He’s All Grown Up!

Today in my Uyghur language lesson my tutor was teaching me how to say the body parts of animals that humans don’t have, like hooves (tuyakh), horns (munguz), etc. When he taught me how to say wings (khanat), he also told me about a Uyghur saying:

“Khanat-khuyrukhi yitilip khaptu.”

Directly translated into English, this sentence is:

“His wings and feathers have grown.”

Uyghurs use this sentence to refer to a young man who has just reached manhood and is ready to leave home, just as a young bird is ready to leave the nest once its wings and tail feathers are grown.

I wouldn’t push the analogy too far, though. Unlike some birds, I don’t think many Uyghur parents would actually push their son out into the street, just because he’s become a man!

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