Kyrgyzstan is officially called The Kyrgyz Republic and the culture and customs show similarities with other Central Asian countries. Shaking hands in Kyrgyzstan is a frequent activity among men. It is a sign of warmth and friendship and often the right hand is placed on the heart. Women generally do not shake hands. They touch each other's shoulders with the right hand and stroke it gently. Young women often kiss the cheek of older women as a sign of respect.
Habits in Kyrgyzstan
In Kyrgyzstan young brides are still being abducted and forced into marriage. This nomadic tradition takes place mainly because of the economic crisis in recent years. The cost of an official wedding including payment of a dowry, mostly horses, has become too high. Abducting brides has officially been banned for over ten years however in practice, no one is prosecuted for it. It is crazy for us to imagine, given that half of Kyrgyz marriages are through abduction and usually not in line with the wishes of the bride.
Clothing in Kyrgyzstan
In the mountains and rural areas women usually wear wide, coloured dresses and a scarf around their head. Men wear a type of white felt hat on their head, a alkalpak. This clothing you will seldom come across in the city.