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Culture

Culture

The Kyrgyz people are nomads who arrived from Siberia and then moved to the south till they ended up with Tien Shan Mountains. Their main occupation  in their life was breeding the cattle, especially sheep and horses, which were the most important animals, but also cows and goats were raised. Horse - back riding is one of the most significant part of Kyrgyz culture, and  Kyrgyz have a saying: "If you have only one day left in your life, you should spend at least half of it on a back of a horse."

There are different types of horse-back riding games played nowadays. They usually perform during the festivals or shows, and the high skill of riding the horses, where the moves are mostly derived from every-day circumstances from generation to generation. Boys learn how to take care of sheep by helping the adults and they start since they are very small.

Girls also learn the traditional handicraft skills very early, the colorful carpets take months or years of work. The most popular carpets are known as Shyrdak and Ala-Kiyiz , which are both made of felt and show colored patterns, that are naturally extracted.

Being so important to nomads the carpets are not only the best production of Kyrgyz people but also one of the main nationwide symbols of the Kyrgyz life. For example the yurt is also made of felt and can be found everywhere in the pastures or villages. Yurts are still part of every-day life of the people in Kyrgyzstan even in cities: You find street-cafés everywhere, serving local meals, and also relations in large towns still build the yurt on the most important holidays, such as the child's birth, a marriage or a funeral. The importance of it is exemplified in the flag of the Republic: It is of red color with a circle in the middle. It is the top crown of the yurt, with its typical wooden circle and the crossed sticks in its middle.

Yurt is portable nomadic dwelling that has many functions and consists of a wooden building and the felt covers. The whole construction is fixed with short leather-ribbons (instead of nails) and ropes made from animals' hair. The decoration is spread out everywhere inside: Carpets are hung on the walls and spread on the floor, and the "Djuk" which takes at the end of the yurt, opposite the appearance: It is bed sheets are spread at night on the floor and offer a soft and warm place for the night, but during daytime they staple and covered with a beautiful cloth, forming the back part of the place for the most honored guest.

There is a little stove in the middle of the yurt usually used for cooking and warming the house. It is absolutely necessary even in summer in those high-altitude regions, especially if there is cold weather. The space inside the yurt is strictly detached between men's side and women's side. For example you can find kitchen utilities, and everything needed for handicraft and sewing only on the right hand side. The gear for hunting, fishing, horseback riding and everything for the sheep are put on the left side of the entrance.