Kyrgyzs have a peculiar way of arranging marriages, bride kidnapping. Seems difficult to believe but it happens. Apparently more than half of marriages are arranged that way being most of them non-consented and it works pretty much as it sounds often including rapes. Here a very recommended documentary on the issue and other local traditions:
In my opinion, it is a barbaric tradition that doesn’t make a lot of sense nowadays. Marriage should be abolished. I agree with the kidnapping part of it, but, why the poor guy that abduct a girl just to have some fun is forced to marry her afterward. He should be allowed to return the girl after the business was done. Even if he is thinking about something more stable it would be good to have a trial period, let’s say 2 weeks to check if the girl can cook and clean the yurt properly before deciding if she is the one he wants to keep in the kitchen for the rest of his life.
Obsolete traditions like marriage lead to a sexual repression that, helped by isolation and vodka drinking, make a small country like Kyrgyzstan the world leader in animal rapes, being horses and fat-ass sheep the favorite targets. Horse whispering can be considered as foreplay here.
Sadly it was time to leave Kyrgyzstan and try to find Borat in Kazakhstan. I would strongly recommend Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan to independent travellers. I had a great time there meeting friendly locals. The places feel very authentic and mass tourism hasn’t arrived yet. Both countries have quite interesting community based based tourism programs. It is very easy to arrange yurt-stays and home-stays for about $10 including dinner and breakfast). If you pay some extra you can sleep with their cattle if that’s your perversion. As well horse trekking and other outdoor activities can be arranged at fair prices. I think this scheme benefits tourist as they get a better idea about local life and cultures and the money from tourism gets a real impact in the people and doesn’t go just to a few hotel and business owners. Have to say I almost didn’t use the programs as I got quite rough and cheap and even that seemed too mainstream.
After other countries disappointments, I was gladly surprised with the tourists I met there and their amazing stories. Among them a couple that bought a donkey and walked 3 weeks in the mountains with him, a guy who bought a horse and was planning take it by land to Germany carrying a viola or another couple that walked there all the way from France. One of the first questions locals may ask you is “where is your bicycle? why you don’t have one?”, to give you an idea of how hardcore are many tourists that go there.
At this point, I am pretty sure no one will check the documentary. Instead, quite a few of you are thinking about Googling for the animal rapes rank by country. You sick! Come on, I just made that up, there is no such a thing.