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Culture of Kyrgyzstan - The blend of various great cultures of the world
The nomadic heritage of Kygyzstan and its historical association with several cultures of the world has beautifully driven a new distinct culture of the Kyrgyz which is similar, yet beautifully apart from other cultures.
Kyrgyz villager clothes are typically nomad-like which can be explained from the past mode of life as well as the temperature of the mountainous regions where they dwell. Therefore their clothes are usually thick and made of material like woolen robes or sheep-skin coats. Clothes made from fells of wild and domestic animals and woolen-burlaps are also widely used.
Male’s apparel consists of coarse top and wide trousers paired with a sleeveless jacket, boots and a special hat made of white wool, known as Ak-Kalpak – the Kyrgyz National hat. Whereas, the women dressing consists of a long and wide A-line dress, long and wide trousers paired with a camisole and a special head-dresses (worn according to age groups and relationship status) called 'Elchek' 'Tebetei' and 'Shokulo' . Married women also wear skirts with broad belts and vibrant embellishment.
Cities of Kyrgyzstan like Bishkek have adopted more of the modern methods and traditions do not exist here as strongly as in the villages. People wear any clothes they want like jeans, shirts, shorts etc. Russian women wear exposive clothes whereas the Muslims are rather modest. However, a funny thing to notice in Kyrgyzstan is the overly formal dressing of people for football matches, work and other event but a very casual look for special occasions. You may be shock-stricken by the sight of men in 3-piece suits attending a football match and in jogging-gear for a concert in Music Hall. Another interesting fact is wearing the same clothes every day is part of the tradition and people do not prefer changes in get-up at all.
Yurta for the people of Kyrgystan is more than just a comfy housing. They are sort of spherical camps with several felt layers fastened by ropes, designed thousands of years ago by Kyrgyz who had a nomadic way of living and Yurt Inns are since then a part of culture. You can still find them all around the country. They have ample supply of carpets, juk blankets, and pillows heaped-up on special places of rest.
Yurta is divided into 2 parts. The right side, is the “women’s side' (the eptchi zhak). This is the place for kitchen utensils and dish-washing. Threads needles, needle-work, knitting and all sorts of females articles are kept in bags over here. The left side part is for male (er zhak). Here one can find fasten saddlery, kumchas (whips), knives for hunting and all the essential tools that one requires for cattle-breeding, handicraft and hunting. In the families of Kyrgyzstan kids are taught to aid their parents in chores of the household- a practice that has been carried on from generations. Yurta Inns are the sign of the preserved heritage of the Kyrgyz.
Modern living is the cities are more of an urbanized settlement. People usually live in concrete housings and apartments with proper sanitation and facilities. International standards-based hotels can also be found in the region for taking abode.
Kyrgyz music is rich and royal, which serves as a symbol of the country's heritage. Their music is both vocal and instrumental. The genres of the tunes include traditional folk as well as professionally made classical music for concerts and occasions.
All of the Kyrgyzstan's musical-instruments are categorized into 4 major groups:
- with the origin of sound from the tensions of the strings:
Conventional stringed instruments of Kyrgyzstan are and Kyl-Kyyak and Komoz. The variation amongst these two is in the way of playing the tune. Komoz is a pinch device, while Kyl-Kyyak is the device.
- with the origin of source being the tube of air in the device
Traditional wind instruments of Kyrgyzstan are countless but the most famous are Sybyzgy with diametrical aero phone and Choor with Kyrgyz conventional longitudinal aero phone.
- with the origin of sound being the tension of the membrane in the device.
The most popular of these are Dool- metal or wooden membrane-phone and Karsyldak – wooden spoon that give clicking tunes of various pitch.
- with the origin of the sound being the device body (idiophones).
Most widely known of these are Djylaajyn - idiophone involving small double or single tambourine-shaking for tune-play and as a-Musa - braced idiophone with hanging pendants that make their own sounds.
Kygyz games are very appealing and attractive to the locals as well as the tourists. These games are distinct from the world and fun.
The game of wrestling while horseriding. The game consists of two people on horseback who struggle to push the opponent off the horse. The total time given is about 10 minutes. The person who succeeds to push the competitor off the animal, falling with or without the animal wins the contest.
This is a very interesting traditional game of Kyrgyzstan. In this game the guy is required to chase the girl and kiss her while riding on the horse. This sport is usually associated with the wedding traditions of the country.
This game involves the art of picking up coins from the road horse riding.
Every player is permitted 3 consecutive tries and whoever manages to pick the coins is declared the winner of the competition.
Famous game of horse-racing.
Horse-Racing of two-three years old foals.
Each craft of Kyrgyzstan is associated with their ancient nomadic style of living. Their nomad lifestyle left its impression on the lodgings, wear and crockery of these people. Even though the nomadic life is no more, the arts and crafts of the historical significance are still the part of the beautiful heritage of the country.
The main craft includes the Carpet-weaving, woodwork, crockery-making, teasel-weaving, embroidery and making of reed-screens, leather items, jewelry, Kuraks – patchworks, and horse-saddles.