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Dmitriy Mandzhiev, Rules and Prohibitions

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Terbish, Baasanjav 


Dmitriy talks about traditional prohibitions and ways of proper behavior: When we sell livestock, we always choose an auspicious day for transaction. In Kalmykia there are a lot of prohibitions: you cannot cross your arms on your chest, you cannot hold your hands behind your back, if you are a man you cannot sit like a woman, and things like that. It is forbidden to whistle in the house or at night because it is believed that such an activity results in the whistlers losing money. It is also forbidden to sing at night. Since night is the time of evil forces, no fun is permitted. In the past when saiga antelopes ran freely across the steppe, we did not hunt them. Kalmyks believed that they were special animals. As for dogs, we had one that lived with us for many years. When it died, my father buried it as you would bury a person. He said that the dog had brought many benefits to the family. He wrapped the dog in a cloth, put a piece of fat in its mouth, and buried it. We never kept cats because they do not suit us. Old people used to say that goats look like devils. That is why we also do not keep these animals.



Rules, prohibitions

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Kalmyk Cultural Heritage Documentation Project, University of Cambridge

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Sponsored by Arcadia Fund, a charitable fund of Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin