Life At Point C

Experiencing Life along the Silk Road

Game Time

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Our English classes have started up here so I decided to do some activities with the students in my classes to help them get to know each other and myself.  While I was thinking of activities we could do, I wondered what sort of games they play here in Kyrgyzstan so, in my first class, I asked them what kind of games they liked to play.  The first few answers were somewhat generic and expected such as football (in this case meaning soccer, not American football), tennis, basketball, chess, cards, etc…  But I then asked them if there were any national games that they played.  I noticed immediately that the students perked up at this question and the students began spitting out names of games I had never heard of.  As I began to question them about the games and ask them what they were, one in particular stood out to me.  A student was trying to explain it in broken English and so I thought that the first time I heard the explanation I had heard wrong.  Turns out their explanation was spot on.  The game, called KYZ KUU MAl, is a game where a man will get on a horse and then proceed to chase a girl around the town or village.  If/when he catches the girl he has the privilege of kissing her.  This was traditionally a game for a bride and groom and once the man had managed (if he was able to catch up to her) to kiss the girl while they were both riding, she in turn chased him all the way back to the starting point.  If the bride caught up to the man and removed his headscarf it was a sign of her victory.  Of all the games I have heard of this one is by far one of the most unique!  And I hope to possibly have the opportunity of watching KYZ KUU MAl sometime while I’m in Kyrgyzstan.


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