Kyz-kuumai "Girl chasing"

Traditions and customs

Kyz-kuumai - (in translation from Kyrgyz -girl chasing) is one of the most ancient, interesting and cheerful Kyrgyz games played during the wedding ceremony or big holidays, bringing joy to all the guests.                                                                                

A game is usually conducted as follows. A young man on horseback waits at a starting line. A young woman, also mounted, starts her horse galloping from a given distance behind the young man. When the young woman passes the young man, he may start his horse galloping. The two race towards a finish line some distance ahead. If the young man is able to catch up to the young woman before they reach the finish line, he may reach out to her and steal a kiss, which constitutes victory. However, if the young man has not caught up to the young woman by the time they reach the finish line, the young woman turns around and chases the young man back to the starting line. If she is in range of the young man, she may use her whip to beat him, which signifies a victory for her.