Culture of Kazakhstan


Kazakh Yurt
[pic]
A YURTAIS transportable collapsible dwelling that came to  us  from  ancient
times.

It  consists  of  wooden  framework,  covered  with  felt.   The   framework
("kerege") forms walls of  the  dwelling  made  of  latticed  wooden  poles;
"uyuk" - long wooden poles serve as a cover for the upper spherical  portion
of the yurt; "shanrak" is the top most open part of the yurt, serving as  an
outlet for the smoke raising from the hearth, for  purposes  of  ventilation
and  scanty  lighting  of  the  yurts  interior.  Depending  on   the   air
temperature the yurt is covered with two if not more  layers  of  felt.  The
outermost layer is coated with flat for it to be impenetrable  for  rain  or
snow.
The yurts area ranges from 6-7 m. to 30-40 m. Spherical form  makes  it  an
exceedingly heat-consuming dwelling.  They  would  enter  the  yurt  through
folding carved doors made of  pine  or  birch-tree.  They  were  a  sort  of
touchstone testifying to aesthetic taste, social status and  well  being  of
its master. In real fact, fretwork motifs reflected Kazakhstans  flora  and
fauna.
Right in the center  of  the  yurt  one  finds  a  hearth  with  a  cauldron
("kazan") suspended there above. The place at  the  hearth  is  regarded  as
that of honor meant for particularly respectable, distinguished guests.
The main decoration of the  yurt  is  no  doubt  carpets  ("tekemets")  made
mostly of felt.

Besides the interior looks quite bright owing to  a  multitude  of  colorful
carpet-strips and ribbons manufactured of wool (by filling), of felt (by in-
laying), of such other materials by  weaving,  embroidery,  wicker-work  and
all.
Every little corner in the yurt has a purpose of its own - a part  for  men,
a respective portion of the area - for women, for clothes. Besides there  is
enough room for a "shop" where they repair harness, accomplish other  works,
room for preparing meals, for bed, for horse's gear, for children,  for  the
son and the daughter-in-law.
Simplicity and feasibility of manufacture, easy and quick assembly,  use  of
natural materials and  high  transportability  turned  yurt  into  an  ideal
dwelling of a nomad. Even now you may encounter a yurt in the steppe.

Kazakh National Games
[pic]
KYZ KUU ("Overtake the girl") - young boys and  girls  are  participants  in
this game. The girl on the horse does her best to gallop from the young  man
but as soon as the latter tries to overtake (approach) her  she  lashes  him
with a whip. If - up to a certain place - the young boy  fails  to  overtake
her she would "reward" him with whipping again. If he is a success he  earns
a kiss.
 
AUDARYSPAK ("Wrestling  on  horseback")  -  this  kind  of  national  sports
requires skills both in hand-to-hand fighting and in trick riding.  In  fact
two men fight while on horseback. Wins the one  that  brings  his  adversary
down of his horse.
KUMIS ALU ("Pick up the coin"). The  essence  of  the  game  is  that  while
galloping at full speed a young man should pick up a silver  ingot  off  the
ground - such had been condition  of  the  game  in  old  days.  Nowadays  a
handkerchief  replaces  the  ingot.  This  contest  particularly   impressed
Alexander the Great when he visited Central Asia. According  to  historians'
evidence on watching kumis alu he  exclaimed  "That's  a  sort  of  training
worthy of a warrior on horseback".
KOKPAR ("Fighting for a goat's carcass"). A  most  popular  game.  It  stems
from an ancient custom according to which one, who wants to get rid  of  all
evil, should sacrifice a goat. Not infrequently taking part in the  game  is
up to 1,000 horsemen. The game unfolds on an almost infinite  steppe  range.
On the opposite ends of an immense field  they  arrange  goals  of  teams  -
adversaries. It is into them that the symbolic carcass of  the  goat  should
be thrown, while the throw proper is preceded by a desperate flight  between
the teams to get hold of the carcass.



Traditional Holidays and Entertainments
[pic]
NAURYZ - a  holiday  of  spring,  it  is  the  most  momentous  and  ancient
festivity of Oriental nations.
In fact, it is a New Year's eve according to the ancient Oriental  calendar.
It has yet another name "Ulys Kuni"("The first day  of  the  New  Year")  or
"Ulystyn uly kuni" (The great day of the people").
They say that the more you  are  in  celebrating  the  Nauryz  holiday,  the
greater success will attend you throughout  the  year.  Hence  abundance  of
festive rites and attributes.
When the holiday comes, Kazakhs would put on festive clothes, pay visits  to
each other, exchange congratulations, best wishes  of  well-being  and  good
luck in the coming year.
Universal  merry-making,  games,  traditional  horse  races,   and   various
amusements accompany festivities.
Traditionally they cook and roast and make all sorts of tasty  meals  during
the holidays, for they should symbolize  well-being  and  abundance  in  the
coming year. The feast is usually timed to the  noon;  it  is  preceded  and
followed by a prayer in honor of the forefathers  read  by  the  mullah.  In
conclusion the eldest of those present gives his blessings  (bata)  so  that
year in year out prosperity be part and parcel of the family.
When  Kazakhs  celebrate  Nauryz,  presence  of  the  figure   of   "7"   is
indispensable - it embodies 7 days of the week -  time  units  of  universal
eternity: in front of aksakals ("white beards or old men) they would put  7
bowls with the drink of "Nauryz-kozhe", prepared of 7 grades of 7  types  of
cereals.
BERKUTCHI - hunting with a golden eagle.
A tradition that has already been practiced for ten centuries.
They say that presenting a youngster with a fledgling of a hunting  bird  is
tantamount to wishing him to be brave and strong young fellow.
Virtually training of a golden eagle is a  rare  and  painstaking  art.  The
bird just caught is being slowly trained to its master  (a  berkutchi).  For
the purpose the man doesn't get a wink of sleep for several nights with  the
bird being subjected to similar discomfort. The bird must take food  (pieces
of raw meat) from its master's hand only. When the eagles has  got  used  to
the hunter, its horse and its dog, it undergoes training: first  it  "hunts"
stuffed foxes and only then proceeds with real hunting.

