Children are highly valued in the Khanty culture. What distinguished a Khanty man was the love he showed to his wife and children. If the child or wife of a Khanty man became sick, he would spend his time caring for them and abandon his normal activities until they were fully recovered. Khanty parents are quite affectionate towards their children, both legitimate and illegitimate. They hold them in their hands, caress them, kiss them and generally play and have fun with them. The word Khanty can be translated to mean man. Khantys were originally hunters. They used bows and arrows to hunt in the past but with the the advancement of technology, they started using guns. Legend has it that a Khanty hunter could strike several ducks at the same time using just one arrow.
The Khanty language was previously known as Ostyak. It is the language spoken by the Khanty people who live in Russia. The language can also be written as Xanty, Khanti and Hanty. The language has many dialects that are broadly divided into the western, southern and the eastern dialects. They have great dialectical differences based on the phonetic and lexical features. This has made the dialects to be mutually unintelligible, to the extent that they can be considered to be separate but closely related languages. The southern dialect is thought to be currently extinct.
There are approximately 1,200 people who speak the language, out of which 550-990 are considered to be native speakers. The language is also spoken in Siberia. Most of the youngest speakers are aged between 25 to 35. Most speakers are bilingual and can speak Russian too. Khanty currently has no other related languages as Kott, Assan and Arin languages became extinct long ago. Khanty was written using the Latin alphabet from 1930-1937. The Cyrillic alphabet was then adopted. The main dialects that are used when it comes to writing in Khanty includes the Kazym, Middle-Ob and Shuryshkar dialects. When it comes to print and electronic media, the main dialect used is Kazym. Khanty is classified as a Uralic language.