The nomadic past of the Kyrgyz is well traced in their folk customs and rituals. Until now, the most revered form of housing is the Yurt. Even today, all the festive ceremonies are unthinkable without this ancient home, even the flag of the Republic is decorated with the image of the" tunduk " - the Central circle of the Yurt, on which the poles holding it are crossed. Yurts have always been considered a symbol of the social status of the owner, and the main example of folk traditions. The construction and settlement of any Yurt was accompanied by a huge number of ceremonies and ceremonies.
The Yurt is optimized for the nomadic way of life - the wooden frame and felt cover can be easily disassembled into individual packs, which can be easily transported on camels or horses (and in mountainous areas - and on yaks). And also easy it is going to a new Outpost ("ail") - slatted walls "kerege" are arranged in a circle, leaning on a pole "uuk". The upper part of the poles are inserted into the holes of the Central circle and fixed with straps or ropes. Put this collapsible door frame "barefoot" double door "chalga". Then the whole structure is covered with a Mat and a felt Mat, and the floor was covered with leather, woven mats, of "altight" (several layers of felt, covered on one side with cloth, spread under the bed) and carpets of fur or felt. On the walls hung carpets, embroidered hanging shelves "cekecek" handbags "Kushu-cap", woven woolen bags "ayak-KAP", and on the floor are chests in which to store utensils and clothing.
To the left of the entrance to the Yurt is the male half of "al-Jacques", at the entrance to which hang a horse harness, weapons and hunting tools. On the right is the female half of "epchi-Jacques", where the kitchen was located, as well as chests with clothes and food. In the center of the Yurt there was a mandatory hearth "kolomto", and the Yurt was illuminated by a conventional lamp" Chirak", filled with fat. The design of the Yurt is individual for each tribal group or family, and the artistic component was given considerable attention - the richness of the design of the Yurt served as a sign of the social status of the owner as well as the vastness of its herds. The most honorable place in the Yurt - "tor", was located right in front of the entrance, at the hearth, where there is "Juk" (a low bench on which put the chests and cover them with carpets). Usually it was the master or elder kind were received here at the hotel.
Rich Kyrgyz usually had a set of large and small yurts - a small Yurt " ashkana-UY "(kitchen and storage), temporary yurts - " meyman-uyu "(living rooms)," erge " (wedding Yurt), yurts for the second and third wife, yurts for married sons and so on. From simple yurts of Kyrgyz they were distinguished by quality, beauty and finish.
With the gradual transition to a settled way of life, mud houses have appeared, which have been preserved in the provincial areas almost everywhere, and the traditions of their construction are still alive. The house was built on the same principle as the Yurt, although in some areas there is a clear influence of Uzbek and Russian traditions. Usually on shallow foundations was raised the door and erected brick walls "shoo", clay "PAHs" or "hubalek", and covered with a flat or gable roof of logs covered with clay and straw. The internal layout usually repeated the arrangement of the Yurt, but due to the significantly larger area, there was a kitchen ("ashkona", usually right at the entrance), a living room, a dining room and a bedroom in one person ("meymankana") and an indispensable outdoor terrace ("Ivan"). A characteristic feature of the Kyrgyz house is the abundance of chests and wall niches that replace both furniture and bedrooms for children. Often, the niche is closed with decorative panels "Touche-KIIS", suzanis and carpets.
Kyrgyz carpets-a topic for a separate conversation. This is the main element of the interior, and one of the main aesthetic moments of the country, and evidence of its ancient history. Kyrgyz felt carpets "syrmak" and "tekemet", as well as "koshma", "tushkiis", "Bastiks", "shyrdak", "tush-kiyiz" and "Ala-kiyiz" are markedly different from the carpets of other Central Asian republics. They are made of sheep's wool and for the most part do not weave, but roll - their main is felt. Then they are embroidered with bright sewing, using traditional folk and decorative elements, which usually takes a few weeks. But is such a carpet is usually a lot more than 40 years. By the same principle make fabric for a traditional handbags, bags, saddlebags sum, and decorative items. Pile carpets "keel" and other pile products have no less ancient origin, but are much less common because of the higher cost. Also still you can find such samples of the ancient traditional crafts like mats ("chii", "cygwin", "the's-chii") and hinged doors ("ASIC-chii") of lake cane.
