Bride Kidnapping in Kyrgyzstan

Bride Kidnapping in Kyrgyzstan

Ratings: 7.17/10 from 18 users.

Bride Kidnapping in KyrgyzstanIn rural Kyrgyzstan, tradition is king. Polo's still played with a freshly killed goat and the men still marry their women the old-fashioned way: by abducting them off the street and forcing them to be their wife.

Basically, here's how it works: A prospective groom gathers his friends into a car or van, drives to the home or neighborhood of his desired bride, then ambushes her and drags her kicking and screaming into the van and away from her family.

Although the tradition of bride kidnapping is illegal in Kyrgyzstan, authorities largely ignore the law. Nearly half of all marriages in rural Kyrgyzstan are a result of the practice, with the most common justification being "tradition."

Vice traveled to the Kyrgyz countryside to follow/aid and abet a young groom named Kubanti as he surprised his teenage girlfriend Nazgul with the gift of marriage/kidnapping.

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77 Comments / User Reviews

  1. aud

    this documentary does a good job at keeping the watcher's interest and attention. though the journalist is not at all objective, it brings a bit of humor into this otherwise horrific practice

  2. Steve

    This journalist added no sort of educational value to this documentary. Worthless, and creepy. Any average civilian could have performed better.

  3. HeySuze Christ

    the first thing they do is show her the kitchen...hahaha

  4. HeySuze Christ

    At first i was outraged and upset, but it clearly looks like everyone is in on it, even the bride. In this case, at least. I'm sure the same cannot be said when it is a stranger.

    1. Leyton Campbell

      Some of them are in on it but 70% of them are complete strangers and have never even met them. Even though it is illegal in the country most cops ignore it and call it ancient tradition when the truth is it originated in the 1900's from thieves and bandits coming to villages and stealing their livestock, valuables and their women.

  5. Sam Franklin

    How do you know he/she is telling the truth? The real problem is idiots like you in the world are prepared to take anything on face value. What ever happened to researching/investigating for yourself? Who has actually been to Kyrgyzstan? The less uneducated do-gooders on the planet the better.

  6. Fernan

    there are some points that this might be staged. still a better love story than twilight.

  7. slpsa

    Imagine if every human in the world could meet in a place like this site, and settle misconceptions about each others cultures and beliefs as easily as Alibek just settled this one. What a wonderful world that would be.

    Deep Thoughts by Jack Handy.

  8. Alibek Kydyraliev

    I am from Kyrgyzstan and even though I havn't watched the video I am quite aware of this tradition that took place some time ago. Being born and raised in a city, I can assure you that this kind of tradition is non-existant in urban areas and rarely seen in rural area, and even if practiced, it is only for "following the traditions" and entertainment purposes with mutual agreement of the groom & the bride.

    By many Kyrgyz people this tradition is viewed in fact as a thing of the past just like tradition of burning women accused of witchcraft in the western world.

    You will not see men riding horses and tossing around a freshly killed goat on a daily basis. These kind of games are only played during special festivals. Even "fake" bride kidnappings are staged as well. This is done in order to preserve the unique culture and traditions so that the new generations will not forget their past.

    I am sure there are many festivals in other countries that are aimed at preserving and remembering certain traditions.

    1. slpsa

      Well, thank you very much for clearing that up Alibek. This doc would have us believe it is not a game it seems, your people took a bit of a verbal beating for the way this doc portrays the practice. This is just great to hear from a person who is from that Country! It is so awesome to have someone come on this site, that Vlatko provides for us all to connect and and learn from each other. It is really a relief to know this type of thing is really a preset show for everyone to see and the bride agreed beforehand. Just wow. I love this place. I think we need to pat Vlatko on the back { you shameless leftie! bwahaha!} The fact that this settles a pretty harsh debate says how important it is the internet stays free, uncensored and open. Look how easily a bad situation was rectified. Thanks for all your hard work Vlatko. Your a good man. Now show us ya left card!....lolol...

    2. stegokitty

      That's interesting, coming from someone who admits to having not watched the video. While I would agree with some commenters, that this video is done with a bit of a sensationalistic flavour, with the experiencing narrator giving his Westernized opinions throughout, there's also another video, from a more stable site, PBS Frontline World, which ends up attesting to much of the same, though showing, just as this video did, that there are some instances where it's not always such a bad thing.

      There are also numerous reports from Russian websites, as well as that from Radio Free Europe, etc., all of which verify the existence and practice of this (sometimes) harmful tradition. It's problematic enough for former President of Kyrgyzstan, Roza Otunbayeva to say that 15,000 women each year are victims of bride kidnapping. New legislation is in the works to increase the current maximum penalty of three years in prison to something more substantial -- some are even pushing for the death penalty.

