The main holiday of the baby is "Kyrkynan shygaru"
Today, many national customs are being revived. One of them is the main and fashionable baby celebration - "Kyrkynan shygaru" ("40 days").
Agree, now all Kazakh families celebrate this day and know how to spend it properly. But do we know the true, sacred meaning of the holiday? Further, relying on science, it should be noted the importance of the first date in the life of a baby.
Different nations have many books about parenting. Many of the world's bestsellers become handbooks for us, whereas our ancestors have been setting the right parenting model for thousands of years, passing it from generation to generation (for example, they knew the true meaning of celebrating 40 days of a newborn).
Since ancient times, the correct upbringing of the younger generation among the Kazakhs has been a key aspect of culture, because children are the meaning of the life of our people. This is evidenced by the majority of holidays related to children. In Kazakh families, every level of development and formation of a child is traditionally celebrated. For example, before the birth of a baby, the female half of the family is preparing for a joyful event and hold "Kursak shashu", ("Throwing gifts because of pregnancy") only women are invited to this event who share with the expectant mother the experience of raising and caring for the baby.
James McKenna, Ph.D., professor of anthropology at the University of Notre Dame, conducted a study trying to link the maturity of a child's brain at birth with the anthropological structure of our species. In his article published in 1994 in the journal "Nature of Children", it is written: "When an ancient woman evolved to stand on two legs, the structure of her pelvic bone narrowed, resulting in human kids being born 3-4 months earlier. This process allows babies to be born safely - before the baby's head gets too big." Western scientists call this unique stage in human development the "fourth trimester". That is, after birth, the maturation of the nervous system and brain takes place. During this period, the infant learns to contact the outside world, his respiratory system is regulated.
After the birth of a child, "Kyrkynan shygaru" is kept – it means that a newborn who has reached the 40-day milestone is considered a full-fledged family member. For 40 days, such rituals as "Besikke salu" ("Laying in the cradle"), "Syl-sipau" ("Bathing in salt water"), «At koyu – Azan Shakyru" ("Naming") are performed. This honorary right is given to a noble or famous person who says the toddler's name in both ears while reading a ritual prayer.
To sum up, I emphasize that even today the ancient rites of nomads for the upbringing of children, that take into account biological and physiological changes in the body, develop the child as a representative of an ethnic group, and bear the age-old wisdom of the Kazakh people, remain in demand and relevant among our contemporaries.
* Baby's Fourth Trimester: Helping Your Baby Make a Peaceful Transition from Womb to World By Katie Amodei // https://www.parentmap.com/article/babys-fourth-trimester-helping-your-baby-make-a-peaceful-transition-from-womb-to-world.
Author: Madina Kurbanaliyeva
Translator: Chingiz Smakov
Photo: author's personal collection