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Global Highlight

New Yorkers are Thankful 100 Languages: Video by Baruch College student Dovlet Bayryyev


Once he encountered the diversity of New York, Dovlet Bayryyev was hooked. This interest eventually led to an ongoing video series focusing on world languages. Born and raised in Turkmenistan, Bayryyev moved to New York City as a high schooler. His family relocated as a result of a diplomatic posting to the United Nations. He attended the United Nations International School (UNIS) near Kips Bay in Manhattan. A Turkmen and Russian speaker, Bayryyev learned English and met fellow students from almost 150 countries. He was interested and surprised by the diversity of his high school.

After graduating in 2011, Bayryyev initially chose Hunter College for its strong programs and affordable tuition. He then transferred to Baruch College for its renowned Economics and Finance programs. Graduating in spring 2016 with a BA in Economics, he decided to stay and is currently pursuing an MS in Finance.

His initial experience with diversity at UNIS triggered an ongoing curiosity with languages, culture and geography. This led to his latest video project: New Yorkers Are Thankful forin 100 Languages. Thanksgiving was coming up and he was interested in doing “something for the holidays and was curious about what people were thankful for. “ The video reflects the diversity of language speakers in New York, including tourists. In alphabetical order by language name (in English) and with subtitles, the languages recorded will prompt many Google searches to learn more about less commonly known languages.

When asked about his motivation for creating these projects, Bayryyev said, “I like creating things from scratch.” He enjoys the process of creating and showing people the results. He’s intrigued by the concept of languages and how different languages sound. Bayryyev admits he is curious by nature, curious about diversity and is always asking questions.

Asked about his methods for engaging would-be participants, Bayryyev said he used a poster which read: Film Project, What’s Your Language? Some people were curious and open-minded. They approached him right away. In some cases, he approached and coaxed them into participating. As the video indicates, most of the filming took place in Times Square and Baruch College, City University of New York in Manhattan. Times Square was a tougher sell. As the “crossroads of the world,” there were tourists from all over the world. However, not all passerbys were interested in engaging.

His experience at Baruch College was quite different. Baruch College students were more open-minded and interested in his project. In addition to being a familiar presence on campus as a result of his student status, Bayryyev was helped by International Education Week (IEW) activities on campus. Several videos were filmed in front of a large, world map at the Vertical Campus building. The map was part of an IEW activity which encourages students, faculty and staff to add a sticker on the map to show where they had family roots, their place of birth, where they studied abroad, or a dream vacation location. It was an opportunity for the Baruch community to engage with the world. Bayryyev felt there was a higher level of interest during that activity. Students were more willing to engage with each other, discuss language, culture and geography.

Questions about Dovlet’s New Yorkers Are Thankful forin 100 Languages or his Youtube Channel, contact Dovlet at