November 29, 2019

Top 3 Kyrgyz traditions that are best to be forgotten

Here we will describe the top 3 weirdest traditions of Kyrgyzstan that are better to be forgotten but, although rare, they still occur in some regions of Kyrgyzstan. 

 People often argue about traditions a lot. Whether they are needed or not, do they help to live or do they harm, are they the property of ancestors, or, conversely, these are vestiges of modern society. This argument is eternal. Some overly praise traditions, raising them to a cult, others despise them, living exclusively “in a modern way”.

 Perhaps it would be more correct to consider that traditions are not a cult, they do not need to be worshiped. And at the same time, this is not a frozen form of ancient life. Traditions are a kind of a practical guide to actions, the experience of ancestors, which is designed to make our lives easier.

 In our selection we give 3 Kyrgyzstan traditions, which can be very weird, and, unfortunately, do not facilitate, but rather complicate our lives. Well, let’s go!

1 Checking the sheets after the wedding night or “virginity testing”

 After the wedding, the bride and groom are sent to the room for sexual intercourse. At this time, relatives are sitting under the door (in some regions by the groom, in some by the bride). It is they who must testify that the bride was a virgin – to take a sheet or a pre-prepared rag with traces of blood and show it to other relatives. In some cases, linen with traces of blood is hung up for all to see.

 Doctors say that blood does not always appear during the first sexual intercourse, it depends on the individual characteristics of the woman’s body. But the requirements of the tradition are unequivocal – there must be blood. If there is no blood, a girl can be sent back home, and her family will be disgraced, as it raised a daughter who could not save her virginity before the wedding. For this reason, non-virginal girls often go for hymenoplasty (restoration of the hymen) or other tricks in order not to be disgraced in front of new relatives.

 This custom continues to frighten brides to this day. Since unnecessary attention from anyone on the wedding night confuses and violates the personal boundaries of a person. The UN called for a ban on virginity testing of women – this practice exists not only in Kyrgyzstan but in at least twenty other countries around the world.

2 The first child of the family should be given to the grandparents from the father’s side

 In Kyrgyzstan, there are still families that observe the old Kyrgyz tradition, according to which the young family gives their first-born baby to the grandparents from the father’s side. It is obvious, that no mother wants to give her child away. But young women can not always defend the right to be with their child because of their disenfranchised position as a daughter-in-law.

 There may be different situations in life, and a young family may experience some difficulties, for example, financially, then they can turn to their parents for help, of course. But considering the tradition of transferring a child to grandparents against his or her will and the will of his or her father and mother is a direct violation of human rights. Traditions and customs must have some boundaries.

3 Spitting in the mouth

 The ritual called “Oozgo tukuruu” translates as “spitting in the mouth.” Ancient Kyrgyz had a belief according to which with a drop of saliva transmitted to a child by a brave warrior, a popular poet or speaker, a piece of the giftedness gene of this person would go to the baby. Due to what, in the future, this child will be lucky.
 Although very rare, this tradition is still practiced in some regions of Kyrgyzstan.

We all certainly understand that, firstly, it is unhygienic, secondly, the idea that some special genes can be transmitted with saliva is complete nonsense, and thirdly, it is simply disgusting. Therefore, yes, this Kyrgyz tradition has no place in the modern world.

 Customs, traditions, and rites have an important role in the reproduction of Kyrgyzstan culture and any kinds of spheres of spiritual life, as an implementation of centuries-old efforts of successive generations they make life, more beautiful, richer, and more meaningful, in ensuring the continuity of the new and old, in the harmonious development of society and personality. 

 But following certain traditions and customs, we should not forget that the implementation by a person and a citizen of his or her rights and freedoms should not violate the rights and freedoms of others.
 If you want to learn about the traditions of Kyrgyzstan that people like much more than the ones we listed above, then we recommend you to read this article.