Horses, cows and sheep are the main part of Kyrgyz people due to the mountainous relief of the Kyrgyz land. It influenced Kyrgyz cuisine as well. Traditional Kyrgyz food to the great extent comes from mutton, beefand horse meat, as well as various dairy products. The preparation techniques and major ingredients have been strongly influenced by the historically nomadic way of life. Moreover, Kyrgyzstan is home to many different nationalities and their various cuisines. Non-Kyrgyz cuisines that are particularly common and popular in Kyrgyzstan include Uyghur, Dungan, Uzbek, and Russian cuisines.
The common meals in Alay region are:
Oromo - once finished, it comes out as layers of dough that have been filled with finely cut chunks of meat, fat, and whatever else the cook feels like adding – carrots, onion, potato, or pumpkin. It’s steamed in a special multi-layered pot and is excellent when eaten with a side of ketchup. You’re more likely to see it served in Kyrgyz homes.
Borsokis dough that is cut into little squares and then fried so that they’re airy inside. Borsok is a staple food served during holidays.
Montyis meat, onion, and fat filled dumplings that are usually steamed.
Plovis originally Uzbek dish, but it became a main dish to welcome guests at your house. It’s fried onions and carrots mixed into spiced rice served with chunks of tender, boiled meat on top.
Bread– there many types of breads in the country difereing with their size, mixtures inside. It is baked in tandoor (a clay oven) in the villages.
Kuimak – liquid dough is fried in warm oil – and is eaten with sour cream.
Meat - The most common form of meat is mutton, beef and horse meat. Almost every meal is cooked with meat. Kyrgyz people cann’t image their lifw without this.
Honeyis also common in Kyrgyz culture. Many families make it in their homes.
Kuurdak- small pieces fried lamb or mutton with onion and spices.
Chuchvara- is meat dumplings of minced meat, onion and spices in dough. It is boiled in a broth with some meat.
Shorpo- is a hot oily soup with chunks of meat, potatoes and carrots
Kymyz- fermented mare’s milk, slightly alcoholic. Usualy made in summer time when people go to summer camps.
Airan(also known as Kefir) - is a milk drink that resembles drinking yogurt.
The Kyrgyz folklore is about verbal poetry, sayings, and proverbs. The great poets lived in 1800s as Toktogul Satylganov and Jengijok. Their poetry were in a form of song about. The meaning of the poetry was about culture, slavery, nature and love. The poets used national instrument komuz for their poetry.
The komuz is generally made from a single piece of wood (usuallyfrom juniper) and has three strings traditionally made out of gut, and often from fishing line in modern times. The middle string is the highest in pitch in the most common tunings. Komuzchu (who play kmouz) frequently play it in different positions; over the shoulder, between the knees and upside down.
The epic Manas is rooted into the depth of ages and narrates about the life and heroic deeds of Kyrgyz batyrs and portentous events in history. There are other epics as “Er Tyushtyuk”, “Kodjodjash”, “Er Tabyldy”, “Oldjobaiy and Kishimjan”, “Sarynji - Byekei”, “Janyl Myrza”, “Kurmanbek”, “Janysh-Baiysh”, and “Kedeikan”.
The most famous epic amongst these epics is Manas epic called as the Kyrgyz encyclopedia. It tells about the history, geographic settlements of Kyrgyz people, harmony with nature, religious conception, and ethnic culture of the Kyrgyz people, customs, philosophic views, poetry and language of the Kyrgyz people.
The essential part of the epic is about the freedom and the call to unity. It depicts about the wars to unite Kyrgyz people held by Manas batyr and his patriotism to defend his state. That is why the ideology of current Kyrgyz people stems from this epic. These epic has been preserved in the poetry of kyryz people and recited orally. Later in Soviet period, it was written down from the telling of great manaschy (oral epic tellers) as Nooruz, Jaisan-yrchy, K. Barybosov, Ch. Omurov, T. Japiev, B. Kumarov, S. Orosbakov, Togolok Moldo, S. Karalaev
Ulak-Tartysh is the king of traditional games, dating from ancient times when horse-riding ability was an essential part of a nomad’s dignity and a swift horse was a sure sign of wealth. Like football with a goat instead of a ball, each team of up to 10 players tries to put a headless goat carcass into a goal, while the other team tries to prevent them. The winners give the goat to a village house of their choice, and are in turn invited in.
Tyiyn-Enmei – picking up coins from the ground while galloping on a horse. Several skilled horse men try to compete with each other. The one who get the most coins will get the prize.
Kyz Kuumai translated asgirl chasing is oldest game our people have been enjoying for many years. A girls is given a strong horse and a boy is given weaker horse. A girls is given an advantage to start first and boy chases a girl right after she gallops. A task of the boy is to reach a girl and kiss on her face. It would be shame on a boy if he cannot do this task. As a second part of the game, girl chases a boy. Her task is to reach him and hit on his back with the wipe as strong as possible.
Oodarysh (Er-Enish) - Wrestling on horseback. A man while on his horse tries to drag down his opponent from the horse. You need strong hands to win this game. Participants usually take off their upper clothes or shirt to ensure the comfortably.
Arkant tartysh is one of the games Kyrgyz people enjoy playing. The word arkan means a rope and tartysh means dragging or puling. In the past, nomads used to test the men of the region with this game. The team consisting of 5 strong men from one tribe competes with other five men from another tribe. As the word start goes, they start pulling the rope to their direction. A team who pulls the opponent to their line will get the point.