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Irina Lidzhieva, Rituals connected with children

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Terbish, Baasanjav 
Churyumova, Elvira 


Irina talks about name giving practices and the ritual of the first haircut. About name giving. When a child is born, the parents should give their own parents a gift and ask them to say a well-wish. In their turn, the grandparents of the newly born baby give their daughter-in-law a scarf so that she gives birth to more children. In the past, it was grandparents who named their grandchildren. Today, by contrast, it is the parents. Irina’s daughter, Baira, received her name from Irina’s father. In the past, people did not go to lamas to ask for a name for their babies. Sometimes babies were named after the person who visited the house during the birth. Paternal uncles could also name babies. About the first haircut. Babies have their first haircut when they are 1. The first bundle is cut by the baby’s maternal uncle who before the ritual touches the baby’s head with white and yellow coins, and wishes prosperity for the baby. Then the uncle gives the baby a gift (in the past it was livestock). The hair is cut and wrapped in a cloth to be kept in the house. When babies grow up, the parents return their first hair to them.



Name giving, first haircut, rituals

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