Kyrgyzstani people are very community and family-oriented. There is not as much emphasis on personal space or privacy because the culture is more collectivist than individualistic.

It is not uncommon for several generations of a family to live together in Kyrgyzstan. Many families follow traditional gender roles in the home, with women responsible for cooking and cleaning and men as financial providers and head of the household. These dynamics are beginning to shift, however.

Keeping a strict schedule is not a priority in Kyrgyzstan. Kyrgyzstanis value people and activities more than time. It might take some adjustment for your student to get used to the expectation of punctuality in the U.S.

Your student will likely be used to drinking tea with every meal. In Kyrgyzstan, tea is consumed so frequently that many say it is practically a replacement for water. Kyrgyzstanis also drink their tea from small bowls rather than from cups.

Another meal custom in Kyrgyzstan is the use of a common plate from which the whole family shares. There are often small plates at each spot at the table for placing small helpings of food.

Fun Fact: A popular beverage in Kyrgyzstan is horse milk, or “kumyz.”






Kyrgyz, Russian


About 19 9,951




Dry continental to polar in high Tien Shan Mountains; subtropical in southwest; temperate in north