Bride Kidnapping in Kyrgyzstan: Video


Producer Jason Mojica and the folks at Vice have put together a disturbing documentary title "Bride Kidnapping in Kyrgyzstan." From Mojica's description of the project:

Host Thomas Morton, cameraman Bernardo Loyola and I traveled to the Issyk-Kul region of Kyrgyzstan where a family has been preparing their teenage son to kidnap his wife. Kubanti, who has just come of marrying age, has his eye on Nazgul, a teen girl from the next town over. Kubanti gathers his friends into an eight-seat minivan, and plots out the operation: lure the girl to the neighborhood watering hole, then ambush her and drag her kicking and screaming into the van and away from her family.

Click above to watch. This is part 1 and new episodes will be posted daily this week.

Bride kidnapping is illegal in Kyrzgyztan but is widely practiced and tolerated. For more on the subject, go here.

For more Vice video (including some involving former Reasoner Michael Moynihan) go here.

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  1. Bride kidnapping - the hope of poor, ugly men everywhere! Kidnap a hottie FTW!

    1. Works for the wildlings north of the Wall.

      1. Why is it that everyone who trolls Reason also reads the same shit I do and enjoys the same obscure hobbies?

        ASOIAF here...what's next? 40k?

        1. Not everybody; I had no idea what he was talking about.

          I don't go in for sci-fi/fantasy.

        2. For the Powers of the Warp and the glory of Chaos!

      2. I was hoping that someone would say this.

      3. Works for the Boltons and the Ironborn too, may the Others take them all.

  2. OMFG, Nazguls are REAL!!!!!!11!1!!oneone

    1. One does not simply walk into Kyrzgyztan.

      1. Borat, you?

    2. The Nazg?l means "Coy Rose" actually.

    3. You are confusing Middle Asia with Middle Earth. It happens to me all the time.

  3. has his eye on Nazgul


    1. The dark cloaks are so mysterious and alluring.

    2. Rule 34.

  4. I saw a documentary on this, on ID (Investigation Discovery) years ago. Back when it was called Discovery Times channel.

    Here it is.

    1. Due to me being lazy I have not looked up your new honorific...I must say that I am now extremely intrigued. Also, I will be using that word in conversation.

      1. Kallipygia -- Having well-shaped buttocks

        1. I should have said "had"...I commented due to my looking it up.

      2. It's my new name for my wife...although she objects to being called Kristen.

  5. I won't joke about this because it is pretty fucked up.

    1. You're no libertarian.

  6. It's cool though, the US government is totally capable of operating in a morally sound way in third world countries. Because the culture makes sense to us, and stuff.

  7. I would have thought that part of the world was awash in AK-47s. Which you would think would put a stop to this sort of thing.

    I suppose the local mens don't want to stop their neighbors from a little kidnapping and rape (why do we leave out the rape, part, anyway?)*, to keep their own option open.

    *I'm sure some of these are consensual, and amount to a combination bachelor party/elopement, but the nonconsensual ones seem to me to inevitably include rape.

    1. Customs are weird:

      In Estonia the bride's family kidnaps the bride to keep her away from teh groom.

      My cousin married an estonian girl, and gained much praise for fighting like a berserker, successfully thwarting the kidnapping.

      1. The body count was atrocious, but hey, what's a little head sniping between friends...

      2. Interesting. I can kind of see that as a way for the bride's family to assure themselves that the new husband is capable of protecting their daughter.

        1. I can see it going horribly wrong though if the guy is some sort of martial arts master though. Killing your in-laws might not go over so well (atleast with the mother in-law, some wives might see this as a perk).

          1. Estonia...
            Martial Arts Master...

            I think you're safe.

        2. What's funny is that in modern times, it's little more than a pro-forma hazing ritual. The groom shows he's a good sport and everybody has a laugh.

          I think they forgot to tell my cousin what was happening. Given that my cousin can hold his own in a fight, and had the balls to travel around the world with nothing but a backpack and a willingness to work odd jobs, it doesn't surprise me that he took on a drunken mob of future in laws and held them at bay. They were kind of surprised and hurt that he kicked their asses.

    2. Just imagine how fast this tradition would die if the girl had a glock and self defense class.

      "The groom was taken out first with a quick snap of the neck. Several of his friends recieved quick head shots. The survivors recieved numorous wounds while they were fleeing."

      And I'd smile just a little...

    3. There has to be far more going on than meets the western eye. If a family in the next town kidnapped my daughter - there would be funerals not a wedding.

      This has to be a variation on the Indian arranged wedding - with some wild Mongol stuff mixed in.

  8. BS. These women know they are being kidnapped. Stop with all this Margaret Meade crap.

    1. I'm sure its no secret to them that they are being kidnapped during the whole "dragged kicking and screaming into a van by a bunch of guys" thing.

      The question is, have they already agreed to marry the groom? Doesn't sound like it, in many cases.

    2. If they don't want to be kidnapped, they shouldn't dress so provocatively!

      Actually though, +1 to rac. I do think the moral horror is more spin to satisfy Western sensibilities than anything else.

