Frying and swinging …

Days before the Kurban Bayram, villagers were already busy with preparations. We got a chance to witness some of the frying and swinging …
(Turkmenistan … 09.01.05 to 10.02.05)

Frying ‘kokun’, a local pastry from flour. The pastries can come in different shapes and sizes, in different names. The ladies were frying in preparation for the coming Kurban bayram. The frying was done outdoors, with gas supplied stoves.

Sean lending a hand to the making of kokun.

Preparing the food for the sheeps which would be returning from grazing in the evening. Mowli (in middle), our host in St.Kodj has 420 sheeps, 20 cows and 40 acres of land on which he grows wheat and cotton. He is also a school teacher in the day.

The shepherd’s boy, returning on his donkey.

The Hanow brothers and their families. Sean was fully dressed with Turkmen white sheepskin hat and a sheep skin’s jacket. A fox skin laid beside me. The fox was just killed that day by the shepherd’s dog.

A calf was born that night when we were there. The mother cow licking the newly born calf, still unable to stand.

In St.Arcman village. Shihi works as the gas supply mechanic stationed in the village. He gets paid for around US$40/month. Gas, electric and water supply are free of charge in Turkmenistan. It is the only country we know so far that gives her people free consumption of the utilities.

With the Shihi family before we left. It was pouring again …

Aman showing us black and white reprints of his ancestors in Han-Kariz village. Aman’s great, great, great grandfather was a Han (Lord or equivalent to King) of the Ahal and Mary region in the 1880s, occupying almost 1/3 of current Turkmenistan land. He eventually settled in Han-Kariz village which was named after him.

The thick walls of his >100 years old house. The >50cm thick walls were made of soil hardened by the steppings of horses during the old days. Even a normal nail could not penetrate the wall easily.

The BAT (pronounced “Ba-t”), a big swing with a wooden plank tied across. It is customary to play and swing the BAT during Kurban bayram. Swinging the BAT has something in relation to the teachings of the Koran, as it seemed. Almost every village would have 1 BAT, beautifully decorated during the Kurban bayram period.

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