Ancient Weddings

It really intrigues a person, what happens after the girl is kidnapped, doesn’t it? Ancient Kyrgyz people were pretty modest in these ceremonies. There is not that much to discuss, but it is worth sharing anyways. So here is how it goes:

After the girl is brought to the young man’s house after kidnapping, she is asked to think about the marriage with him. The elders of the house do their best to convince her. In most cases, the girl can do nothing but agree, because they believed that disagreeing with elders and going back after being kidnapped only brings bad luck and misery in future.

So, after the positive answer, they call moldo – the religious preacher to announce them as “official newlyweds” and the families start the wedding “party”. They call close relatives and friends to give young couple blessings. The new bride remains in the special decorated room for about three days and only after that she starts performing household duties.

Fierce “Proposal”

Just like national games, some of other Kyrgyz traditions are also really fierce and even frightening to some people. This tradition is connected with founding a new family. Sounds weird, right? Usually everything connected with wedding is so gracious and beautiful, but not this one…

Not only in Kyrgyz nation, but also in other Caucasian countries they have the tradition of kidnapping the future bride. If the young man likes someone, he or even his family organize this kidnapping. He usually does it with his friends. They wait for the perfect moment and just take the girl home. There she will be convinced to get married by the elders of the family. In most cases, she does agree, since it is considered unlucky to reject an elder’s pleadings…

Nowadays, this tradition is banned by law, since there were many tragic results afterwards.

Kyrgyz “polo”

This post today will be devoted to the most breathtaking and fierce game from the history of Kyrgyz nation! This is the game of real men, for whom fear is absolute strange. This is the very activity that gives its gamers and the audience the adrenaline rush every single minute! What I am trying to describe now is the national game – Ulak Tartysh! In order to learn more about horse games, click here.

Literal meaning of the game is “grabbing the goat”. The game is almost similar with western horse game – polo. The only difference is that instead of a ball, they use a headless goat… It sounds really very weird, so it definitely is the sport, which can only be played by brave guys. So, the rules are just like in polo, as I mentioned: there are two teams and the players have to do their best in order to get the poor headless goat to the opposite team’s door. The goat is pretty heavy and the players have to spend their strength to both carrying it and controlling the horses.

It is not recommended for emotional hearts to watch the game, since it sometimes gets so fierce and bloody. However, the feeling audience gets watching dynamic players is something precious!

Who is faster?

If you have already noticed, Kyrgyz people are fans of sports, speed and competitions. Even from the very first steps of a child, they motivate them to be the first among others.

Such values and traditions connected to them go on even among the grown-ups. For instance, there is a cute and unique game for young men, more specifically, between a girl and a boy! Do not think it is unfair to make those two compete, because sometimes the girls turn out to be even faster and stronger! So, this is how it goes:

Two young people get on the horses and stand on the start line. After the signal is given, the girl starts rushing towards on the horse and the boy needs to do his best to catch her. There is a pretty motivating gift for the winners: if the boy is able to reach the girl before finish line, then he will get the right to take one kiss from her. If the result is opposite, then the girl can hit the poor guy pretty hard! Auch!… But the game is always fun and interesting to watch!

Future Steps

We may sometimes underestimate the views and values of ancient nomads, comparing them to our modern developed society of intelligent families. However, we do not really want to accept that our high morals sometimes just make us forget about the most important thing – attention to kids…

Which one of the most prestigious school the kid is going, what is he wearing and how to feed them is pretty much all some parents worry about. Actually, there are much more precious things, such as spending time with them, showing interest to what they like, what they feel about certain problems and so on. We forget how important it is to support them morally. But..the nomads didn’t! They were so close to children, that they had special ceremonies devoted just for them, even for the ones who just started walking!

When the child first starts walking, the parents tied his legs with rope and older kids raced towards the kid from other side. Whoever reached first was honored to cut the rope and given the prize. The aim of the ceremony was to wish the baby’s first steps to be as strong as the winner’s and have bright future ahead!

Nomad’s cuisine

Don’t you feel curious about how nomads would meet guests and what they usually ate? I personally would really want to have that kind of experience and welcome any offer with pleasure!

I wonder how close this video is to the real nomadic cuisine, but anyways found it interesting. Here the cook must be the professional one, according to his amazing tricks in making food out of the whole sheep!

Nomad Olympics

World Nomad Games

This autumn is going to be one of the most unforgetful ones ever, because this year I felt so proud of not only my nomad ancestors, but also today’s Kyrgyz nation! They were able to bring the history back and give it even more spirit together with other nations from all over the world!

Kyrgyzstan was the host of the first World Nomadic Games in September. The even was dedicated to represent the history, traditions, lifestyles and culture of nomad nations.

Over 400 athletes from 19 countries gathered in a resort town of Colpon Ata, on the shores of Lake Issyk-Kul. They competed in wrestling, archery, Kok Boru (a game where mounted riders face off over a dead goat), Ordo (a Kyrgyz board game) and Kyz Kumai (chasing women on horseback).

This was pretty much the very first event of this kind in Kyrgyzstan as I noticed. I can imagine how much of an excitement it gave to not only the guests, but also the citizens of Kyrgyzstan themselves and motivated them to continue this spirit in future.

Hunt like a nomad!


When we are learning about certain nation and culture, here comes a good question: well, what did they do for living? Did they grow fruit and veggies? Or went hunting? If yes, then how?

Kyrgyz people, as nomads, did not really have developed agriculture. They constantly moved and lived among cool mountains, which made them want only meat. So, they usually went hunting. Although there were different tools for hunting, falconry was one of the most popular ways.

The people of Kyrgyzstan always preferred eagles over hawks and falcons. Training them takes about 3-4 years for the hunter, or “berkutchi,” to successfully hunt with a golden eagle. However, after it is trained, the berkutchi will be able to hunt with it for over a decade.

When the berkutchi takes his eagle out to hunt, he wears a heavy leather glove and will leave the hood over the bird’s eyes until he spots an animal running across a meadow. When he removes the hood, the eagle quickly hones in on the prey, springboards of his master’s arm and attacks. The eagle will then swiftly break the neck of its prey, which can be anything from a rabbit to a fox to a young wolf. Trained to wait for its master, the eagle won’t begin eating until the berkutchi is at his side. The eagle only eats a portion of the kill. The rest of the meat and the animal pelt are used by the berkutchi.

Chinese poet and Kyrgyzstan…?


Chinese classical poet Li Bai… One of the greatest people from classical literature. The one that makes every Chinese person proud. But! What connects that legend with this country after all?

The thing is, Li Bai the poet was born in Kyrgyzstan according to the history. More exactly, he was born and spent some years of his life in Tokmok, small town an hour away from today’s Bishkek city. For the ones, who still doubt, there is a couple lines from his poems, written in Tokmok.

Amongst the flowers is a pot of wine
I pour alone but with no friend at hand
So I lift the cup to invite the shining moon,
Along with my shadow we become party of three

Tokmok is the evident of much more history than we can imagine at first sight. Burana Tower is another ancient heritage and national treasure of modern Kyrgyzstan. So, it will be a separate topic to talk about later on!

Modern nomads


It is really hard to find an absolute nomad in our times. Because of the progress around us, the life getting easier. Humanity is using everything in its power to create comfort, so who needs that old life full of difficulties?

Well, the one in whose blood is running nomadic spirit does not really think it is hard at all. In fact, it is that being stuck in on e place, which cuts their wings. I found, that even the ones who already moved to big cities and started a new life, still long for escape back to their tents in valleys. They look forward summer holidays to go there and enjoy being away from the noises of big cities.

This article describes the experience of a nice writer, who traveled to one of the nomadic places on Earth and experienced their lifestyle.