Saturday, March 10, 2012

A Little Bit of Late Winter Kyrgyz Horsemanship

We took our high school to a local village for our own Kyrgyz day on Friday. Despite the forecast of a snow storm, the day was fresh and lovely, and only began to turn grey and bitter as we were waiting for the marshrutkas. A blessing of a day.

The day began with a public slaughtering and butchering of a brown sheep, which elicited a response of horrified fascination from our kids, ranging from retching to close-up filming of blood and guts. This sheep was then served to us as beshbarmak, and became the basis for a reflection on the imagery of the sacrificial Lamb. 

We were also treated to a number of Kyrgyz games. The highlight was definitely when the village men demonstrated their horsemanship for us. The Kyrgyz people are horse people: their horses are like another limb, and they ride with incredible dexterity. This clip below is a game where they must collect a number of markers from the ground - the quality isn't good, being of the iPhone variety, but it is still great to see the way the horses respond to their riders.

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