Kyrgyz national dress has been almost unchanged for 700 years. Both men's and women's wear usually consists of a shirt and a trousers. Men's shirt usually resembles a tunic, has a length just below the waist and long sleeves, closing the brush. Harem pants for men "galaxy" sewn from wool, cotton, suede and even leather. Women's long underwear shirt and is sewn like a regular dress and over it is put a long and wide shirt "bashment" ("kamzor"), which also serves as a dress and long trousers. Belts served as an indicator of the social status of the owner-elegant or embroidered, with silver patterned plaques and buckles, handbags and bags show the wealth of the wearer. Everyday belts, as the belts of the poor, is generally a simple long leather strap, or belt wrapped around a handkerchief, which is often quite bright.
Top men's clothing consists of a felt robe unlined or quilted coats "cementi", which are called depending on the tissue from which they are made - "pashayi-tone", "kumkap-tone", "barbarak-tone" etc. in the Winter on top of the Bathrobe, put on a fur coat or a sheepskin coat "tone". Women wear a short or long sleeveless jacket, a kind of camisole with short sleeves, a robe, in winter - a coat "ichik". The distinctive elements of the clothes of married women are the swing skirt " beldemchi "and turban" elechek", and the common element - skullcaps and fur hats (hats of unmarried girls are usually decorated more fancifully and richly). Moreover, the skullcaps created in different areas differ in shape, ornament and color scheme. Kyrgyz girls before marriage do not wear a headscarf, and after marriage, tie their heads with colorful scarves. Elderly women often cover their face with a white silk veil. The national symbol of the country is the hat "AK-Kalpak" made of thin white felt with folded up black lapels. Also wear skull caps and fur national hat, trimmed with fur and decorated with feathers - "tebetey".
Men's shoes consist of leather boots, leather galoshes with heels and soft boots, women's - colored boots with heels, often ornamented, as well as sandals and a kind of flip-flops without heels.
By the middle of the XX century traditional clothes began to give way to the European suit, everywhere you can meet people dressed in the latest fashion. However, the famous Kyrgyz bathrobes, embroidery, metal and leather works, traditional headwear and carpets are still much more popular than European innovations, especially in the province.
There is a strict hierarchy in a large Kyrgyz family, which usually consists of several generations of living together. Relations in the house are based on unconditional submission to the head of the family and respect for the elders. One of the traditional forms of social structure of the country is the custom of neighbor mutual aid "Ashara" ("hashar"). If the family is in dire need, all relatives and neighbors come to her aid.
The marriage age for a girl was previously considered to be 13-14 years, today it is dominated by European standards, although cases of early marriage are not uncommon. Relations of relatives of the bride and groom, in the future, and her husband and wife, the Kyrgyz differ emphasized attention and even with bad relations can always count on mutual assistance. Children also enjoy universal love, and the naming of the name is given special importance, as it is believed that the name will determine the future of the child and can influence his fate.
Islam plays an important role in the social and family life of the Kyrgyz. Religion has defined and defines everyday, family and worldview aspects of life, has a strong influence on political processes and art, on the whole way of life. After the adoption of Islam by the Kyrgyz, many pre-Islamic customs and rites either underwent significant changes or were superseded by the traditional rites of Islam, but many merged with the new canons and organically integrated into the modern life of the country. The obligatory acts of the Kyrgyz during his life include reading the funeral prayer ("zhanaz"), absolution ("Doron"), the fulfillment of all five commandments of Islam ("Parz"), fasting during the month of Ramadan, prayer five times a day at a certain time ("namaz"), the execution of "Orozo-AIT" and "Kurman-AIT", as well as the voluntary transfer of part of the money in favor of the poor or on charitable Affairs ("zakat"). A special role is played by rituals associated with the birth and upbringing of children, marriage, wedding, cooking and other things. Often they represent the combination of Islamic rituals with more ancient forms related to mystical practices. The Ministers of the cult have special respect here and participate in almost all the events of the country. At the same time, the Kirghiz cannot be called fanatical Muslims - despite the diversity of local life, there is always a lot of secular, and the religious tolerance of local residents is widely known outside the country. Storytellers and singers ("acini" or "poets") of national ballads and traditions are greatly respected. According to the name of the traditional folk epic, the most respected of them are called "Manaschi".
