Kyz kuu – Dating, the Kazakh way

Horse Cultures of the World

Looking to spice up your love life or perhaps you’re trying to get a kiss from that special someone? Well forget online dating, I’ve got the answer for you and it involves horses! Yes, I’m talking about dating, the Kazakh way. Kyz kuu, literally meaning ‘girl chasing’, is a popular and traditional sport in the countries of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Azerbaijan. It’s ingenious really and looks like a whole lot of fun.

The object of the game is really quite simple – kiss the girl! If you’ve ever played ‘kiss chasey’ in the schoolyard, then you’re almost there, you just need to add two horses. Horses have long been an essential part of the nomadic people’s identity and Kyz kuu has its origins in the nomadic traditions of raiding another party of nomads and stealing their women, racing off on horseback.

So the rules: one girl, one guy. The man stands at the starting line on his horse. The woman starts a certain distance behind. She sets off on her horse at a gallop and as soon as she reaches him, the man takes off after her. They then race towards the finishing line with the man trying to catch and kiss the girl while both are still at full gallop. If he fails, she gets to whip him all the way back to the starting line – ouch!

Care to give this one a try next Valentine’s Day globetrotters?

Reference: Traditions & Customs and Wikipedia

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