It's been interesting to ask people about Kyrgyz funeral traditions over the last week after we attended a funeral. Most of the people we've asked have been under 35; nearly all of those were critical of some aspect of their traditions.
The biggest concern was the money spent and the obligations of various family members. Many customs in Kyrgyzstan are based on nomadic traditions. It's almost impossible to visit a Kyrgyz family, no matter how poor, without them offering you something to eat. If they've invited you over, you can expect a lot of food and to be sent home with leftovers. A logical tradition if you've traveled for miles to see someone and will have a long journey home.
But funerals can get a bit over the top. We've been told that depending on your family relationship, a gift of between $25-$75 is appropriate. That's at least month's salary for many families. I'd worry a bit if I were required to give thousands of dollars every time a close relative died.
Interestingly, many of the people who thought that the funeral traditions were too expensive and unnecessary thought that the wedding traditions, which are at least as extravagant, were fine. People in the US might spend $20,000 on a wedding or a funeral, but taking the awful Kyrgyzstan economy into consideration, the $5,000 that might be spent in Kyrgyzstan is even more difficult to come up with.
Personally, I thought the Kyrgyz funeral we attended was beautiful, and my husband enjoyed the wedding he went to. But both could still be meaningful events without the expense.