By Emil Suyunaliev
There is a growing generation gap between the older people of Bishkek, and the young. Older people have seen hard times—war, hunger, and struggles. Many of the young people—the “golden youth”—are indifferent about such serious issues. They only care about entertainment, fancy clothes and a carefree life.
In the eyes of Janybek, a 21 year old resident of Bishkek, who is a junior student of the Kyrgyz State Technical University, the gap between the young and old in the Kyrgyz Republic is large–and growing.
Janybek has been spending his life in Bishkek, and as an original resident, he tells us his own stories about his home city especially about people there.
“I went to a night club with my young friends. It was interesting for me to observe their life, their behavior, and worldview,” he said. “So, when we went to the club, I ended up in a different world, the world of fancy people, drinks and music.”
These are the “golden youth,” according to Janybek, young people who are wasting their time for useless things instead of studying and doing community services to contribute to their country, and their home city.
“I heard them talk about how they spent their evening, or what kind of clothes they want to buy. These are the topics the youth talk about. They don’t care about what is happening in some region or village of our country. They are not even aware of what is happening here in Bishkek,” he said.
But there is a materialistic mood in the city of Bishkek that contributes to the delusion of the youth, according to Janybek. It is easy and comfortable to talk to people here about different things, but when it comes to world, or money, people become different, more egoistic.
“They have a mercantilist approach to money making, not friendly or cooperative,” he said.
There are two very different realities in Bishkek, the hard life for those who have been hungry and struggle–and the carefree life on those who ignore the older generation’s problems and the suffering around us, he said.
“The older people are uncertain and the youth are light-hearted, but it is still an interesting city, because I can have different experience here. If one day I hang around with my friends and meet fancy and stylish people, another day I can end up talking to elder person about the politics and what is going on in our country.”
These two different generations live in very different worlds in Bishkek.