Last Updated on December 12, 2019 by

The fragrance of freshly baked Kyrgyz nan (bread) and red hot spices fills the air as I wander through the labyrinth of Osh Bazaar in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan.

I snake my way between the mountains of bread and heaps of fresh vegetables, smiling and greeting friendly vendors with a soft “salaam”. Women with floral scarves wrapped around their heads are dishing up cups of kymyz (fermented mare’s milk) while men wearing white woolen kalpak hats are hawking their ware. Rows upon rows of stalls are jam-packed into the sprawling market, selling items that range from locally-produced food to colorful textiles and electrical products.

The explosion of colors and cacophony of sounds makes it such an senses-assaulting experience. I’m glad to have made it here on my second day in Bishkek — it’s an excellent place to take a peek into the Kyrgyz daily life and get to know more about their culture. Here’s a collection of photos that I shot at Osh Bazaar; hope they paint a better picture than words.

Locals selling bread

Selling stacks of freshly baked nan

Lady selling heaps of nan

A happy vendor

A man dishes up plov

Dishing up plates of plov (pilau rice cooked with meat)

Baking samsas

Baking samsas (pastry with meat inside) using a charcoal oven

Different types of nan

All types of Kyrgyz nan

Colorful salads

Fresh salads piled up in heaps

Dried fruit and nuts

Mountains of dried fruit and nuts

Jugs of pickled foods

Jars of pickled food

A vendor and the spices he sells

A young Kyrgyz and his spice stall

More spices

Kyrgyz signs in cyrillic

Fresh vegetables

Shopping for vegetables

Kyrgyz woman selling kymyz

A woman selling kymyz (fermented mare’s milk)

An assortment of fresh vegetables on sale

All types of products on sale

Horse sausages

Horse sausages and cured meat

The butcher section

The meat section

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