The Global Village festival is put on every year by the exchange program AIESEC based at the American University of Central Asia. Local students on this program are very welcoming and interested in sharing their stories and learning from international students. This sort of interest in exchange is supported by AIESEC, in part, through their support of this festival.
The festival this year was put on in one of the many shopping centers of Bishkek called “Bishkek Park.” This center actually has an ice-rink on the bottom floor. The festival was held on the third floor in an open area.
There was a central stage and various tables set up with individuals and information representing multiple countries: Uzbekistan, Afghanistan, Great Britain, Czech Republic, China and many others. The tables had books, pictures, and some even had food to try from the different countries.
After everyone had had some time to browse the tables and learn a bit, everyone started to gather around the stage where shows were put on by the students. The show started with a Turkish singer, moved to a Czech Republic song, and then a dance from China. Some contemporary hip-hop dancers from Kyrgyzstan also made an appearance and the most interesting for me was the Uighur Tea-Dance.
I sadly could not stay for the whole event, but it was a lot of fun and a great way to make some new friends and learn about some other cultures in the area and about students in Bishkek in general. Look out for this festival if you are going to be in Bishkek in the summer!