Type of publication: Research Article
Uzbeks, Uzbekistan, Ferghana Valley, border regimes, border crossings, migration, Kyrgyzstan, skills
This paper deals with life along the border of Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan in the southern part of the Ferghana Valley. While the establishment of new nation states and border regimes created many obstacles for local people, it also provided opportunities for making a living. Thousands of men and, more often, women from Uzbekistan work on agricultural fields in Kyrgyzstan, especially during the summer months. Others rent land or engage in smuggling activities. The paper describes some of the motivations and necessary skills involved in regular border crossings. It argues that this not only enables people to survive under the miserable conditions in Uzbekistan, which is why the government in Tashkent turns a blind eye to the situation, but also supports the continuation of a regional identity that transgresses state boundaries.
Sancak, M. 2014. International Borders as Obstacles and Opportunities: The Case of the Ferghana Valley. Etnograficheskoe obozrenie 4: 19-27
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