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In the Past the life and well-being of Kazakhs depended on their strength, endurance and courage. So, special attention was paid to teaching young generation good qualities.

Many rules are connected with birth, childhood, youth and maturity of a young man. For example, on shildekhana (a celebration of child’s birth) well-to-do people invite villagers to their place, hold different kinds of competitions, serve generous meals.

Then comes another event. It is a ‘besik-toi’, when a newborn baby is put into a national cradle. When the child begins to make first steps, the tradition of releasing from rope-chains is held. His legs are tied with rope, imitating rope-chains and respected man, who makes things fast and well is asked to cut the rope. Cutting chains means an open road to life.

At the age of 6 or 7 the boy is mounted on a horseback. He is given not only a lash, but also a spear to be brave.

Songs, dances and national games always follow all these traditions.



Bestas (‘five pebbles’) is played by two or more people. A flat place and five little, round pebbles should be chosen for this game. It is played with one hand. The game consists of several level steps.

1. A player strews the pebbles on the ground. He chooses a ‘kuspek’ (one of the pebbles) and throws it up. While the pebble is in the air the player must pick up the other three pebbles.

2. Two pebbles should be picked up at a time.

3. Now, at first three pebbles should be thrown up and after that only one pebble.

4. Four pebbles should be picked up at once.

5. “Dumb”. The rules of the game are the same as in the first level; only the pebbles shouldn’t strike each other.

6. “The nest”. The fingers of the left hand are put on the ground in the form of a tent. It is called “the nest”. Five pebbles should be thrown up above the tent. The pebble which is rolled further than the others is a ‘kuspek’. The rest of the pebbles are pushed between the fingers and they should be gathered into “the nest”. Then “kuspek” is thrown up and the pebbles should be picked up from “the nest”. If the player drops a pebble during the game, the second participant starts to play. That player who manages to pass through all the levels of the game is the winner.


Arkan tartu (TUG–OF –WAR)


Arkan tartu is a very ancient and famous game. Usually only men participate in it. A flat place should be chosen for this game. In the middle of this place a boarder is drawn up. Other lines are made on both sides of the boarder. A long lasso or a rope, which is tied up into a loop on both ends, is necessary for the game.

There are two possible versions of the game.

In the first version two men compete with each other. They go to the center, squat opposite each other, hang the end of the lasso on their necks and grip it with arm-pits. After the whistle of the presenter each participant begins to pull the rope. That player who manages to pull the other player up to the marked boarder becomes the winner.

In the second version several people participate in the game. The players are divided into two teams. Precisely in the middle of the rope a knot is tied up. Each team tries to pull the rope to their side. The team that manages to do it first becomes the winner and receives the prize.




Ak suyek is a national team game. It is usually held in an open area. Both, boys and girls can participate in it. A white bone dried up on the sun or a white stick cleared of the bark is used for this game. The participants are divided into two teams. One of the players stands inside of the specially drawn circle. When the other players turn away, he throws the bone as far as possible. After that the participants begin to look for it. The player who finds the bone runs shouting “Ak suyek! Ak suyek!” to the place marked beforehand. The players of the other team should take away this bone. They have to catch the owner of the white bone. And he should pass the bone to the players of his team. So, the player who manages to reach the finish line first gets a score and the right to start the game again. The team, which has more number of scores wins.

The second variant: before the game each team makes a pile from their clothes (shoes, shawls, belts and other things). This place is called “sal” (fund). For every lost score the team takes away one thing from their fund. The losing team tries to get their things back with jokes, songs and dances.




Altybakan is an ancient Kazakh national swing. A special place was devoted for altybakan, where the young boys and girls gathered. It is a very convenient construction for the nomadic people: quickly sets up and quickly pulls down. Its design is very simple.

You need only six stakes, one crossbeam and three lassos. The stakes are driven in the ground on a distance of seven-eight steps from each other. The tops of three stakes are tied together. So it turns up into two knots, which are connected by the crossbeam. One long lasso and two short ones are tied to them as an arch. The short lassos are set aside for sitting and the long lasso serves as a support for legs.

At a warm moonlight night young boys and girls gathered near the altybakan. They sat on the altybakan by turn: a boy and a girl opposite each other and the rest rocked them. The rocking boy and girl began to sing songs and the others joined them in singing. Their young people made a declaration of their love to each other. Besides, near the altybakan different national games like ak suiek were played.


Ø Answer the following questions:

1. How many people do usually play bestas?

2. Is this game played with one or two hands?

3. Who usually participates in arkan-tartu?

4. What equipment is necessary for arkan-tartu?

5. Who becomes the winner in the game “ak suiek”?


Ø Prove the following statements are correct according to the text:

1. Bestas consists of several levels.

2. Usually boys and girls participate in arkan-tartu.

3. During warm moonlight night young boys and girls gathered near the altybakan.

4. There are three variations of the game arkan-tartu.



Ø Give synonyms of the words given below:

Date: 2015-01-12; view: 1213

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