Анжелика

Anzhelika Bekbolieva (Анжелика Бекболиева), who goes by the name Anzhelika alone in her singing career, is a Kyrgyz pop singer (not to be confused with the Russian/Soviet singer Anzhelika).

Anzhelika was born in Bishkek in 1989. She started singing young: her first performance took place when she was around age eight, at a variety theater. She got a musical education at school and then started working as a singer in the mid-2000s. She won Super.kg’s Singer of the Year Award in 2005, at the same time that she started university, studying economics.

Anzhelika retains full creative control over her music—she says she does not have a sound producer—and instead of bowing to pressure to perform club-music hits, she focuses on lyric ballads, though she doesn’t write them herself. She tours the world, including a trip last year to Dubai with Arsen and Omar: the three filmed a music video there together.

While Anzhelika got her start in the Kyrgyz public eye as a singer, she’s now also a fashion designer, actress, businesswoman, and host of the TV show Happy Lady (Бактылуу айым), a woman-centered program whose stated goal is strengthening families.

In that capacity, Anzhelika sometimes attempts to be something of a spokeswoman for the notion of Kyrgyz womanhood: her media interviews often focus on the fact that she is not only a successful performer but also a wife and mother of several children. She’s proud of her multitude of achievements and wants to be recognized for her status as a mother in addition to a performer. Her interviews express one facet of the traditional discourse around femininity in Kyrgyzstan—she says that women’s strength lies in their will power, and that they can do whatever they put their minds to. She says that women, while fundamentally responsible for their families, also have the ability, if not even the responsibility, to work and take care of themselves.

She is also the proud owner of one of the top ten most popular Instagram accounts in Kyrgyzstan! It features a bunch of pictures of her children, but also her fashion designs, some shots of her and countrymen in traditional dress, and, of course, food pictures.

 

“Dance” (“Бийле”):

 

Lyrics for “Бийле”:

Өмүрдүн нуру жанат,
Кубантып сени карайт,
Тартынбай бийле.
Бакыттын балы тамат,
Көңүлүң обон салат,
Кубанып бийле.
Жакшылык шамы бийде,
Жанашып бийле.
Бакыттын нуру бийде,
Баарыңар бийлегиле.

Кайырма:
Бийле, бийле,
Жаркырап бийге,
Эл менен бийле.
Бийле, бийле,
Тартылып бийге,
Биз менен бийле.

Кайырма:
Жадырап майрам дагы,
Сезилет жашоо даамы,
Жаркырап бийле.
Жүрөктө сүйүү болуп,
Көңүлүң ырга толуп,
Талпынып бийле.
Жакшылык шамы бийде,
Жанашып бийле.
Бакыттын нуру бийде,
Баарыңар бийлегиле.

Кайырма

 

“Mom” (“Апакем”)

 

Lyrics for “Апакем”:

Сен турган жер ыйык мага бейиштей,
Сени менен телегейим тегиздей.
Мени кандай мээнет менен өстүрдүң,
Балалыктын бактысынан кемитпей.

Кайырма:
Апакем менин ынагым,
Маңдайда өчпөс чырагым.
Эсен-соо болуп биз менен
Жайнасын көлдөй жамалың.

Бейиш жыты, балким эне жытындай,
Жыттап алсам жыргай түшөм ушундай.
Болгон үчүн энелердин мээрими,
Бүтүн бойдон турат дүйнө бузулбай.

Кайырма

Julie is currently studying Russian as a Second Language in Irkutsk (and before that, Bishkek) with SRAS’s Home and Abroad Scholarship program, with the goal of someday having some sort of Russia/Eurasia-related career. She recently got her master’s degree from the University of Glasgow and the University of Tartu, where she studied women’s dissent in Soviet Russia. She also has a bachelor’s degree in literature from Yale. Some of her favorite Russian authors are Sorokin, Shishkin, Il’f and Petrov, and Akhmatova. In her spare time Julie cautiously practices martial arts, reads feminist websites, and taste-tests instant coffee for her blog.