      Perhaps you live in a city where it's not so prevalent. Just as it's the case that what happens on the South Side of Providence isn't usually the same that which is happening in Cumberland, both of which are in the tiny state of Rhode island, which is 65 times smaller than Kyrgyzstan, with one fifth of its population. If that's so, then I feel reasonably confident in saying that Kyrgyzstan has some things going on in one place that aren't necessarily so in others.

      I would suggest that you watch this video, then watch the other one from PBS Frontline World, read a few of the diverse articles from around the globe on the topic, including the statements by Ms Otunbayeva, and then get back to us.

      Thanks for your time.

  9. James Tod

    this will be a good movie if the actors stop laughng in the movie . they need good actors .

  10. Konasutraone

    She looked like she was enjoying the whole charade, funny how she was wearing pretty good clothes when she got kidnapped. Nothing much wrong here, just a bit of charade for the cameras and a bit of old custom, a bit like Greeks smashing glasses at a wedding.

  11. GodmanEnki

    "Vulva-disfiguration" (AND circumcision) still goes on as well. The Muslims are STILL living in the stone age, because TPTB want it that way. "keep 'em stupid." That's the Muslim rule. Treat your women like "objects of trash," and when you die for "Allah" you get to have 72 VIRGINS, and start the terrible-treatment of women..........ALL OVER AGAIN. The only REASON Muslim-men, have their women hide their faces, is because the "LITTLE-BOYS" that they are, are afraid and jealous an American-man, or ANY other man for that matter, might "take them away from the LITTLE BOYS. What these LITTLE BOYS never seem to realize is, IF they treated their women as equals, AS HUMAN BEINGS, their women wouldn't WANT to leave them!
    (72 VIRGINS!?" I just love that one......

    1. sknb

      To claim that an entire religion "is living in the stone age" clearly shows your ignorance of / prejudice towards Muslims. You obviously don't realize the HUGE diversity of Islamic practice all over the world along with the many varieties of Islam. It is a shame that your hatred and ignorance is is propagated in forums like this. The reality is that there are entire countries of Muslims who don't believe in 72 virgins just like there are many Christians who don't believe in the that the virgin birth is reality. Your kind of attitude also shows you probably haven't listened to a single Muslim woman talk about her culture, her heritage, or why she believes what she does. To assume that the practice of veiling (which is by NO MEANS universal in all of Islam) has anything to do with American men is so absurdly ridiculous and once again, shows your lack of real knowledge about this large and popular religion. The reality is that many Muslim women are proud to cover their hair and their bodies as a sign of personal power and identity. To classify all Muslim men as little boys is nothing short of the idiotic hate that fills so much of the world. Stupidity has nothing to do with any particular religion and to assume and write such hate filled prejudice once again shows your ignorance. Do you have any idea how many ground breaking scientists, mathematicians, doctors, poets, and musicians were Muslims? No you don't. Because you live in the hate filled world of your dominant paradigm and you probably don't talk to or are friends with any Muslims.

    2. griff6784

      Christianity has bent over backwards in its desire to accommodate modernity. It has got to the point where in places like the United Kingdom it bears little relation to an actual religion. Gay vicars, gay marriage, female priests. It claims to form the basis of law but claiming that humanity had no laws regarding murder before Christianity is an utter load of rubbish. Islam, a religion six hundred years younger, definitely has some way to go before it reaches the level of maturity that Christianity has presently reached. I have heard many Muslim women talk about the veil, some say it is religious devotion, others that it is customary, still more say they feel empowered because men no longer see them as sexual objects. I find it tragic that in the modern world, a woman feels compelled to cover her hair and her figure as a means of desexualising herself. Why not embrace your sexuality and your sexual appeal? In addition, just as in Christianity there is an element of chauvinism which implies women are sinners of temptation and must be covered to uphold their chastity. I accept the veil, as long as it does not cover the face. Iranians, at ease with their faith and indeed living under Islamic law, are allowed to, and most do, wear their veil in the Shayla, which shows some hair. Elegant, contemporary and also spiritual. I have taught Muslim students wearing the niqab and it leaves me feeling depressed. Such bright young intelligent girls, if I passed them in the street, I wouldn't even know who they were. The niqab denies the opposite sex of complete humanness. I cannot see this girl's emotions, her smiles and her frowns. She is a but a wraith. Ask yourself, why in most religions (including Orthodox Judaism, Islam and still to an extent Christianity) are women subjected to far more stringent regulatory practices in terms of their bodies? It is outright sexism. Why should a man not cover his hair? Why should a man not conceal his bare arms? Why should a man not conceal his smile? Humans are equal. Why should I be able to shake the hand of a Muslim man, yet merely bow my head in the presence of a woman because she is restricted from touching me? Anyone who is not fundamentally disgusted with the whole charade of religious sexual inequality, is in need of education. Freedom of religion is fine, but we should all work to break down the barriers of dogmatism perpetuated in an age that was denied the benefits of science and universal morality. Do I want my cock hacked at before my first week of life? No...Do I wish to be restricted from eating a lasagne? No...Do I desire the absence of prawns in my special fried rice? No...Do I wish to be deprived of the bacon which lies between my bread? No...And the reasons for such ridiculous stipulations? I have no idea, probably some ambiguous line of text in an aged book, the sole source of validity of which is antiquatedness. And no, it is not proven that circumcision has health benefits.

