Thursday, July 01, 2010

Fighting for ourselves, we are fighting against…? On the Role of Ethnicity in the Tragic Events in Southern Kyrgyzstan

"Only in this context does it make sense to talk about interethnic conflict. Those who are fighting between themselves are not ethnicities and not cultures, not Kyrgyzness with Uzbekness, not plov [pilaf] with kumiss, although that is the image that popular Uzbek singer Yulduz Usmanova used in her song about the tragedy in Osh. People are fighting between themselves, certain that if they can rid themselves of “strangers” (throw them out, destroy them) they will gain a better life for themselves. The moreso because for many, no other avenues to attain that life remain. Cultural differences did not give birth to these convictions, but rather the social and political boundaries that were built on [those differences] over the course of decades."

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