Traditional Kyrgyzstan Music and Dance during IEW 2022

International Education Week was in November and the stories are still rolling in from all of our amazing participants from around the globe.  We were particularly impressed with Asel from Kyrgyzstan who played the komuz for her community.  We asked Asel if she’d write a little bit for us, and share a few videos. You’re going to want to click the links to see the videos!


Hi! My name is Asel, I am an exchange student from Kyrgyzstan. It is a small country with a big and interesting culture in Central Asia. Thanks to International Education Week, I was able to share about it with my community in the USA. I made four presentations during this week, and everyone was very interested in learning about my country and our traditions.

I played them our music instrument-“komuz” which was made by my grandfather. He was a great komuz player and wanted me to play it too. That’s why I have learned to play it for 8 years. This instrument is very important in our culture as we “express our feelings” through it. For example, in this video I’m playing a fast and cheerful song called “Mash Botoy”. Usually we play this song on special occasions or holidays. We also play it in our annual nomadic games.  A hundred of the best komuz players of the country have to play it together as if people close their eyes, they must think that there is only one person playing this song.

Almost every song on komuz has its own story. On my IEW presentations I played a song about the cruel king who’s daughter had died, and no one could tell him about it as the king had said:  ”Who will tell me bad news-will be executed”. Then people invited the komuz player who played the song for the king and reported him about his daughter’s death without words.

I also showed my audience a kyrgyz traditional dance where arms have to be super smooth and graceful. Moreover they tried our traditional food: boorsok, kurut and kyrgyz chocolate. My classmates and seniors in the nursing home really liked it, and I enjoyed giving a presentation about my country for them. IEW was a great opportunity to share more about my country with my community.


Thank you Asel for sharing this with us, and with your community in Minnesota!  

If you’d like to learn more about hosting an international student like Asel, visit

For those of you who’d like to work with students from around the globe, visit to get started!