    3. slpsa

      I can shorten this up for you. Religion is BS, and so are the headcases that believe in it . This stuff had to be made up when someone was high, drunk or stupid. No sane person believes in fairy tales. Clearly a few billion are damaged goods on this earth and indeed, live and believe nonsense, much to the chagrin of the smart ones.

    4. griff6784

      I think that quite eloquently sums up my point.

    5. slpsa

      Excellent griff, thanks man. I seem to have a way with cutting through all the big posts lately, summing it all up with a half drunken interpretation that anyone who just worked a 12 hour shift and is on their, um, say fourth pint, well, they may need to understand it quickly, you know, for time compression needs. There are only so many hours of the day after all my friend. Work, beer and mating come first, posting and reading is last, before i wake up and do it all over again. I aim to please. :) hehe. Anyone else want to post a novel and have it proof shortened...cmon..... Waldo mebbes....LOL.

    6. slpsa

      I was not a fan of that post either, but neither do I support or give any credence to, any religion or religious person. In fact, I tend to categorize religious people as schizophrenic, or delusional or unable to cope with life and the world. For some odd reason, they need a being or entity to pray to, to feel useful and needed or to save them from the inevitable. They cannot seem to handle this is a one way, one ticket ride, and when it is over, the lights go out, the game is finished. The sad truth is, we die and that's it. Nothingness. Deal with it or pray to non existent fairy tale characters? Ill take sanity, reason, and logic any day over needing to feel secure, safe and delusional. I was raised a Catholic in a highly religious family, when I reached the age of being able to critically think, that was when it was over. For some reason, a lot of people never had that uh oh, i have been lied to moment. Fair enough. I just hope all those crazy delusional people of all religions worldwide do not take the smart, educated and truthful ones down with em. That is all a man can hope for these days.

    7. AlfBeta

      I'm a westerner, and I see thousands of infantile men around me

    8. slpsa

      You seem angry man. Don't let it get to ya man. Chill my brother. You can have a heart attack with all that stress.

  12. tim1888

    thats caveman style of wanting a shag grab the bird and carry her away into the wilderness i bet the female really enjoys that, i thought that man had evolved from that but obviously not.

  13. Danielle Policelli

    This should have been named Runaway Bride

  14. Emit Brown

    There is one more aspect to consider - sex! In cultures where no pre-marital sex is allowed the marriage is the only way for the woman to have sex. Men are a bit luckier- usually they can visit prostitutes, but still marriage is pretty much the only way of having "normal" sex life for both genders.

    I'm sure if Kirgiz guys could have normal girlfriend-boyfriend relationships before the actual marriage this practice would have not been this popular.

    1. ??????

      Emit, I am from Kyrgyzstan and I know the true ...its not bad like western country people thinks it is .....we do have Bf and GF before get married and we do pre -marital s......

    2. Emit Brown

      Yes, I know that. But that's uncommon in rural communities like the one shown in this doc.

  15. over the edge

    you should learn to come out of your shell and let us know what you really think lol

    @anyone who wishes to read this
    no matter what the issue if the best reasons for or against something are it is based in some ancient myth, that's the way we have always done it or an alternative way has faults too then odds are what you are doing is wrong.

