Uzbekistan Local Customs

  • one dollar photo of poor Misha
    one dollar photo of poor Misha
    by josephescu
  • 3 weddings on the main street
    3 weddings on the main street
    by josephescu
  • the dance of joy
    the dance of joy
    by josephescu

Uzbekistan Local Customs

  • An old tradition

    The name, Timur, Uzbekistan's all-conquering hero and favourite name for newborn baby boys, means "iron" and metalwork of all sorts has a long and illustrious history all through Central Asia. Beautifully wrought metal grilles and screens can still be seen in buildings, bronze ewers and bowls are for sale in the markets along with a fearsome array...

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  • Chaps in chapans

    Older Uzbek men often wear a chapan - a long coat - all year round, lightweight in summer, padded in winter, plain for everyday wear and spendidly striped for best. Whilst young men tend to choose Western (Russian) dress for everyday wear , when mornings start to get chilly many of them join their elders and opt for a traditional thickly padded...

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  • Magnificent embroidery

    Embroidery becomes art in Uzbekistan. The wonderfully fine work coupled with an extraordinary sense of design and colour produces work of a vibrancy and beauty that is recognized the world over as unique and very, very special. The term suzane is often used to cover the whole range of embroidery found throughout the region although, to be correct,...

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  • Growing old

    Age is no disgrace in Uzbekistan -unlike many western nations. Here to be called an aksakal-a "whitebeard" is a mark of repect, a recognition of one's place as an elder of the family and the community, someone whose opinions are considered important and who has earned the right to sit in the sun with friends and contemporaries, to while away the...

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  • Tying the knot

    Look beyond the initial kitch appearance of Khiva's wedding palace with its stork over the exit and plastic flowering trees and you will see ancient symbolism here. The little blue tiles inset in the brick walls are ancient Zoroastrian symbols - they were inserted when the palace was built - not as a government building but as the Mohammed Amin...

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  • The staff of life

    Uzbek bread , non, baked in a clay oven called a tandir, looks and tastes wonderful, big round golden-brown loaves, highly glazed and decorated with a variety of patterns and maybe seeds in the middle. Each baker has his own pattern, customers are particular about the bread they prefer and no meal is complete without it.Every region has its own...

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  • Green tea, or black?

    Green tea (kok choy) - this is the tea of hospitality - is the first choice for drinking in Uzbekistan. Black tea (quora choy)is always available though and is the favourite of Tashkenters. Spiced teas are also available in some places - the Silk Road Spices Teahouse in Bukhara has a good range. What you won't get is tea with milk, though lemon and...

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  • The chaikhana - a way of life

    The chaikhana (tea house) is completely central to the Uzbek way of life. Whether it's a shady, green oasis like those around the Lyab-i Khauz in Bukhara or a couple of carpeted low day beds with tables fixed in the middle (a takhta)out under a tree along a country road, elaborately balconied amid thick trees in Samarkand, a swish affair of tented...

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  • Bride and groom

    As well as the Western dress for the civil ceremony, if there is to be a traditional wedding celebration, the bride and groom will need the elaborate traditional dress seen here. Many of their friends and family will be dressed in this way too - a splendid sight. The girl here was buying her robe in the market in Tashkent, the "groom" in this...

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  • Uzbeck weddings

    Weddings are a time for great celebration everywhere in Uzbekistan. Often costing a huge amount of money ( a recent presidential decree has called for a reduction in the spending on weddings as costs , and rivalry to put on a bigger and better "do" spiral), a traditional wedding involves at least two days of celebration. A ceremony at the local...

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  • Hats to see and hats to collect

    You can buy doppis, wedding hats and some others worn as everyday dress at markets. Hats worn for weddings, by both bride and groom, are particularly elaborate. The bride has a white embroidered and beaded square hat with a long beaded fringe that hangs down her back and she will wear this for some time after the wedding when she is dressed up and...

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  • Wild and woolly

    The huge sheepskin hats that are seen for sale in Uzbekistan are telpek , the traditional head gear of the Turkmen of western Central Asia. Looking at them, you can't help but wonder how they could wear such a hat year-round - in the depth of winter, yes - but on a baking summer's day ? In fact, it's claimed that these hats create their own...

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  • Everyday hats

    More than any other item of clothing, it is the vast array of little skull caps that are the most recognizable thing about Uzbek dress. Virtually all men over the age of 35 or 40 wear the square black, brown, grey or blue doppi or tyubiteika trimmed with white embroidery - satin or velvet for best, cloth, leather or even printed card for everyday....

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  • ...this is now

    Although many women wear standard western dress these days, others choose a charming mix of the traditional and the modern. For high days and holidays, the wonderfully colourful Ikat silks that the country is famous for are greatly favoured, whilst everyday wear often features a synthetic version of the same patterns. A long tunic ( kuljak) over...

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  • That was then ...

