Leisure Recreation and the Arts

The Kyrgyz have many celebrations (toi). Both men and women are intricately involved in preparing for such events, which incorporate leisure and recreation, as well as an expression of the arts for them. Elaborate displays of food and energetic sports, such as wrestling, horse racing, and a form of polo, are all a part of making a celebration successful. At the heart of most events is the storytelling and music. The Kyrgyz are renowned for their epic poem, The Manas, a story of a medieval warrior who battles his enemies and brings pride to the Kyrgyz tribes. Both men and women sing and play musical instruments, but dancing is not customary among the Kyrgyz. The Soviets introduced formalized dance movements to the Kyrgyz, but these were not based on cultural practices. The Soviets also introduced chess, which is a popular past-time for men. Segregation in leisure time is voluntary and based on years of the separation of women and men due to their respective work and household duties. Women often work cooperatively on making a shyrdak (felted carpet) or weaving a chiy (woven reed screen).

Pregnancy And Childbirth

Pregnancy And Childbirth

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