Culture of Kazakhstan

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Kazakh Yurt 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 yurt’s 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 yurt’s 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 Kazakhstan’s 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 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