One of the very interesting customs is the friendship between coevals (kurdas).
Kurdastyk kalzhyn (literary: “kurdas” – contemporary relative, “kalzhyn” – joke).
People born in the same year, i.e. coevals should be very friendly to each other. According to Kazakh national traditions they love to play jokes on each other, even behind their backs.
Coevals, born on the same day and month, are called tuiyedey kurdas, that is, real, true relatives. Wives of these kurdas are also considered as kurdas, and their children are not left behind. If the fathers are kurdas, then their children are also kurdas.
In the oral folklore the jokes and funny tricks of the coevals are often retold and long communicated.
Among Kazakhs there was a very spread tradition of blood brother – tamyr (root).
Such different people were friends regardless of age and circumstances. They found each other in various situations. Usually, people, who became friends once, were kissing a saber or a dagger and in front of witnesses were giving an oath: “From now on let only death separate us”. Nobody, with rare exceptions, ever broke that tamyr, never offended each other; they were always first to come with help, sharing hardships and joy. Faithful friendship of the two tamyrs could also be strengthened by the marriage or friendship of their children.
Kazakh people had family relations from father’s side were counted way back to the seventh generation. The seventh generation was called “nemene” (“what’s that?”) or “shopshek” (“dry, thin, withered branches of a tree”), and from mother’s side – “tuazhat” (“alien to the kin”).
Hence, in the eighth generation from male and female’s sides any real family relations lost their meanings forever.
Therefore, all the family relations between Kazakhs lasted till the seventh generation, and only then there were peculiar relations.
So, from the time immemorial there were family relations and also relations turning up as a result of matchmaking and marriages. Traditional support of each other in different situations was the basis of their lives, and every generation not only followed them sacredly but also carried them out.
Dzhelbudin E.T. Traditions and customs of Kazakhs. Adet-Guryp.
By Malika MURSALIMOVA