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RESPECT FOR THE OLD

Vankayeva Dayana
A student of the Kalmyk state
financial economic college.

I am a future accounter. My hobby is playing basketball and volleyball. It is interesting for me to study English too. My family is not so large. I have a mother and a grandmother. I like to listen to my granny’s stories about her childhood. She also often tells me about customs and traditions of Kalmyk people. I would like to tell you about one of them.

The Kalmyks have many customs and traditions, which were introduced in the ancient times of their Mongol history. Most of these customs and traditions are still alive today.
Some Kalmyk sayings are instructive like «First respect your elder brother and then your younger one» or «A man is a man, when he has his elder brother to respect like a coat is a coat when it has an altar». These moral lessons have been handed down from one generation to another, teaching children to respect and obey their parents and elders. As adults a man and a woman were to honor and respect those who were older, never allowing familiarities with them or interfering in their conversation.
On festive occasions (weddings, holidays) the old people were the first to start conversation and only then they were followed by other guests. When an old man was entering a house young people supported him from both sides and opened the door for him. While entering the house a young man was to give a way to an old one. When an old person or a guest was leaving young people were ready to saddle his horse and see him off. A sheep was slaughtered for a guest staying with the family over night to show a host’s respect for him. Refusal of the offer of drink and food was considered rude, pompous and insulting to the host and hostess. A guest never left without a present and a special ceremony took place here: a present (which was usually a dress or a piece of fabric) was to be put on the guest’s right shoulder with a wish of happiness to him and his family. A leaving guest was seen off to the main road by accompanying horsemen.

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