By Nick Megoran, CenAsia list, 30 March 1999
The census is indeed underway here in Kyrgystan, and is being heavily promoted on the television. It is printed in both Kyrgyz and Russian, and contains a range of questions related to work, education and such things.
As for your particular questions, section 5 'Nationality' (Ulut) allows only one answer. I asked if it was possible to put two different ethnicities in to show mixed descent, and was told I couldn't. Section 6 'Language' asks for 'mother tongue', and again only one answer can be entered. The second part of this section then asks for what other languages are spoken fluently, and there is space for only two more answers. There was no attempt to ascertain whether the language entered as mother tongue was spoken fluently. Section 8 asks about citizenship. Interestingly, your citizenship (British) was not an answer my census taker allowed me to give, writing 'English' instead, then reluctantly hyphenating it with 'British'!
I do not have access to the 1989 census. Can anyone answer Madeleines' original question as to whether there are any differences in the sections relating to nationality and language?