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There is a fair amount of active lay participation in the ritual. Two boys hold the poles supporting the  tiered umbrellas. A children's choir, an innovation instituted long ago in Belgrade, augments the priestly  prayer recital at certain points. When the priests have finished "pacifying the malicious," as their refrain  goes, three laymen make a libation of milk, one of them holding the bowl as a second flips the sacrifice  from a green plant and a third leads their prayer recital. Throughout the ceremonials of itrits and ovti the  older members of the congregation count their rosaries and pass a prayer wheel among themselves.  Others stand or sit by reverently. 
The sacred part of the day is over when people come to the altar before Mader, make obeisance, leave  a contribution, and go to a priest to be blessed and receive the blessed water in their hands to drink and  rub into their hair. Then they fall to for a picnic. 

They sit in family groups according to their old territorial memberships in the Don region, but, as the  eating and drinking get under way, there is much moving about to pay respects and drink with kinsmen  and old friends from other territories. These are people whom they will visit and bring gifts to on other  holidays and see on any other convenient occasion; for whom they have or will help defray the expenses  of a wedding, donating dowry if they are kin to the bride and money if to the groom; and to whom they  will give moral and material aid in case of need. For Kalmyks like to be with one another, they will tell  you, and they maintain as wide a circle of relationships as possible. The group is like a network of  mutually felt obligations, often generously fulfilled. 

The traditional entertainment accompanying the Increase and Cairn festivals has changed in form but  persists in essence. On the steppes long ago, young Kalmyk men would have displayed their prowess at  such sports as horse racing, archery, and wrestling. Today someone may organize a foot-race and  wrestling matches for young boys. Older people may break out in a spate of traditional dancing.  Eventually these activities give out, and people return to simply drinking and talking together for the  rest of the afternoon. Human relationships are important.

                    On early adjustment of the Kalmyks to the United States see:
                    Paula G. Rubel: The Kalmyk Mongols: A Study in Continuity and Change
                                               Bloomington, Ind., 1967

                    see also: David F. Aberle: The Kinship system of the Kalmuk Mongols
                                   Albuquerque, Uni. of New Mexico, 1953.
                                   (New Mexico Uni. Publications in Anthropology, no. 8)

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