May 25, 2009

Watch Muslim headscarves morph into g-strings at a disco in Bishkek

(No pictures on Bishkek post because, quite frankly, I was afraid to take out my camera on the streets)

Traveling through Central Asia is like swimming in a beaker full of experimental human substance in chemistry class; at times the mixture can be amusing or it can swing abruptly in opposing directions with little warning. Decades of Russian influence has, for the men, produced a distinct group of Vodka drinking Kyrgyz Muslims and, for the women, paved the way for long, modest dresses worn with headscarves to be replaced by short miniskirts, tight jeans, busty tops and shiny stilettos. While people in many parts of the country, from big town to small village, are partaking in Vodka time, there is a quick shift in dress from rural to city.
Bumping into an Australian couple I had met two months prior in Myanmar, we all decided to check out what goes on in a Kyrgyz disco. Over the loud music, Rachel told me that she had replaced all her exposing skirts and dresses thinking that the country would be fairly conservative, but as we sat watching a hunky “sailor” strip down to a satin g-string and a “tiger” woman run around the dance floor topless, we realized that that she probably could have kept her original wardrobe.

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