Puzzle: Learning about new countries
When I visited Mongolia this time, Roger introduced me to a book “Tuva or Bust”. If you have not read that book, chances are you would not know that there used to be a country called Tannu Tuva (kind of northwest of Mongolia). Or that the Noble prize winning physicist Richard Feynman never fulfilled his wish to visit that country in spite of years and years of efforts.
That got me thinking about how little I knew about countries. Actually, my knowledge of countries is pretty much stuck with what I had learnt (and how the world looked) during my school days – so let’s say mid 80s. Even then, I was terrible with countries from Africa.
After coming back from Mongolia though, I did make some effort to learn about the new countries that have formed in the last two decades or so. Previously, I could not even place them in the world map. Now I can. I am still struggling with the names of their capitals though.
I cannot give you this puzzle without ruling Sharmistha Kolay out of this game. She is a whiz kid when comes to geography. Not only can she name each and every country by continent and place them in a world map, she can name their capitals and …. get this… tell you what their flag looks like. I have never met anybody like her.
So here is the puzzle… I will name some newly formed countries… and you will have to name their capital. Try it by yourself. And then Google them up. How many did you get?
A. Countries that formed when USSR broke up:
-> “The Stans” in Asia
-> Between the Caspian Sea and the Black Sea
-> In Europe
B. Countries that formed when Yugoslavia broke up:
16. Bosnia Hercegovina
C. Other new countries
22. South Sudan
25. East Timor (Timor-Leste)
28. Czech Republic
BTW, I could not even reach the one-third mark!!! How many did you get?
Finally for the bonus question… and maybe we will open this up to Sharmistha even… Have you heard of a country called the Republic of Artsakh? Look it up!!