    1. dewflirt

      I'm a little hormonal ;)

  16. dewflirt

    I think I should now say something sensible here. That this practice of bride kidnapping is traditional and serves to get the job of marriage done, is not an indication that it is right. It clearly shows that the men think the women are unable to make any rational choice about their lives and are skittish individuals that need to be broken in much the same way that they break their horses. They may well be excellent horsemen (and they are!) but that is not the sign of an excellent husband. They should try a little whispering...
    They seem to want the women to submit themselves, and I guess in a 'days of yore' kind of way, it could be seen as romantic. Maybe. Its all a bit taming of the shrew.
    I have said before, I am no feminist. The few I have met seem intent on trying to beat men at their own game, why? Why would I want to be like a man? We are equal and opposite. They end up placing men above themselves, making their imagined superiority something to aspire to. As a woman, I have my own game and my own rules! If these boys treated the women like women, they would be treated like men and wouldn't have to prove their manhood with rough handling. They are on a weird little power trip. Does that continue after the wedding? Are they pressed into giving their bodies up as well? That thought does not sit comfortably in my mind at all!
    Those boys are not flavour of the month. In fact they are not even dish of the day! But I'll have mine skinned and deep fried, please ;)

  17. adilrye

    I don't know how people can possibly defend this or go on a diatribe about "our marriage." Can't you just swallow your pride, put away your relativism and just declare bride kidnapping is just plain wrong on every level? It is. I'm sure the victims would agree.

    1. wald0

      I guess no more than you can swallow your pride, put away your judgements, and try to see this from a different point of view. And believe it or not I don't think anyone wanted to offend you either. But if we can't open a dialogue with people that we see as wrong or different in a way that is non-judgmental and therefore productive- how do things ever get better?
      Joseph was talking about the reason we get married, not how we do it. I am sure he thinks the way we actually do it is obviousely better than kidknapping which he condemns near the end of his post. But I agree with him, niether practice really fits our predispositions as once you get past how it is done it becomes very similar. I can't tell you how many women I know that are staying in a marriage simply because they have no where to go and no way to get there. Are these women any less a captive than the ones in this documentary? Many of them have to put up with Archy Bunker types coming home demanding dinner, house to be cleaned, etc. So are they any less a slave than these women? Both of them could leave but the consequences would be severe. In fact if the women in this documentary leave they will end up homeless as well, so even the consequences are very similar.
      If this offended you even more I am sorry. It is not my intention to make it worse. I just feel we in the west, the U.S, especially, have this tendency to place ourselves above others and refuse even a productive dialogue, and that is a shame. It reminds me of Isreal and and Iran, at least thier governments- not the people.

    2. adilrye

      Here's my issue. You're greatly exaggerating to make your point. Saying marriage is like slavery for women, leaves most women homeless when they leave, punishes them for leaving is simply not true. And I find the comparison offensive, because in Kyrgyzstan, you have actual women being kidnapped, forced into marriage, forced to be scullery maids for the family...and yet, through all of this, some of you still will rail against Western marriages. I just find that baffling.

      The DIFFERENCE is choice. Why is this woman who hates her marriage not a captive? Why is Western marriage not slavery? Because ultimately, it was an individual choice. There is consent. They entered into it. And she can clearly leave. It is a nasty process, but she won't be shunned for her choice, it's definitely not the same. We have the legal mechanisms to leave marriages and to protect people from forced marriages.

      And I do believe in consequences for leaving a marriage because it should be taken seriously. It is an important institution and should be protected by the law. And especially when there are children involved. I don't mean to offend or insult, but these two types of marriage are completely different.

  18. dewflirt

    Girls eh? Always saying no when they really mean yes. Good job the men know better, and its traditional which makes it all ok. Like trepanning. That's for your own good too ;)

    1. wald0

      Becareful now, ppl will take you serious. Just wait, some feminist is going to boil your hide for this one. I, on the other hand, am LMAO!!

    2. dewflirt

      I've got a 20 minute head start while they lace their doc martens and do up their dungarees ;)

    3. wald0

      ROFLMAO No you didn't!! I bet every person here familiar with western culture got that and any everybody else is like- huh? Or does this stereo type translate, someone from the east that's also unfamiliar with the west let us know- please.

    4. dewflirt

      Wald0, Yes, I did ;) Do I remember rightly, did you once say you were from Leicester?

    5. wald0

      No, it wasn't me- I have no idea where Leicester is. I am from the U.S., the Southeasetern bible belt at that- yuck!!! Well originally from Chicago but the Southeast is where we moved when I was still very young. That is why I suppose I am so adament about people seeing things from a different perspective, trying to understand what they generally reject instinctually, and opening a dialogue with those who they percieve to be their enemy- because I have seen first hand what the alternative is, I grew up in it. It destroys everything eventually because it leads to prejudice, division, and ultimately needless violence. Where as if we open up and begin to have a dialogue generally we discover not only our differences but our common ground, as hokie as that may sound.

