Customs and traditions in Kyrgyzstan were meant to help with the biggest transitions in life, and to provide order and meaning from birth to death. These traditions fit into the nomadic lifestyle, and were centered around the family. There are traditions for childbirth and for death, as well as weddings and married life, that defined life in Kyrgyzstan and are passed down and adapted to the modern day.
Back when the Kyrgyz were nomads, birth was dangerous for both the mother and the baby. Midwives were essential to ensuring the health of the mother and baby, and precautions were taken to protect them from evil spirits. Despite the perilous process of giving birth, the new baby was a cause of joy, and there were several celebrations held for newborns.
To this day, weddings are a major Kyrgyz celebration and tradition. Weddings traditionally are a way to celebrate a bride leaving her family and joining her groom’s, and in Kyrgyzstan, weddings sure are a big celebration. There are older Kyrgyz traditions for weddings, as well as more modern customs featuring Western elements.
Families are the backbone of Kyrgyz society, and the traditions and customs related to families remain crucial to this day. There is a definite hierarchy that dictates each person’s place in the family, all the way from the family patriarch to the youngest daughter-in-law. People treat their elders with respect, and guests have a special place of honor.
Kyrgyz customs around death were meant to honor the life that the deceased lived, and to ease his or her passing to the next world. People would gather to mourn and sing traditional songs, as well as to eat and set affairs in order.