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Central Asia Debate and Media camp: journalism showcase
Submitted by Alexander Cavell on 25 July 2012
The first week of the second Central Asia Youth in the 21st Century camp culminated with a trip to the town of Bosteri's sprawling bazaar. Camp participants were given the task of exploring the bazaar, talking with the stall holders and writing a short feature article exploring the backgrounds and experiences of individual traders.
Today, idebate.org will be show-casing a selection of the best articles produced by the participants, along with the photographs they took to accompany their work.
Each of the stories offers a snapshot of everyday life in northern Kyrgyzstan. The pieces demonstrate the development of the participants' ability to structure information and create compelling written content from a wide variety of source material.
Over the next seven days, the participants will continue to work with IDEA's journalism trainers to further develop their language skills, practice news and feature writting and compile long form reports incorporating photography and interviews.
Marketing man brings new business to Bosteri
Mirlan got the idea in 2010 when he saw how many tourists were visiting the local bazaars. They all were buying traditional Kyrgyz handicrafts, fruits and vegetables. But there were no amusements or games, so Mirlan decided to open a shooting range.
“I took a bank loan and bought all these weapons and bullets. There was a trash dump. I made it look better and turned it into my shoot. I pay only 6000 soms per year for rental, and it is actually profitable,” said the 27-year-old from Bishkek who graduated from Kyrgyz Agrarian Academy.
When Mirlan could not find a job in agriculture he started to work with a marketing agency, installing advertising banners around the city.
“During the summer seasons I work at my shooting range at the Bosteri village, at the local bazaar, and I get a good money from it,” he said.
When he first set up the business Mirlan had problems with a local racketeering gang. He was threatened and ordered to pay part of his income to the gang because he was from Bishkek. He eventually managed to solve his problems with the gang.
Mirlan said, “Running a business at Bosteri was not easy at all, but my family helped a lot with that by giving me a little money when I was starting out”. Now he runs several other shooting ranges around the Issyk-Kul and plans to open more.
Mirlan also wants to expand his business: “Next year I plan to buy some motor boats and rent them out in other Issyk-Kul resorts and beaches. Now I know what this business is about”.
A hobby that makes money
“I did not have books or teachers to teach me. I bought some felt and spent a whole month trying to make a souvenir,” she said.
Elnura decided to try and earn some money from her new hobby; now she sells her handicrafts at the weekend bazaar in Bosteri, Issyk-kul.
“I am a teacher, but I don’t like my job. I really like what I am doing right now, and I want to build my own business selling handicrafts, and stop work as a teacher,” she said. She sells about 20 souvenirs a day, each costing between 150 and 200 soms. “This is not a bad amount of extra income,” she added.
“Now I can make a pair of slippers in 30 minutes. When I started making my first souvenirs, it took more than a month. Even if my income as a teacher does not match my needs, I can sell my products at the bazaar and spend money on what I like.”
The garment trader is the only one selling 6XL t-shirts at the summer weekend markets in Bosteri.
The 33-year-old displays these t-shirts right in front of his stall to attract customers.
“I sell 10 to 15 big t-shirts sized 6XL in a day. I am the only one who sells different colored, large sized tees in Issyk-Kul Bazaar,” said the Russian who was born and grew up in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan.
He married a Kyrgyz girl ten years ago and has two children – a daughter and a son.
One of his customers had bought a 6XL T-shirt early in the day and was displaying it in front of the stall.
He said: “The T-shirts are not very expensive, from 450, 500, to 600 soms."
Bakhtiyor said the t-shirts were usually bought by the middle aged people who wear them to the beach, in their homes, and on evening walks.
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