    6. dewflirt

      I like your style wald0, very generous. You approach things softly. Maybe I should try that some time but like you said, some women roar ;)
      And you're not hokie, just nice :)

    7. Emit Brown

      Nowadays the trend is to emphasize our differences, if we put the same amount of effort into discovering our commonalities the world would have been much better place)))

    8. over the edge

      lol why do i get the feeling that you neither want or need the head start?

    9. dewflirt

      Haha, am I so obvious?
      Good! ;)

  19. Joseph

    It makes me think about the artificiality of marriage to begin with. I have a Russian friend that used to say 'just pick one, any one, it doesn't matter, its all the same in the long run.' I think this mentality is similar to Krygyztan and part of me doesn't feel its primitive, but rather more authentic than the Western mentality. The US Disneyfied view of marraige is of the knight on a white horse with plenty of money coming to rescue the princess. I currently live in Japan which has a practical view of marraige where love is secondary to stability and loyalty. In the end, I think marraige is an artificial construction that generally doesn't suit human needs but acts as more of a legal and economic partnership. In a perfect world, men and women would both be free to meet different people, stay with someone when the partnership worked out and leave when the relationship has run its course. Children and the economic system we live in constrains this sort of mobility though, and you usually end up in a messy divorce with custody and money battles. I definitely don't condone kidnapping, but don't really think the western view of marraige is much more enlightened, its rather another form of social pressure that men and women conform to because thats what's expected of them.

    1. slpsa

      I understand your point of view, but I have been happily married for 28 years, there is no other woman for me and never will be. I was not forced to marry, I was not following anyone's idea of an economic partnership, nor giving into western traditions. Practicality had nothing to do with it. It was literally love at first sight, that does happen you know. Money and security are fine, living it up and spreading your seed is also fun, but at the end of a long days work, at the end of a stressful day, it is always a pleasure, to come home to a good wife and best friend, and talk the days BS away. Everyone has a different reason for getting married, for some of us, it is nothing more than true love. No person or cultural expectations made me ask her the big question.

    2. wald0

      I totally agree that the west has severly over romanticized marriage and relationships in general. I don't think however that people get married because that is what is expected of them, maybe at one time but not now. Now days it isn't really expected that people will marry simply because they are together. Almost every couple I know just lives together but isn't married, many of them have children as well. Now eventually most of them will get married but it is because of economic and legal reasons that they do so. Our country decided long ago that they wanted everyone to get married and have a family, they say because it helps form a more stable and solid union. In reality I suspicion they simply knew that once you get married and have children you have no choice but to confom to the system in order to take care of them and make it all work. You will need a home to live in, your own transportation, tutition money, health insurance, life insurance, etc., etc., which all has to be paid for, which means you will conform or lose it all. It also garantees you will be a consumer whether you like it or not. On the other hand, when I was single and younger all I needed was friends, pot, and my guitar- I ate whatever whenever and slept on the beach most nights. Why not, it was only me and I was happy this way.
      That said your friend was right, just pick one you think you can stay moderately attracted to and go with it- it all comes out in the wash anyway. Ask anyone that has been married for more than twenty years and almost without exception they wil tell you that in the end it came down to remaining dedicated to being together for the sake of the children, but in reality they wanted to leave. Now in their older age they wll say they are glad they did this because now they wouldn't give up their partner for all the world and have no idea what they will do when they pass away. So it does eventually turn into real love, just not the kind of fairy tale love Disney sells, and as a result many people expect.

      P.S. The reason I say make sure you are moderately attracted to her is because if you are not you will eventually leave or cheat. People hate to admit it but we are driven by a need for sexual gratification and eventualy you will meet someone that is attractive to you as well as attracted to you. Now many of us like to think that at that point we will refrain but, it rarely happens. People are much more likely to either cheat or leave, niether of which is very fun in the end- trust me.

    3. adilrye

      I'm sorry, I really don't mean to offend...but that is BS.

      How can you compare two consenting adults deciding to get married IN ANY WAY to a man and his friends going up a random woman and kidnapping her, forcing her to marry him? Are you nuts? Relativism like this scares me; so you criticize Western marriage for legal and economic constraints, but fail to mention, you know, the actual physical constraint of getting kidnapped and being forced into a marriage? How do you possibly overlook that?

      I'm sorry. Our way is better. A million times better. Ask most of these women, and they'll say the same thing. I don't care how you analyze it.

