using our resources wisely, and playing to diverse talents of our people can this country remain a leader economically. As in financial arena, definition of family and marriage has changed. No longer is family limited. With controversy over same sex marriage, concept has been expanded to include all those who love each other and wish to make long term commitments. For decades, definition of marriage has been moving away from having children and having someone to grow old with to relationships built on mutual respect and love. The old concept of “death do ye part” only applies if relationship remains strong and healthy. If relationship dies, marriage ends. No longer do people stay with partners who do not satisfy or bring out their best and highest good. Separation and divorce no longer have old stigma attached. Nor do old standards apply. Custody of children is shared or given to person who would be best parent whether it be mother or father. Spousal and child support has an equal chance to be paid by wife as by husband as economic standards have become more balanced. Although ending of a marriage can be stressful on children involved, it is not as detrimental as staying in a family situation where parents do not get along and where respect is a foreign concept. It is better to separate and remain supportive to children, than to stay together and do more harm than good. Children are savvier and more technologically aware than in any previous generation. Growing up with access to computers and other electronic gadgets in their daily lives, they walk into school system with a broader understanding of what is possible and with a deeper understanding that whole world is connected. Having access to diverse cultures, lifestyles and religions, give modern child new perspectives and challenges what they are taught by their parents. The age-old child question of “why” is not only being asked but answers are also being demanded. They aren’t afraid to ask hard questions or to challenge authority figures. Respect and honor have to be earned not just given because of age. Parents who bank on traditional family hierarchy are more likely to find their accounts with their children in a negative balance. Children have officially become people, deserving of respect. But as much as advancements have separated family members, it has also brought them back together. The Internet and new communication devices have brought families, who had been separated by physical distance, into direct communication. Where as in seventies and eighties, extended family disbursed, they are now coming back together via new toys. People of all ages are looking for lost pieces of themselves by research family histories and communicating with older members of their family. So here we stand a more open inclusive society. The more conservative members of this country would like to go back in time. They are so afraid of losing--but losing what? What do they lose? What does same sex marriage take away from them? How does including all of our population diminish them? If pre World War II, German hadn’t excluded Jews, they would have developed nuclear bomb first. How different would our lives be if balance of power and knowledge had shifted away from us?
Theresa Chaze's first novel, Dragon's New Homeis a fantasy novel, which is based on her philosophy that all people can live together in peace as long as they come from respect. She invites to to visit her site at www.geocities.com/tirgana/Tirgana.html