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 yurt is a nomadic dwelling used among the Kazakh and Kyrgyz peoples. It has a wooden circular frame covered with felt and braided with ropes, and can be easily assembled and dismantled within a short period of time. The bearers of yurt-making knowledge are craftspeople, both men and women, who produce yurts and their interior decorations. Yurts are made from natural and renewable raw materials. Men make the wooden frames by hand, along with wooden, leather, bone and metal details. Women make the interior decorations and exterior coverings, ornamented with traditional patterns. As a rule, they work in community-based groups supervised by experienced women artisans, and employ weaving, spinning, braiding, felting, embroidering, sewing and other traditional handicraft techniques. Yurt creation involves the whole community of craftspeople, and fosters common human values, constructive cooperation and creative imagination. Traditionally, knowledge and skills are transmitted within families or from teachers to apprentices. All festivities, ceremonies, births, weddings and funeral rituals are held in a yurt. As such, the yurt remains a symbol of family and traditional hospitality, fundamental to the identity of the Kazakh and Kyrgyz peoples.
Hospitality is the key factor our nation holds on. Kyrgyz people is well known with it hospitality from ancient times. It may come from Islamic culture. Locals at anywhere in the region welcomes you to have a hot tea or mare’s milk in the mountains if you bump into any family even if it is accidently. Kyrgyz people still honours its guests. At least they bring out bread on a plate with a cream on it from his house and asks you to take it. That is reality you can see in remote regions of Alay valley.
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