  20. Paul

    **** why don't we do that, instead of wasting money getting her pissed. Maybe women would be a bit nicer.

  21. Imran Anjum

    I respect the traditions..... But its not good one........

  22. Robert Elliot

    Turns out he drinks like a fish.

  23. Far Spam

    marrying a woman is much easier in the west...

    go to any bar, say hello to random women till one says hello back, ply her with alcohol, show her you care and she will marry you!

    when you get bored just divorce her and repeat the process above...

    theoretically you could end up with an infinite number of women all bearing your children...

  24. Rick Kiriakidis

    Seems to me that that entire process of kidnapping didn't need to happen and felt more like it was expected to keep tradition and go through the process.

    Though, there is so much potential for actual abuse (even if it isn't the norm, one is one too many) which makes this abducting tradition completely degrading and disgusting.

    I really dont know how to feel about this, on the one hand I can understand the need to keep traditions alive as its important to preserve your culture and remember where you came from and on the other hand it just seems like a barbaric practice thats completely and utterly reprehensible.

    I think this tradition is one that needs to end or at least taught and remembered but not practiced. We need not forget where we came from or our history but correct our mistakes and change for the better as we go forth in the future.

  25. lostbaby

    there are lot's of unacceptable traditions going on in many of the 3rd world countries.. unlike the developed countries most of the ppl living in the 3rd world have a strong sense of responsibility and duty of care, respect, towards the society/neighborhood. so in this case, the girls can't get back to their normal life after breaking the marriage due to this huge responsibility n respect towards the society...bright side is ppl still live happily together in a big joint family n few elderly ppl end up in nursing homes....

    1. Emit Brown

      In many cases I would say too much respect to everything that comes out of elderlies mouths. And the thing that you are calling "strong sense of responsibility" is in fact the fear of losing their face/reputation in neighborhood’s eyes

      The happiness you are talking about is very subjective - yes, young do take care of elderlies but the price is their own life, they get real freedom only when elderlies die.

      "live happily together in a big joint family" if one likes knowledge, reading, learning, privacy, independence then "big joint family" is the last place one should look for them in))) but if you like gossip, noise, hierarchy, endless caretaking of someone, often having to queue to have sex without "witnesses", etc., etc. then it's a nice place to be)))

  26. Neverborn

    disagree .. poor girls. thrown into a new life by manhandling. they may as well have bonked her on the head with a club and dragged her by the hair into that colourful little cave

  27. Emit Brown

    To understand the reasons of this kind of traditions one must be very familiar with the people and the recent history of all Former SU countries. I think the expert in the movie is not on the right track in his search of the roots of this tradition.

    I was born and raised in another Former Soviet country. In some rural parts of the country this practice was common too. It was infecting the cities too but the people were more educated and the society was more open so they started calling police and accepting the girls back and the practice didn't continue.

    After USSR collapsed all former members of the union started looking for new "national identity", mostly by exaggerating and making up all sorts of "traditions" and stories about "great ancestors". A lot of countries jumped into religion (mostly Islamic countries) which in addition to unemployment, corruption, authoritarian governments and devastated education system became a ticket to "3rd world".

    This tradition and a lot of traditions like this are part of that "national identity" struggle. The same tradition’s details may vary from village to village hugely, every village claims that their way is the oldest and refers to an old "mysterious" time or person.

    In a lot of places education is something that can actually lower one's social status and doesn't guarantee a better income or etc. It's highly respected to be very "traditional", religious, nationalistic, not questioning the elderlies, etc., etc.

    P.S. I just remembered that if you wanted to be a cool kid you were supposed to watch how the sheep/cow/pig was slaughtered.... damn, that is awful.... so glad that I left the country, region, culture....

    1. wald0

      Wow, that actually makes perfect sense and is extremely interesting to me. I have always been interested in how cultures struggle for their own identity. Not that it excuses such practices but, at least it tells us where they came from, what the real motivation is. If they (the people of this culture) want this to stop they need to give this community some way to define itself.
      Throughout history time and time again we see this- cultures defining themselves through made up history in an attempt to avoid being absorbed into other well defined, larger, more powerful cultures. Usually this has a lot to do with location and size. If you are some small country sitting in amongst huge world powers like Russia and China for instance, or think of the distant past the Jewish culture sat between huge ancient world powers, namely Egypt, Mesopotamia, Babylonia, etc. If you are in this situation you can’t help but fear your culture will be assimilated into one of these larger, more powerful cultures and cease to exist. To combat this cultures generally develop some kind of common past that unites them all very strongly, whether that past is true or made up is another story.

