Kizilsu-Kirgiz Marriage Customs and Male versus Female Roles

The Kirgiz household often consists of three generations, with married sons and their families sharing a tent/ mud house with their parents China vacation deals. Marriage is generally arranged by the parents, and in former times, this might even occur before the birth of a child - "marriage arrangement at pregnancy", as it was called. Pre-maritial courtship is in the form of a short ceremony, and is initiated when the groom presents a roasted sheep to the bride's family. Relatives of the bride respond by tying the bride-and-groom-to-be to special stakes in front of the tent or house. The couple will only be released when the father and the brothers of the groom "plead for mercy", i.e., present the bride's family with yet more gifts.


The subsequent wedding ceremony is presided over by an imam who, as a symbolic ending to the ceremony, divides a specially prepared cake into two pieces, then dips the pieces in brine - symbolizing the need for married couples to accommodate the less-good as well as the good - before placing them in the mouths of the newly-weds as a wish for the couple to 'share weal and woe', remaining together forever. The groom then takes his bride and her betrothal gifts back to his home.


The Kirgiz household is characterized by a distinct division of labor in the home: men do things like herd livestock, tend to horses, slaughter sheep and cattle, cut firewood (and sometimes grass) and perform any other chores that might require a man's physique, while women graze individual cattle, milk cattle, deliver ewes, shear adult sheep, process and preserve animal by-products and perform any other household top China tours chores that a man would not be expected to partake in.


Formerly, Kizilsu-Kirgiz women did not traditionally enjoy many individual rights in the usual sense. For example, they had no right to inheritance. When a son married, in contrast, he had the right to an immediate inheritance: a portion of the property of the father/ the larger family was shared with the newly-wed son (the remaining property, after the death of the father, would fall to the youngest son, who would take care of his mother). The property of a childless Kizilsu-Kirgiz male was inherited by his close relatives, while Kizilsu-Kirgiz women had no right of inheritance at all popular China tours. With the emergence of the PRC, these customs have been modified, permitting female inheritance and in general fostering greater gender equality.


The Kizilsu-Kirgiz funeral ceremony is still observed the same as ever by both males and females: black clothing, black kerchiefs - black everything, in fact - signifying mourning, is the norm in Kizilsu-Kirgiz society, as it is in many if not most other societies.



tags: China tourism
  1. 2013/12/12(木) 15:22:36|
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