During our journey, we have often asked ourselves how the people live here and what concerns them. In Karakul, our tour guide Sherali organized an interview with a local in his house.
It is a typical house with living room, kitchen and a room to receive guests. There is also a loggia which is open in summer.
Shane Dallas conducts the interview and Sherali translates from English to Kyrgyz. We are in Tajikistan, but our host belongs to this Kyrgyz ethnic group.
Sherali explained to him that Shane is from Australia, Ursula from Germany and I come from Austria. Thereupon he welcomed us into his house.
Shane asks for his name and how long he used to live in Karakul. Abdümitalib Aziretkül was born in Karakul and has spent his whole life here. His parents were already born here, too. He loves the lake, the mountains, and life here in Karakul.
On the question what is important to him, he answers that he keeps animals, and he and his family live a good life. He has yaks, sheep, goats, and donkeys. He was a shepherd before he used to work in a government office. Then he could afford animals, and now he takes care of them.
Shane asks how he can survive here in winter. Abdümitalib answers that they don’t have too much snow here, but that it gets cold. They are used to this. They harvest and store grass. Also in winter the animals live outside and are only brought into the stable at night.
They buy the food for the people on time, and since it gets very cold, it is easy to store the food. As we have not seen any animals in the village, we want to know where they are. He explains that every shepherd may use certain areas. There is enough of it. In spring one brings the animals to the pasture and brings them back again in October. At the moment the parents are with the animals, and Abdümitalib goes there every 5 days.
Asked about its family, he answers that he has his parents, a wife, two daughters, and a son. The eldest daughter is 4 years, the younger 8 months, and the son is 2 years.
Shane wants to know what he hopes for in the future. He dreams of 3 things: first, that the children get a good education, second, that they should find a good job, and third, they should find a good family.
We are interested in the possibilities of medical supply and learn that you find a hospital and doctors here. People with serious diseases should go to a hospital in Murghab, Osh or Khorog.
Regarding education, Abdümitalib tells us that there is a school here and enough teachers. At the age of 7, the children go to school. 11 years are compulsory. There is a school for girls and boys.
The last thing we wanted to know was why visitors should come to Karakul. The answer was threefold – because of nature – the landscape and because of the social life.
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