      1. When a Kyrgyz man decides to marry, he often abducts the woman he has chosen. Typically, he and several friends hire a car, stake out his bride-to-be's movements, snatch her off the street, and take her to the groom's family home. A delegation is then sent to her family. The abducted woman is held until someone from her family arrives to determine whether they will accept the "proposal" and she will agree to marry her kidnapper.

        Not so congenial after all

        1. I had a Kyrgyz friend years ago and I asked her about it? they're a little embarrassed by the international attention it brings them.

          But I did learn that the girl is supposed to agree. Sometimes members of the girl's family help with the abduction and usually the delegation from her family that comes tries to persuade her to agree.

          I read elsewhere that it usually the mother and grandmothers who try to persuade her to agree the most since they usually were kidnapped, too.

          1. So just a normally baskwards country. A little less shock and awe might be in order in the future since America is dictating the worlds customs (unless you're our nominal friend).

    3. I wonder if we'll see a gradual weakening of the violence as occured with the Estonian custom I related above.

  9. I'm always getting hassled about *my* name, too. But at least I'm not forced into being someone's bride.

  10. Hey look, it's tradition marriage that's been defined unchanging for the past 3,000 years!

    1. Well I'm glad to hear that. It makes everything OK knowing that people have been doing this for thousands of years.

      1. I think you missed the subtle point here.

    2. Hey look, it's tradition marriage female genital mutilation that's been defined unchanging for the past 3,000 years!


  11. Gun rights are woman rights, Kyrgystan needs both rights.

    1. How about this idea: we just leave Kyrgystan the f*k alone and worry about our own problems. Saving the world from itself gets so tiring.

      1. Yes. If Kyrgyz women wanted this practice to stop, they would stop it. But as happens in such cultures, the women of the community become the fiercest enforcers of the tradition, regardless of its brutality. It's the women who hold their daughters and granddaughters down while they are genitally-mutilated; it's the old women who sell their granddaughters out to be stoned in the streets for having been seen talking to a boy; and here (as you can see in the video) the elder women trap, hold, cajole, and abuse the kidnapped girl.

        I'd like our government to stop wasting my money trying to fight for the "freedoms" of women who have stated loud and clear with their actions (or inactions) that they don't want to be liberated; they like living in the f***ing Dark Ages.

        1. But it's still our fault. You would know this if you didn't stop going to the meetings.

      2. Is anyone here advocating sending the troops? No? Ok then shut the fuck up. We can talk about how disgusting this practice is if we want to.

        1. see zeroentitlement above

          Put a gun to my head, steal my money, and piss it away on some ill-advised campaign to change another country's culture.

          And stop trying to tell me to shut up. I get to speak, too. I do. I do.

      3. Hey bozo how you manage to link wanting gun rights to supporting invasion is your idiotic thinking, not mine.

    2. Thank God all cultures are equal and no one is better than another!

  12. This is a job for Obama.


  13. For some reason, this comes to mind.

    Ash: Alright you primitive screwheads, listen up! You see this? This... is my boomstick! The twelve-gauge double-barreled Remington. S-Mart's top of the line. You can find this in the sporting goods department. That's right, this sweet baby was made in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Retails for about a hundred and nine, ninety five. It's got a walnut stock, cobalt blue steel, and a hair trigger. That's right. Shop smart. Shop S-Mart. You got that?

    1. Gimme some sugar, baby!

      1. Good?


        I'm the guy with the GUN!

  14. Doesn't the etymology of the word "rape" trace back to seizing and carrying off women in this fashion (e.g., Rape of the Sabine Women)?

    1. I've seen the musical version of this. It's called Seven Brides for Seven Brothers and the audience always roots for the seven brothers.

    2. I'm pretty sure the word "rape" comes from an Etruscan root which means "she says no, but she really means yes".

      1. Where the rubber meets the road!

        Yes means no means yes means no means yes means no!

        Yes means no means yes means no means yes means no!

        Where the rubber meets the road!

    3. Steve Smith's ears are burning and he doesn't know why.

  15. Relax--Hollywood just needs to turn this into a musical, and everyone will think it's cute.


    1. DAMN YOU, RRR!

  16. So, Reason finally writes a story pointing out a negative aspect of Islam (I think you missed that story about the woman being forced to marry her rapist in Afghanistan so she can get out of jail for being raped).

    Yet somehow you fail to mention Islam in the article.

    1. Bigot much?

    2. Because it is a cultural tradition specific to one area of the world that has nothing to do with Islam?

      There are many Islamic countries where women are treated like shit. This particular practice has nothing to do with Islam though.

  17. In Kyrgyzstan, the president is not the one who gets the most votes, but the one who can carry a woman against her will for the longest distance.

  18. I guess the STEVE SMITH meme is played out. 50+ comments and not one sasquatch rape joke.

    1. Soldier: Sir, it's the Incredible Hulk and he's fighting some kind of one eyed monster in downtown!

      General: If Hulk wants to masterbaute in public, then there's not much anyone can do about it...

  19. Seriously, no GRRM reference yet? The Kyrgyks are just free people from beyond the wall.

    1. It's only, like, the second freaking comment on the story.

  20. Well, no country in Central Asia is a libertarian paradise. At least they have semi-free elections and people aren't boiled alive like in Uzbekistan.

    I wonder why vice picks out Kyrgyzstan and not one of its neighbours.

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