    2. Emit Brown

      Actually the filmmaker guy in the movie touched this issue (5:20 and 6:05) "the west condemns bride kidnapping, but they offer us nothing that we can follow...." what he says after that is how "Western values" are understood in many FSU countries (at least in rural communities). The people who supposedly have to fight against traditions like this are the same people, they don't think that something is wrong and they need to fix it, it's normal...., it's how it ought to be..... Look at the filmmaker guy, he's an educated man but made a pro-kidnapping film.... and he's talking about "reviving some of the aspects of the culture" if nobody gives them an alternative way of building identity or a new culture, which is consistent with modern values, then they will keep "reviving other aspects of the culture" and hell knows what weird aspect they will "revive" next.....

      One must keep in mind that these 5 countries are basically new countries without long history as separate nations.
      The national identity struggle becomes even tougher because of the geographical reasons that you mention - the culture is very similar to Mongolian (nomadic), their language is Turkic (except Tajiks), religion is Islam, alphabet is Cyrillic so Turkey tries to attract them with "Turkic brotherhood" ideologies, Muslim world plays the religious card, Russia plays the FSU brotherhood card, China attracts by the trade..... etc, etc.

      But none of them offers a "civilization model" that can be considered modern, based on common sense and with long term development possibilities.

    3. wald0

      This film was not pro-kidknapping at all. He even said at the end that he feels they do this for the same reason a dog licks his b@lls, because they can. As far as them saying the west offers no model for them to turn to, I agree. Our society has become very shallow and twisted in a large way. Not every American however is twisted or shallow, keep that in mind. Our culture has been shaped by capitalistic practices and individualism, which leads to materialistic values and a loss of unity- in my opinion. We are taught from the time we are born to be very competetive and to strive to define ourselves as unique, which creates diversity but also division.
      However, there are pros and cons to every cultural model, no one culture is all good or all bad. The problem with most cultures is that they refuse to examine other cultures or thier own objectively and choose the good while leaving the bad behind. Our culture suffers this problem as well but, not to the degree this one does. They will never find one model that is all positive, but as a new nation they have the benefit of taking a little from here and a little from there until they create a unique and positive culture all thier own. Unfotunately it looks as if they will do the same thing most other cultures seem to have done, choose one ideology and see it as "all good" and all others as "all bad". In these cultures if you step outside of what they consider the norm you are immediately seen as "bad" and you are ostracized, which means the culture never evolves.
      Maybe it is because we are a country of immigrants but for some reason even though we do see differences as a bad thing most of the time we do accept enough of them that we do eventually evolve- all be it too slowly. A person that lived here thirty years ago, like myself, sometimes feels overwhelmed by how different things are. If things don't change, if this culture continues to see all difference as bad and refuses to accept any ideas they consider foreign to the degree that they will give their children away before breaking tradition, thirty years from now it will be exactly the same.

    4. Emit Brown

      Sorry, I wasn't very clear - I was referring to the film that was made by a local director and was a pro-kidnapping local movie discussed in this documentary, but NOT to this documentary itself.

      I couldn't agree more with everything else you said.

    5. slpsa

      Yeah, as waldo did, coming from that perspective, it makes a little more sense now. The sense of identity is important, this practice though, is misguided, and degrading, we all agree there I am sure. There has to be a better way to feel nationalistic and tribal. That being said, real men would not do this type of marriage. I mean, guys, seriously? LOL! Think this through. I marry a woman I do not know at all? Accept a complete stranger into my life who might hate me from the word go, never mind it is a female?? Any man with a brain knows what I mean. You want to live with an angry woman who hates you? Ya got to be kidding me man. LOLOL! Any married man knows, that is not a good idea. At all. You would live to regret that poor decision every single stinking miserable day she made your life hell. Western women, would eat those men alive. Straight up. It is not really a funny subject, but that thought occurred to me first. There should be a warning label attached taking an angry female into your house where there are sharp objects. Do so at own risk: keep your exterior body parts protected at all times: sleep with one eye open. LOL! I had to interject some humor guys, this **** sometimes just saddens me to much, what a fcked up planet with fcked up people.

    6. wald0

      Truer words have never been spoken. I am woman, hear me roar!!! I lived with an angry female for about three months and still have the scars to prove it, and she wasn't even angry at me- according to her. I never knew a straighten out coat hanger could be used as a deadly weapon, she was like Macgyver on crack!!