    This is what the well-dressed Uzbek woman used to wear when she went out. A heavy velvet cloak with long, impossibly narrow sleeves that served only for ornament known as a chevtan and a thick face-covering veil made of woven horsehair ,paranji, turned her into a stiff cut-out shape that bore absolutely no resemblance to the human form. Whilst...

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  • Making silk on the Silk Road

    Within 6 weeks of taking charge of their precious stock of silkworms, the (by now exhausted) farmers are ready to sell the cocoons back to the factory that supplied them. That initial 20 grams or so of worms yields about 100 kilos of cocoon, which will earn the farmer about $200, a large sum in Uzbekistan and one that makes all the effort of the...

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  • Rock-a-bye baby

    Nappies (diapers) and nappy rash are unknown to babies who sleep in a traditional Uzbek cradle known as a beshik. An ingenious arrangement of a hole in the base, a little wooden device (one for girls, a different one for boys - and don't ask me how it works - there are some things even the most eloquent hand gestures can't really explain), firm...

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  • An insatiable appetite

    Drive down practically any country road or highway in Uzbekistan and you will be struck by the miles and miles of mulberry trees that line the roadsides and fields. They are an essential part of the country's silk industry. For a short six weeks in spring everybody who can possibly be spared from other work will be harvesting the leaves to feed the...

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  • Uzbek Wedding!

    We came to Uzbekistan, just after Ramadan. In a consequence, we have seen even 15 weddings per day! In particular, Shahrisabz is a place where can you see plenty of couples in front of a huge monument of Timur.We have been even invited to participate in one wedding. Women on the left, men on the right and the elders in the middle. Guests are...

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  • Marriage in Uzbekistan

    If you as a foreigner want to marry an Uzbek citizen in Uzbekistan, please let me know if you need any help concerning what documetns you need there. I married there, so I have some experiences with authorities there.

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  • Time for tea?

    Like non (bread), tea is of great importance in Uzbek society, and there are rules and rituals attached to it. Tea is always served in small bowls, Chinese style, not in cups as at home, or in glasses as in other parts of the Arab world. It is considered impolite to fill the bowl – little and often is the rule – and the first pouring is returned to...

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  • Community spirit

    One of the things I admired as I learnt more about Uzbek society was the strong emphasis put on the importance of community, or malhalla. The community is there almost as an extended family, and can be called on to support people when needed, e.g. in times of illness or bereavement. This could be financial, practical and emotional support. The...

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  • Traditional head-gear

    Although most of the men (and indeed many of the women) in Uzbekistan wear western style clothes, they retain a strong affection for the traditional black and white cap. The photo shows one in the most common design, to which there is a nice story attached. The tale goes that a man who travelled a lot on business would always bring a present home...

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  • Non

    Bread, known as non, holds a special place in Uzbek society. Every region, and indeed every baker, has its own distinctive style, from the flaky pastry-like offerings in Bukhara to these elaborately decorated loaves in Samarkand. Patterns are created by stamping the unbaked loaves (you can buy the stamps in many souvenir shops in Bukhara for...

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  • The five pillars of Islam

    1) Shahada: Testifying to God's One-ness.2) Salat: Prayer.3) Zakat: Giving charity.4) Sawm: Fast.5) Hajj: Pilgrimage.This is not a religion course, only, the next pictures are pillars, carved by Muslims in various places of Uzbekistan. The wooden pillars are very common in central Asian architecture, and they are very often artistically carved and...

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  • There are all sorts of people

    There are all sorts of people. . . . and they do as everywhere, but it is Uzbekistan. . . . People of Uzbekistan seem to do what every people everywhere in the world do. . . playing, dancing, gather for big dinners. . . but it is here in a special (for westerners at least) atmosphere, and yes, people are very kind. Main picture: A kite above the...

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  • Just looking here and there, all sorts...

    Walking in the streets, even in the hot hours of the day (and in Summer, in Uzbekistan, it is HOT!), always brings unknown, strange, not ordinary sights to the eyes; just a few commented pictures of very ordinary scenes in fact.Main picture: For instance, on the registan of Bukhara; the walls of the Ark fortress, the Kalon Mosque and facing it the...

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  • Kaitarma, the tea ceremonial.

    What is Kaitarma ? It is the tea ceremonial, the way of serving tea and drinking tea.Green tea (zeliony chai) or black tea (chorny chai) are served the following way: Pour one cup of tea and pour it back in the tea pot, three times:First time is evil, danger, fire. . . so pour it back!Second time represents water which will neutralise the dangers,...

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  • The famous melons of Uzbekistan and...

    Yes, they are famous, and travellers since ages tell about the Khorezm melons, the Bukhara melons, the melons from the oasis, etc. . . “one of these delicious melons, with sweet white flesh which are really the kings of fruits ( Durrieux and Fauvelle, in “Samarcande”, 1901)"The pieces of melon are preserved as follows: a melon is sliced, just as we...

