Welcome to Zhartvystan! Zhartvystan is a made-up word meaning Land of the Harvest. The word “жартва” means harvest in Russian. And of course, you’re probably familiar with “the Stans”: Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan…there are others.
Central Asia is the land where East meets West along the Silk Road. Depending on who you ask, it stretches from western China to Iran, from Pakistan up into the southern regions of Russia and the Caucasus. Today, Central Asia is home to more than 90 million people from many different ethnicities, languages, religions and tribes.
For millennia, nomadic horsemen ruled the steppe of Central Asia. By the end of the 19thcentury, Russia and China had claimed most of the region as their own. The Russian Revolution and subsequent rise of Soviet power introduced new infrastructure, but restricted freedoms and suppressed local culture. When the Soviet Union fell, the Central Asian countries regained their political and cultural independence from Russia, but former Communist leaders remained in power and restricted many freedoms.
Today, most people in Central Asia remain unaware of the Sewyewnchew*–Good News. Central Asia truly is a land of the Harvest.
*The word суйунчу introduces news that is extremely special and valuable.
Note: Due to the sensitive nature of the harvest work in Central Asia, fictional location names may be used and individual names may be changed.