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Hospitality and incredible friendliness
It is difficult to write about local customs of a country which is more a mishmash of several different ethnic groups. But the most important local custom is the friendliness and hospitality of the people. Foreigners are still a quite “rare” sight in Tajikistan and the Pamir region, at least compared to the typical tourist destinations in Europe, Asia and Americas. So it is quite normal that foreigners are welcomed all and everywhere. But it is also a deep-rooted tradition to treat them/us as guests with the highest respect. You’ll be invited for tea so often or people start talking to you in the streets, often in excellent English. Do not reject this – but answer all their countless questions, it is a lot of fun and changes own perceptions quite quickly. Even if they only speak their local language or Russian, sign language is easy, too.
Most of the people are Muslims, so try to repect their way of living by remembering some important behavioural rules. I found a good website with the most common ones: a clear guide to Islam and it mentions the following:
· never eat with your left hand, use only the righ hand (the left is used for washing and cleaning); shake hands only with people of same gender;
· don’t kiss or hug in the public;
· take off your shoes when entering a house – or ask in case of doubt;
The most beautiful gesture in all the 3 Central Asia countries I visited last summer was the one for saying thank you: put your right hand on your heart and slightly bow your head.
What I found most interesting and a local custom indeed is the existence of separate booths in restaurants – you can dine in privacy and draw the curtain.Related to:
- Road Trip
- Hiking and Walking
I took this photo of three Tajik youngsters along with their goat, on the road towards the border with Afghanistan they are wearing traditional Tajik dress which is very reconisable with the very bright coloured dresses(kurta) and trousers(izor) the woman usauly wear matching headscavers known as rumoiRelated to:
- Adventure Travel
- Hiking and Walking
- Budget Travel
Is it a bush ??
Watch out for the moving bushs from a distance it was hard to work out what it was as my first thought was?That bush is moving? Its only as it got closer I realised it was in fact a donkey carring a load of ! fodder I suspect for the coming winterRelated to:
- Adventure Travel
- National/State Park
The chidren are very curious...
The chidren are very curious and friendly but reserved. They just like to look at you and whisper to each other. This boy was taken in Penjikent, a silk road city. When driving into the mountains the chidren would run along the jeeps trying to keep up as entertainment. Some would run to the road and jump rope, some pretended to jump without ropes. I spoke to a mountain Doctor, who is very concerned. Evidently they were getting vaccines and clothes from Save The Chidren untill last year, now due to the political climate there is no more aid. The worry is that tourists will bring disease to the now unvaccinated chidren. Ironically the British are still mining gold in the mountains despite the unrest and the danger to the chidren. I just wish some of the gold went towards the needy!!!
Prospekt Ismoili Somoni 26/1, Dushanbe, 734026, Tajikistan
Good for: Families
str. Lev Tolstoy 9, Dushanbe, 734003, Tajikistan
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22 Shotemur Ulitsa, Dushanbe, 734001, Tajikistan
Satisfaction: Very Good
Good for: Solo
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