Dastarkhan
[pic]
Kazakh dastarkhan has a long story of its own, its own traditions,  and  its
specifics inherent to Kazakh nation  only,  known  for  a  quite  particular
manner of receiving and serving guests.
The part tea plays in the Kazakh dastarkhan  is  altogether  remarkable.  In
fact any Kazakh feast invariably starts with a minutely itemized process  of
tea drinking. The host welcomes his  guests,  invites  them  to  the  table.
Incidentally, it is only up to girls and young women to pour  the  tea.  And
they do this wonderfully though it is far from easy. For one should  see  to
it that the guests'  drinking  bowls  be  always  full,  there  must  be  no
confusing them, there must be no tea  leafs  remains  on  the  edge  of  the
bowls. Even if the guest gives to understand that he  has  already  quenched
his thirst he must not be left unattended - the hostess must offer him a so-
called "sui-ayak" - a tea bowl of honor. Tea is  normally  accompanied  with
cream, butter, jam, dried and fresh fruit, nuts, cakes, other sweetmeats.
Tea is but an introduction, an invitation to a  capital  meal  -  a  festive
feast.
 
First they serve all sorts of appetizers, mostly meat  ones  -  prepared  of
horse flesh and mutton. They are quite  plentiful  and  their  diversity  is
just as great, all made  of  smoked,  semi-smoked  and  boiled  meat.  Added
thereto are flat cakes and such milk tonics as koumyss, shubat and  katyk...
They are followed with vegetable titbits with invariable  flat  cakes.  Next
the guests are treated with a kuyrdak - hot  rich  roast  meat  prepared  of
mutton by - products mostly of liver, kidneys, heart, lungs and tail's fat.
 
After a small break the guests  are  treated  with  all  sorts  of  patties:
"samsa"- with meat, "puktermet"- with by- products, "belyashes",  "kausyrma"
and all...
Finally there comes the capital treat - besbarmak. First they cover a  large
round or oval dish with small round flat pieces of boiled paste followed  by
small bars of boiled horse-meat or mutton, then comes  onion  cut  in  rings
and scalded with hot broth, all this strewn with a green mixture of  fennel,
parsley and kinza...
The most honored guest is  usually  offered  a  koy-bas  (a  boiled  sheep's
head). The guest is to dress it and distribute among the other  participants
to the dastarkhan. One should mind that each part of the  head  is  attached
particular significance and meaning: young men are  treated  with  ears  for
them to be attentive, girls - with a palate (it is believed that this  would
make them more diligent). The head having been  divided  the  host  proceeds
with cutting meat on the main dish and shares it with his guests.
Here too one has to mind certain habits  and  superstitions.  For  instance,
hipbones and crust are offered to most honored guests while  the  breastbone
goes to the son-in-law or daughter-in-law, cervical vertebra  -  to  marries
women, pregnant ones first and foremost.
Certain bans are also to be observed. Thus even the most honored  guest  may
not be treated with a "koy-bas" if his father is present at the table.
Children may not be offered brains (they might become weak-willed), just  as
an elbow bone - to a young girl (she might be "left on the shelf")...
The meat is usually accomplished with flat cakes  with  onion  (ak  nan).  A
rich broth (sorpa) is poured in separate bowls.
 
However in many areas of Kazakhstan besbarmak on the dastarkhan is  replaced
with "kespe", Kazakh noodle soup: in a drinking bowl or  a  soup-plate  they
put warmed up noodles and pour tuzdyk on them, a gravy consisting  of  meat,
black radish, sweet pepper, onions, tomatoes and green kinza.
 
The feast is finalized with a dessert abounding in all sorts of sweetmeats.



                 Kazakh National University named al-Farabi

                      Faculty of economics and business



                                 The paper:



                          Culture of Kazakhstan.



                                                Done by: student of 1 course


                                                                 BU I A 02r2


                                                              Safronova Olga

                                                 Checked by: Serikbaeva S.Z.



                                Almaty, 2003.





"Culture of Kazakhstan"