    7. Emit Brown

      My cousin was kidnapped by a guy from her village. The guy was and is a jerk; she married her because of the retardness of her parents. Usually women don't have much choice either they accept the fact or they kill themselves (intentionally exaggerating), if they misbehave they may be bitten or/and divorced, after which there is very little chance for them to get married again, and you know, in this kind of places everything is all about marriage and kids it's not that they have many job offers from different companies or can build a career....

      In societies like this people usually don't have touts that deep to understand what you are talking about, love is not important. Everything is predefined: what man is, how he must behave, how the wife must behave, what she/he can or cannot do/say, even what is acceptable in the bed......

      That's why people who have other world views usually leave the place instead of trying to change it.

    8. PeSO821

      @ Emit Brown - like your comments - it is good when people who are acctually from some culture, comment on it.

    9. Emit Brown

      @ PeSO821 - Thanks, but that has a high price. For criticizing the traditions and mentality - I'm labeled as an ungrateful traitor and a non-patriot almost by everyone I know from my home country))

    10. slpsa

      Yes, I understand why it is this way. For certain countries, they know no other way of life, and to those people, it is normal to do these things. The West does have a tendency to judge, and force change on people and their belief systems. That is essentially wrong on many levels, but so is forcing someone to do another's bidding, regardless of their feelings. It is forced slavery in my humble opinion.

    11. Emit Brown

      You know, judging and forcing change is not a bad thing in some cases, but off course not by bombs, everything must be gradual and focused on the mentality. In a nut shell- all this cr*p is a consequence of an outdated mentality.

  28. over the edge

    claiming it is tradition only means that they have been terrorizing women for a long time. wrong is wrong no matter how long you have been doing it

  29. jonathon wisnoski

    "Nearly half of all marriages in rural Kyrgyzstan are a result of the practice, with the most common justification being “tradition.”"

    But how do they differentiate between traditionalised abduction (going through the motions with complete consent) and actual abduction?

    1. wald0

      Dude, from what I saw they are all real abductions. I mean some of the women talked about knowing before hand they would be abducted but, they still didn't want it to happen even when they wanted to marry the man. Almost everyone of them said they didn't want to get married this way, even if they loved the man. I for one can see exactly why, how humiliating to be jerked out of your own life, your own plans destroyed, dreams broken like some cheap ashtray- and then some s.0.b. tries to tell you how they love you, how you are going to be happy. I wouldn't commit suicide, I would commit homicide first and at least rid the world of such an arrogant so called "man" befor I ended myself.

    2. jonathon wisnoski

      You saw a handful of cherry picked cases, not a statistical analysis of a culture.

  30. davy11

    kind of like what the travellers do, when they grab a girl. only this is 10 times worse.
    brilliant soundtrack also. lol

  31. Declan_Walsh

    This...made me feel terrible on so many levels. Abducting that poor girl and guilting her into marriage. followed by the statistics on depression, abuse and suicide within this "practice". Of course there are much worse goings on in the world. Nevertheless I feel a big knot in the pit of my stomach after watching this strange "tradition"...damn.

  32. wald0

    Wow!! I have no idea what to say about something like this except that it is so foreign to me I have never even concieved of such a thing really happening. I did once see a native Amazonian tribe that practiced a very odd but somewhat simular ritual. When men and women became what they considered marrying age they all stripped down and placed these reflective fish scales on certain parts of thier anatomy that i wont mention. Then all the girls get a head start running through the jungle and the guys try to catch the one they want. The rule is that if you can catch her you can have her for your wife. They did say though that many of the guys and girls planned on who would catch them and made agreements before hand to make sure it turned out that way. Still, if another guy wanted her as well- you or she one better be able to out run him. Because if he caught her it was too bad for you or her, he was her husband. They also said some trading went on after the ritual, you know "I caught yours and you caught mine, so lets trade now." However these trades had to be agreed to by both sides and the medicine man of the tribe.
    But I didn't see anyone crying or screaming throughout all this, on the contrary they seemed to be having a blast. This doc showed plainly that these girls are not having a blast to say the least, they are in fact frightened out of thier mind it seems. Sure they calm down and accept when they get there, with all those people they don't know pushing them to do so and them stranded somewhere they have never even been, knowing no one will help them, and havng just experienced being jerked out of their lives against their will- given enough time I can make anyone agree to anything under those circumstances. Tradition my a55, these men do this because they can- just like the doc said. They should be ashamed to call themselves men.

  33. Cyber Penguin

    O.o ...... Wow.


  34. John Krisfalusci

    What the heck? I thought this was a friendly place like Borat said LOL

    1. Chris Makin

      That's Kazakhstan.