Today (Tuesday) is the Independence Day of Kyrgyzstan.
Kyrgyzstan is a country in Central Asia. Landlocked and mountainous, it borders Kazakhstan to the north, Uzbekistan to the west, Tajikistan to the southwest and the People's Republic of China to the Southeast. Bishkek is the capital and largest city.
The ethnonym "Kyrgz," after which the country is named, is thought to mean "unconquerable" or "undefeatable," referring to the epic hero Manas who, as legend has it, unified 40 tribes against the Khitans. The 40-ray sun on the flag of Kyrgyzstan symbolizes these 40 tribes of Manas.
The Kyrgyz, a Muslim people who speak a Turkic language that is also called Kyrgyz, constitute a majority of the population of Kyrgyzstan. Uzbeks and Russians form the largest ethnic minorities.
Kyrgyzstan became part of the Russian Empire in the late 1800s. In 1924, it became an autonomous region of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR). In 1936, its status was upgraded to make it one of the 15 constituent republics of the USSR. Officially known as the Kirgiz Soviet Socialist Republic …