Having lived in Sweden for the past three years I’ve heard, on a couple of occasions, people referring to the region of Central Asia as Farawaystans. To some extent it reflects how we in Northern Europe view those countries — as being far away, not very often heard of in the news, not very often travelled to, and not making that much of an impact on our lives in Europe. It has been changing lately, however, at least for me. Reading and hearing about plans that organisers in Central Asia make for the Global Day of Action kind of places those countries on the map for me.

For example, our friends in Bishkek, Baktygul, Robert and Ulan, told me about their plans to make a giant 350 out of juicy apples, that gardeners of Kyrgyzstan are very proud of, and then gather all the participants of their mass action on the central city square for a big aerial picture.

Few hundred miles to the south-west from Bishkek, in the capital city of Tajikistan, Dushanbe, the leaders of the local environmental organisations, Yuriy, Umed and Timur, will meet with school pupils, university students, representatives of the civil society and state agencies, and journalists to inaugurate an environmental fair and a climate-related art exhibition. There will be other activities under the banner of 350 in Dushanbe on that day.

Just like further west, in the neighboring country of Uzbekistan, where in two different cities, Samarqand and Tashkent, young people will gather to play a game of "climate photo hunt". Armed with photo cameras, the youth teams will scout around the city, hunting for pictures that best show consequences of climate change and environmental degradation in five different areas in their regions.

Finally, among the many actions happening in Kazakhstan, one impresses me especially much. In Almaty local students will march onto the mountain Kok-Tube. On top of the mountain there is an Apple monument (apple is a symbol of Almaty). The participants will form a 350 figure with their bodies and take a picture. The view must be terrific up there!

Listening to our organisers’ incredible plans for October 24th, I cannot help but get very excited about all the creativity, entusiasm and idealism going on in those places far far away from Sweden. Sometimes I wish that our friends in Central Europe could read about these amazing examples from their peers in Central Asia – to borrow some of their ideas and to share their excitement. And so I decided to write this blogpost. Thank you, dear Farawaystans, for inspiring us with your energy and creativity! Walking down the apple orchards in Southern Sweden this weekend, just one week ahead of the Global Day of Action, I will try to imagine what apples in Bishkek and Almaty taste like…

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