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KYRGYZSTAN AT A GLANCE
Name: Kyrgyz Republic, conventionally shortened to Kyrgyzstan (the former: Kirgiz Soviet Socialist Republic).
State emblem presents the circle with wide rim. In the centre on the blue background there is the lake Issyk-Kul - the pearl of Central Asia. The waters of the lake symbolise natural beauty, the source of life and energy. Behind the lake there are seven peaks symbolising seven regions of Kyrgyzstan and there are also the rising sun and white eagle - symbol of liberality and vigilance, height of thoughts of Kyrgyzstan citizens, inhabiting the country of celestial mountains. On the rim there are wheatears - symbol of diligence and peace and twigs of cotton plants with opened cotton balls.
Adopted on 14th of January, 1994.
Capital: Bishkek [formerly Frunze]
Six regions and one city. Bishkek, Chuy Region (Chuy Oblast), Jalal-Abad Region (Jalal-Abad Oblast), Naryn Region (Naryn Oblast), Osh Region (Osh Oblast), Talas Region (Talas Oblast), Issyk-Kul Region (Issyk-Kul Oblast)
Independence: 31st August 1991 (from the Soviet Union)
National Holidays: National Day - 2nd December; Independence Day - 31st August
Constitution: adopted 5th May 1993
National currency: Som
Population: 5,067,000 (UN estimate 2002).
Ethnic Groups: Kyrgyz 52.4%, Russian 18%, Uzbek 12.9%, Ukrainian 2.5%, German 2.4%, others 11.8%
Religions: Muslim 75%, Russian Orthodox 20%, others 5%
Languages: Kyrgyz and Russian (the Kyrgyzstan legislature amended the constitution to make Russian an official language along with Kyrghyz in March 1996)
Time: GMT + 5 hours
Electricity: 220 volts AC, 50Hz; round two-pin continental plugs are standard.
Aliases: The Kyrgyz Republic, Khirghizstan, Kirgizstan, Kirgizia, Kirgizskaya Respublika, Kyrgyz Respublikasy, Khirghizische Republic.
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