Kyrgyzstan Local Customs

  • MANAS ON HIS WHITE STEED
    MANAS ON HIS WHITE STEED
    by henri123
  • MANAS SCULPTURAL COMPLEX
    MANAS SCULPTURAL COMPLEX
    by henri123
  • MANAS IN FRONT OF THE CITY PHILHARMONIC
    MANAS IN FRONT OF THE CITY PHILHARMONIC
    by henri123

Kyrgyzstan Local Customs

  • AK-KALPAK

    KYRGYZ HAT MADE OF FOUR PANELS OF WHITE FELT.IT IS WORN BY MALES OF ALL AGESIT IS A SYMBOL OF THE NATIONKALPAK TURK WORD FOR HAT, AK WHITE IN KYRGYZ.

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  • MANAS LEGEND

    Epic of ManasSince 2009 this legend is on the unesco world heritage list (china). In 1995 the Manas Epic was declared 1000 years old by Unesco, according to some kyrgyz it is much older.The story of a population looking for a country .The manastchi (STORYTELLER) or akyns, are transmiting the Epic of Manas since over one thousand years.

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  • Russian Language Immersion in Kyrgyzstan

    I lived in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan for over 4 months last year. I participated in a Russian Language Immersion program with the London School in Bishkek, spending half of my time with a Russian family.The Russian lessons are cheap ($4/hr for 1-on-1) and the locals speak Russian. I learned more Russian in my 4 months there than I would in over 2 years...

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  • pack animals

    I am from Osh. And I can exactly say that there aren't any caravans or pack animal. Nomads already had changed pack animals to cars. So they moves by cars. It is very hard to find nomads on their pack animals. However some people prefer it.

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  • Muslim Graveyards

    The muslim graveyards have magnificent settings. They often include structures that resemble yurts or mosques, within which the grave is set.

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  • Read the newspaper in the park

    The daily newspapers are pinned up in special cases designed for the purpose in the parks, and locals can walk past and read the news.

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  • Bread is Sacred

    People here highly respect bread so you should never set it upside down or throw it on the ground. I've been scolded for throwing old stale bread away, so if you have to do it, make sure no locals are looking (or give it to a dog, which seems acceptable).

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  • Men shake hands....

    When meeting new people, men should always shake hands with all the men, while women should just stand and wait for the hand shaking to end. Women only shake hands if a local man extends his hand first - which is rare, in the 9 months I've been here I can count on one hand how many times I've shaken hands with a local man. Also, don't shake hands...

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  • Don't be shy - visit some locals!

    When you travel through the mountainous areas of Kyrgyzstan, you often feel like you've never been so far away from any civilizastion (well, that's at least how I felt!!). However, this is not entirely true. Once in a while you can notice a Yurta or two by the road or on the mountain side. They may look deserted at first, but when you stop your...

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  • Traditional costumes

    Girls dressed up in traditional costumes in Jalal-abad. They dressed up for a special occastion - a local party, but you usually wouldn't see people wearting such costumes on the street.

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  • The last day of school

    It was a fun experience to see all schoolkids - younger and older - dress up in black skirts/pans and white shirts on their last day of school. It is definitely an old Soviet custom that they've decided to maintain ever since their independence.

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  • Kyrgyz epos "Manas" 2

    Manas appeared over 1000 years ago and besides reflecting the entire history of Kyrgyz people, it also discusses topics from all sides of human life: social, economic, and political.

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  • Kyrgyz epos "Manas"

    Manas is considered the Kyrgyz national pride and is often referred to as "the epos-ocean." Rightly so - Manas is the longest epos in the world. It consist over million (yes!!) lines and is many times bigger than the Oddisey and Illiad together!!

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  • Don't take the photos

    Don't take the photos of women without their permission. Usually Kyrgyz people are very open & friendly but it is considered against etiquettes to take photos without permission.When entering a yurt, remove your shoes. Always respect the culture and traditions of the local people.

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  • Knife addiction

    In most cases it will not happen to you but you should be aware about one custom of Kyrgyz people. They can steal your knife. I know that it sounds strange but it is not a sin for kyrgyz to take somebodies knive. It is not really a stealing but just a custom that you have to agree with and always carry your pocket knives with you. It is especially...

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  • A felt roof over your head

    If you are lucky enough to get to know a family grazing their heards in the high pasture you can go to their portable home, the Yurt. Unchanged since before Gengis Kahn counter Kyrgyz amongst his soldiers, the yurt is built of felt and wood. There is a removable roof flap to trap heat or to release smoke. The floors are well padded with Shyrdak...

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  • Kumis Comunities

    Along the roadsides of almost every country road are smal comunities of Yurts, Felt tents. The Kyrgyz tend their flocks and herds and sell Kumis to travelers who take the time to stop. Though I'm sure the road changes the culture to some extent, this is a way to see the nomatic lifestyle as it has always been.

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  • Fermented Mare's Milk

    Kumuis (Fermented Mare's MilK) is an aquired taste. It has a strong flavor, kind of like liquid blue cheese with a sour aftertaste. It is slightly alcoholic. 4-6%, like beer, nothing too serious. It is the flavor,not the alcohol that will suprise those not used to the unique taste. In some parts of the Country, Talas, they mix honey or sugar into...

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  • Kyrgyzstan, like all of the...

    Kyrgyzstan, like all of the Central Asian countries, is mainly Moslem. We stopped at a cemetery near the lake to look at the headstones and mausoleums, which were unlike any I had ever seen. One grave even had a full-size yurt, made of metal and decorated with painted flowers.

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  • When visiting a nomad family...

    When visiting a nomad family in their yurt, show some respect and don't treat them just as an object to take pictures of. First go up to them and talk with them, even if it's only with hands and feet. They are even more interested in our countries and habits as we are in theirs! Then ask permision to take pictures. They will be honoured to comply....

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  • If you are a man and are in...

    If you are a man and are in Kyrgyzstan, you MUST shake every guy's hand when you meet them. If there is a group of guys standing around and you only know one of them, you still must shake all of the other's hands. They must likewise shake yours if you are in a group and they walk up. Bottom line, if there is any handshaking going on, everybody must...

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  • Isn't he cute. And yes I am...

    Isn't he cute. And yes I am sure it was a boy, because I saw the mother place the special pee-pipe before she covered him completely.

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  • The typical children's beds....

    The typical children's beds. Under the bed is a kind of small bucket mounted. And then they put a kind of pipe on the baby, so when he pees, it flows into the small bucket. Of course, I can already hear you think, yes they have two shapes of pipes, one for the boys and one for the girls.

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Kyrgyzstan Local Customs

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