One of the firm traditions of local life is hospitality. The Kyrgyz say "Conectou not Kut bar - Guest - grace house". Since ancient times, everyone whose path passed through the Kyrgyz ail, did not leave it, without sharing with the owners of the table and shelter. Especially reverent to this custom are shepherds of high pastures, but in the cities of the lack of respect for the guest no one heard. It is not accepted to refuse an invitation for lunch or dinner. Distinguished guests, the hosts greeted at the gate, greet, interested in the Affairs and life, I invite you to come in. The Kyrgyz are not accepted to ask questions or ask about the purpose of the visit-first a conversation and a table, and then everything else. The easiest thing for a person not familiar with local customs - follow the instructions of the owner. Very much appreciated humor and polite attitude to all participants of the feast. Women do not usually sit at the same table with men, but in urban settings this rule often does not work. At the table, it is not accepted to admire the beauty of women and pay close attention to them. But to ask about the Affairs of the family and the well-being of its members is appropriate. When going to visit, it is advisable to bring small Souvenirs or sweets for children.
Any meal here begins and ends with tea. At first, sweets, pastries, dried fruits and nuts, fruits and vegetables, salads are served on the table, then there are snacks, and only at the end - pilaf or other "heavy food". Be sure to present on the table hot cakes, which in any case should not be turned. Dropping a piece of cake on the ground or even just putting it there, even wrapped in cloth or paper, is also considered a bad sign.
Tea and tea ceremony occupy a significant place in the Kyrgyz life and everyday life. Brewing of this really main drink of the country, as well as pouring it to guests, is the prerogative of men, first of all-the owner of the house. Tea is brewed differently in different regions of the country. The recipes for its preparation also vary considerably. Teahouse is the same unshakable element of local traditions as the tea itself. Public life here is concentrated in mosques, the Bazaar and, of course, in the teahouse. Here they just communicate and negotiate, relax and share news, have Breakfast and lunch, discuss problems of life and world order. The decor of the teahouse is quite traditional-low tables are surrounded by the same low, and necessarily covered with carpets, sofas. The accompanying tea rituals are quite complex and incomprehensible for the uninitiated, so it is easier to observe the locals and do as they are - you can be sure that such a respectful attitude to their customs, they also appreciate.
Despite the strong Islamic traditions, most of the Kyrgyz freely drink alcohol, at least with guests. If you do not drink strong alcoholic beverages, mainly vodka, warn about it in advance, no one will impose anything here. During Ramadan, it is not recommended to drink alcoholic beverages, at least - in the open.
In communication, the Kyrgyz are usually quite simple and democratic. Many consider them naive, but this is greatly exaggerated - the locals are just used to trust people, it is a centuries-old tradition that should not be broken and guest. It is accepted to shake hands with all, even strangers and militiamen (except women). During the handshake, people are traditionally interested in health, the state of Affairs at work and at home. With women and persons sitting in the distance, it is customary to greet the application of the right hand to the heart and a polite bow. Greetings several times a day, even with familiar people-it is a common rule.
At the entrance to the house or teahouse should take off your shoes. The style of clothing is quite democratic, but when visiting places of worship, do not wear too open or short clothes. Despite everything, it is not recommended to wear shorts, especially in the countryside.
Monday is considered to be the happiest day for the Kyrgyz - all activities started on this day are considered to be the most successful.
No national holiday or celebration can not do without sports, which are very popular tug of war "Arkan-tartmai" and "Arkan-tartisma", wrestling on belts "kuresh", "at-Chabysh" - jump on the long (typically 20-30 km) of the race, "Gorgo-sales" - racing for 2-10 km, shooting at full gallop "Jamba-Atma" phase of struggle "oodarysh", goat "Ulak-tartysh" or "Kok-Boru" (a horse-drawn struggle for a goat carcass), jump "Kyz-Kuumai" ("chase the girl") and competition "tyiyn-Enmei", during which the participants should at full tilt to raise from shallow pits in the ground a small coin. Many festivities begin and end of song competition "aitysh" or "semergen".