May 9th is a huge day for celebration for nearly all of the Ex-Soviet states and the other countries that fought on the Eastern Front in WWII which commemorates the day Berlin was entered in 1945. Because Kyrgyzstan was a Soviet Republic at the time, the celebrations here are as big a deal as they are anywhere. School was out for everyone (except me that is), there were parades galore, and plenty of partying to go around. I had a lot of fun barbequing and eating kebabs and hanging out with my host family and neighbors.
It was an extremely interesting experience watching the festivities – including military parades, speeches, and wreath laying ceremonies – in Bishkek and Moscow on TV. On one hand, displays of nationalism can be a little disconcerting, but at the same time honoring aging war veterans can be appreciated and empathized with anywhere.
However you feel about it, it’s pretty tough not to be impressed by the spectacle:
Just a few pictures from the Victory Day festivities in Bishkek. There are more of them on Google too.