Thanks to democratic reforms, a new entity in the far-flung steppes of Central Asia is expected to soon be added to the list of available countries for DXCC credit.
Kyrzakhstan is believed to be the world’s first triangularly-shaped country and is bordered by China, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.
Translated into English, the word kyrzakhstan means “vowels ain’t all that”.
Little-known outside the region, Kyrzakhstani’s have a strong work ethic and an aggressively maniacal love of trigonometry due, it is thought, to the country’s geometric shape. Most Kyrzakhstani children can recite and explain Pythagorean’s Theorem by the time they are first able to speak.
Unfortunately, these trigonometric abilities also manifest themselves in other aspects of life - during conversation, Kyrzakhstani’s tend to “go off on tangents” (as I would soon find out).
The strong work ethic means that even children are happy to pull their share of the load and are therefore regarded as being more mature (see photo) than their counterparts in the “soft, easy” western countries.
Perhaps you can imagine my surprise at receiving an email from Kyrzakhstan’s president. Until now Kyrzakhstan has been largely isolated from the outside world but, as a reader of this blog, the President wanted to discuss ham radio in his emerging nation and didn’t know where else to turn.
I was flattered.
We met at a remote location and I found it interesting to get an isolationist’s perspective of various topics. There are no direct Kyrzakhstani-English translators but we managed to cobble together an assortment of bilingual speakers who got us there indirectly.
With his country formally recognized today (1 April) by the United Nations, Kyrzakhstani President Choomgiz Choomgizkhanov says his first order of business on the global stage will be to provide financial assistance and economic counsel in efforts to alleviate America’s “sequestration”.
“You gave us Thomas Edison, Cool Hand Luke, Tang, sinkholes and weak beer…..all these successes – what happened?!”
I hadn’t expected to be lectured in the first breath of our conversation but I had to admit that he had a valid point.
“You Am-yer-ik-yens watch too much TV, play fantasy football and have too many guns,” he said via a series of Kyrzakhstani-to-Russian-to-Spanish-to-American translators while enjoying a meal of lamb kebabs, borscht, paella and hominy grits.
“Now it’s time to put away those childish things and follow the Kyrzakhstani model. You don’t want to end up like Greece, do you?” he asked, passing me a piece of baklava.
President Choomgizkhanov is a radio amateur himself but has never been on the air despite having been licensed for 30 years.
“To get on the air” he said, “would give creedence to the claims on Kyrzakhstan shared by the three countries surrounding us since I would be using a callsign issued by one of them. Now that we will soon have our own prefix, I will be proud to give a New One to deserving DXers around the world”.
President Choomgizkhanov promises to be active on 160-meter AM QRP with a Miracle Whip antenna in his basement.
He is an avid reader of ham radio’s finer blogs (I didn’t know there were any), he reported, while listening to an eclectic mix of Fifty Kopek, Pussy Riot, The Gipsy Kings and Elvis Presley (to accomodate our translators).
“And what’s with Pussy Riot? I thought it was perhaps a nice way to spend a rainy weekend but have learned that it’s the name of a Russian punk-rock group. Putin was right to send them to the gulag – maybe they’ll think of a new name that isn’t so full of innuendo.”
“Yes – enough with the innuendo,” I agreed, as he offered a deliciously prepared portion of spotted dick over-nighted from London.
Lowering his voice, he asked, “How goes the English sense of humour?”
“Healthy, I hope” I hoped, whilst glancing around furtively.
Finally, the conversation turned back to ham radio when President Choomgizkhanov asked me if I thought other hams might be interested in airing a DXpedition from Kyrzakhstan.
Can an Argentine pope dance the tango? Of course they’d be interested!
I assured him that there would be a very great interest in such an endeavor and told him that there were groups from the US, Russia, Italy, Japan and elsewhere that would love to be the first to put Kyrzakhstan into the logbooks of DXers.
“Ah, Japan!” he said. Then he proceeded off on yet another tangent to tell me a joke:
“Did you hear about the Japanese pilot who hated jazz music? He bombed Pearl Bailey!”
Exasperated and deeply offended, I tried to explain the concept of political correctness and of being sensitive to other cultures but he was so steeped in his isolationism that he just couldn’t grasp it, the rube.
“Sir, if we could get back to ham radio…please? We’ve talked about so many nationalities – yours, mine and others. Let’s move on.”
In my final moments with President Choomgizkhanov, he surprised me by revealing that a DXpedition had already been planned to activate Kyrzakhstan and that it will take place in January 2014.
Furthermore, with the IARU lacking a prefix block from which to assign callsigns, they are enacting Special Exception 04012013 and pulling VK0 from its normal block and giving it temporarily to Kyrzakhstan.
So if you work a VK0 in January 2014, you will have worked Kyrzakhstan. At least that’s what I have Heard.
Thanks to Oleg Atbashian of The Peoples’s Cube for allowing me to re-purpose his original concept of Kyrzakhstan.