Kazakh Kinship

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The kinship ties play an important role in a person’s life. Schneider defines kinship as a way or ways of determining who is important to us or connected to us (“family”). It is possible to distinguish between two types of the kinship: the blood one, which is based on the principle that the “blood is thicker than water” – the idea that the genetic relations are more solid than other types of relations (emotional or social). In addition to it, however, also the phenomenon of the chosen kinship exists. It is a type of the kinship which is explicitly defined as a conscious choice of individuals who agree to play an important role in each other’s life. In the framework of this theory I conducted an interview with a student from our university.…show more content…
(Rubin) This can be seen from the tradition typical in Kazakh families to learn the “жеті ата”, the names of seven closest ancestors from father’s line: father, grand-father great-grand father and so on. My peer mentioned that he also needed to learn this. The rationale for this tradition lies in Kazakhs’ giving a lot of importance to necessity to avoid incest as people who had intersections in these “жеті ата.” This also shows the highly negative attitude of Kazakh people towards incest and taking serious measures to avoid it (Levi-Strauss). And it fits with the Rivers’ argument about the importance of pedigrees being regulation of marriage to avoid mixtures of the blood line. Kazakh people still use the pedigree for this purpose which has deep roots in the tradition. In addition to it, this tradition also reflects the importance of the father’s line in the…show more content…
Malinowski) in the interview with my peer I found some examples of such phenomena in his family. In particular, he described best friend of his older brother as his own brother. And he mentioned that that friend has a similar attitude as he regarded my peer as his own little brother. This is also reflected in the way of addressing as my peer can call him “аға” which is translated as older brother. Another example of chosen kinship is “кiндiк шеше” which is god mother, she is also considered as a part of the family by my peer, although they are not connected by the blood. Finally, he says that he can refer to some of his friends-like brothers. This means, that consanguinity is very important for Kazakh family. Still, there are many examples of fictive kinship as well, so Schneider’s principle of “blood is thicker than water”, i. e. “the idea that relations genetic are more solid than other types of relations (emotional or social)” does not always work as my peer argues that these “fictive” brothers may be equally important for him as his blood brothers and he even calls them
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