Wednesday, October 11

Janaza Prayer 49

When a Muslim dies there is no ceremony nor period of mourning, at least for the working classes. The family gathers with friends at the house to offer their support then to the cemetery where the imam says the 'janaza' prayer meaning 'someone has died' and the burial. "That's it."

We enter Balkchy city next to Issky-Kul lake, the largest in Central Asia and the seventh-deepest lake (668m) in the world, the tenth-largest lake by volume and the second-largest saline lake (0.6% vs 3.5% for seawater) after the Caspian Sea. Issyk-Kul means "warm lake" in Kyrgyz; although it is located at 1,607m and subject to sever cold during winter, it rarely freezes due to the salinity. The lake's southern shore, where we are, is dominated by the Tian Shans over which is China.

Yes, I swim here.