How many Americans have ever heard of my home country, Kyrgyzstan? It has been about two months since I arrived in the United States, and in that time I’ve gotten used to people being surprised when I tell them where I’m from.
Kyrgyzstan is a little, mountainous country that is located in Central Asia. It borders other Central Asian countries such as Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan, and also with China in the east. The population of my country is only a little over five million people, and less than one million people live in the capital city Bishkek where I come from. My country is quite small and is not well-known in the world and among Americans, in particular.
In my college in the U.S., and in towns where I go, people ask where I come from. When I say that I am from Kyrgyzstan, many people laugh and think I made up such a country, or that the name is misspelled. I know it may sound funny, but this is true!
I really did not expect that Americans would react this way. Nor did I expect that so very few people here would have heard of my country.