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  • Various headgear in Uzbekistan

    Men and women very often wear headgear in Uzbekistan, be it traditional, or modern; the pictures in the bazaars showed some already, and here are more in some detail, or from a crowd wearing all the same. . . Headgear has an aesthetic function, a practical purpose, but has also a religious and social function and meaning. It is not the same people...

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  • Rich smiles!

    Hahaha, yes rich smiles. An Uzbek tradition is to have golden teeth, and when people smile, it adds to the warmth of the smile.. . .(??) Is it expensive to let make golden teeth ? what is the purpose of it ? Some people say it is because of bad teeth only, other say it is a mean of savings. . . ? But there are not only golden smiles, bright white...

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  • Elegant umbrellas

    The umbrellas are much more elegant than baseball caps or other hats. . ! Visiting Uzbekistan in Summer bears seriously the risk of a sunstroke! Local people know the risk and take care. Umbrellas are a very common sight in cities and countryside; and umbrellas, besides being a very efficient and practical accessory can also be very elegant and...

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  • Bazaars, not only food!

    In bazaars, of course, you can find clothes, all sort of house appliances, TVs. . ., well, everything. In the pictures here, are some general views of the bazaars from the big cities. Usually there are three main parts in the bazaars: An open air area, where generally are installed kiosks and stalls selling clothes, household in general, small...

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  • Bazaars, where real life is!

    Small villages, big cities, bazaars are everywhere in Uzbekistan, and you can find almost everything in the bazaars of the big cities. The bazaars are very convivial places not only full of colours and scents, but also noises, and encounters are so easy and can be very funny. The kids there know more from Zidane and Materazzi than from - say -...

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  • The song of the steppe

    The traditional music of Central Asia is lovely - subtle and complex with strands of the music of both the Arab and the eastern world combining with the age-old rhythms and cadences of the nomadic bards of the steppe. The instruments it is played on are just as attractive - wonderfully organic shapes form the sounding boxes of 2-, 4- and 5-stringed...

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  • Drinking Tea

    Uzbeks love drinking tea! As in other many other cultures from warm climates, Uzbeks believe it is healthier to drink hot drinks rather than cold ones in hot weather. Tea is also a safer option than cold tap water when you're on the road, since the water has been boiled. Green tea (kok chai) is most common, but black tea (kora chai) can be found as...

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  • Markets

    Markets are a must while visiting Uzbekistan and all Central Asia. During your visit you'll see how people live and understand a bit more about the way people intereact with themselves. What they buy, eat and do socialy.You can buy all sort of things in big markets like in Samarkand: from bread to flowers, meat fish sweets, clothes, chickens etc...

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  • Street benches in Bukhara

    This is the way benches look like in Labi-hauz square in Bukhara. this seem to be a very confortable way of passing a afternoon. People drink tea and smoke, play card and enjoy life.

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  • Sweets stands on the street

    You'll find them all around the country and in a very concentrated number near big markets. This is a very cheap way of getting a sweet candy, ice-cream or cold drink strong flavoured with some quimic thing...

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  • Handicraft

    You should think that Uzbekistan is very rich in trditional handicraft coming al the way from the Real Silk Road era, well think again: IT IS! This is an amazing country full of ancient handicraft and still many ancient patterns and fabrics still remain. Silk carpets and scarves are a must to buy. This is golden embroidery found in Saifuddin...

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  • People and photography

    People in Uzbekistan love to be photographed. In this place behing one of Bukharas most important monument, The Kalon mosque on Nurabad street there's a couch market and all the men got together for a "family photo". You should avoid taking pitures without people's permission of course, like elsewhere in the world.

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  • Weekends in Uzbekistan

    Families get together for weekends after a full week of work. This is the perfect thing to join and gatter all the family members in order to maintain family contact and help between members.Country side is often the most well choosen destiny to people to go camping during weekend, this is a good way of runing away from the big cities hard polutted...

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  • Melting pot of cultures

    All Central Asia s a fascinating melting pot of different people where cultures melt and establish a living contact between theselves. This picture was taken up north Chirchik Valley and you can see some Oriental looking familly riding a side car motorbike. Amazing contrasts of people and religions you can find in these coutries.Ethnic groups:Uzbek...

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  • Women's dresses

    Women in Uzbekistan use this lovely cheerful dresses and air scarves. Although already some women had them in Kazakhstan, when I pass the border to Uzbekistan I was in a conpletely different world. Women use patterns with flowers and full of live colours. On the picture you can see what I first saw when got to the country. This was the first bus I...

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  • Sumalak-traditional dish

    Sumalak is a special traditional dish that is cooked on Navruz Holiday (March, 21)-holiday of spring coming.It is a cream-like food, which looks like a chocolate pudding, but in fact it has no sugar and is made of chopped young wheat grains. The taste is very strange. At first you may not like it. But it comes with the time. It is cooked only at...

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Uzbekistan Local Customs

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