Posts Tagged ‘Exchange Program’

A group of delegates from Kyrgyzstan came to Montana through the Open World Program to study Local Water Management and Dry Climate Irrigation.

The delegates were welcomed to Helena by a meeting with Mayor Jim Smith where they discussed water quality issues.  During their stay they were also able to meet with Representative Mary Ann Dunwell, (D) HD84 State Representative from Helena to talk about the legislative process of introducing water bills and moving it through the process into law. The delegates visited the State Capitol, the Montana Historical Society, and Fort Harrison during their time in Helena.  The delegates then traveled to Bozeman to visit the Bozeman Water Reclamation Facility where they met with Superintendent Herb Bartle.  The group was also able to spend quality time with their host families and make connections in the Helena community through them.

At the end of their stay, the Kyrgyz delegates gave a presentation on the traditions and culture of Kyrgyzstan to an audience of about 25 people from the Helena community.  They began the presentation by showing a video that highlighted how the country of Kyrgyzstan is truly, “The Heart of Asia”.  The audience was able to see where the delegates call home from the vast mountain ranges to the clear lakes.  After giving a taste of the country’s landscape, the delegates performed a traditional Kyrgyz song and dance.  The song titled, “Kyzyl Oruk”, which translates to “Red Apricot”, is a traditional love song the delegates and audience sang along to.  The delegates also preformed a traditional dance and the audience joined in as well.  After performing, the Kyrgyz taught traditional games of Kyrgyzstan; find the golden ring and tug of war.  Both the delegates and the audience enjoyed being able to see the similarities and differences between their cultures.

One of the delegates, Aida commented on her experience in Montana, “I was impressed by the water experts who wanted us to learn something.  Also a new thing for us was to visit the National Guard.  I would really like to build the relationships we have made during our stay.  I am thankful for the interns who have helped.  We were able to see with our own eyes the realities of the U.S.  We will take what we have learned back home and tell them how Americans live.”

The Kyrgyz performing a traditional dance.

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