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Culture and Traditions Culture of Uzbekistan is one of the brightest and original cultures of East. It is inimitable national music, dances and painting, unique national kitchen and clothes. The Uzbek national music is characterized as variety of subjects and genres. The songs and tool plays according to their functions and forms of usage can be divided into two groups: performed in the certain time and under the certain circumstances and performed at any time. The songs connected with customs and

traditions, labor processes, various ceremonies, dramatized entertainment representations and games belong to the first group. The Uzbek people is well-known for its songs. Koshuk household song with a small diapason melody, covering one or two rows of the poetic text. The dancing character of a melody of this genre provides their performance in support of comic dances. "Lapar" is a dialogue-song. In some areas the term - lapar is applied to wedding songs "Ulan" (which is performed as a dialogue of man and women). Genre "yalla" includes two kinds of songs: a melody of a narrow range, and solo

simultaneously with dance. National and professional poems of the poets of East are used as the texts for the son gs. The spec ial place in the Uzbek musical heritage occupy "dastans" (epic legends with lyricheroic content). Also "Makoms"- are the basic classical fund of professional music of oral tradition. The dances of uzbeks distinguish softness, smoothness and expressiveness of movements, easy

sliding step, original movements on a place and on a circle. The development of national painting began many centuries ago. At 1617 centuries art of the manuscript and binding in Bukhara and some other urban centers has achieved significant success. The decorating of manuscript included refined calligraphy, performance by water paints and thin ornaments on fields. In Samarkand and especially in Bukhara the Central Asian school of a miniature has achieved a great success and were developed many different style directions. One of them, for example is connected with

traditions of Behzod, which characterized with its gentle style of writing the letter and architectural elements. Food in Daily Life. Bread holds a special place in Uzbek culture. At mealtime, bread will be spread to cover the entire dusterhon. Traditional Uzbek bread, tandir non, is flat and round. It is always torn by hand, never placed upside down, and never thrown out. Meals begin with small dishes of nuts and raisins, progressing through soups, salads, and meat dishes and ending with palov, a rice-and-meat dish synonymous with Uzbek cuisine throughout the

former Soviet Union; it is the only dish often cooked by men. Other common dishes, though not strictly Uzbek, include monti, steamed dumplings of lamb meat and fat, onions, and pumpkin, and kabob, grilled ground meat. Uzbeks favor mutton; even the nonreligious eschew pig meat. Because of their climate, Uzbeks enjoy many types of fruits, eaten fresh in summer and dried in winter, and vegetables. Dairy products such as katyk, a liquid yogurt, and suzma, similar to cottage cheese, are eaten plain or used as ingredients.

Tea, usually green, is drunk throughout the day, accompanied by snacks, and is always offered to guests. Meals are usually served either on the floor, or on a low table, though high tables also are used. The table is always covered by a dusterhon. Guests sit on carpets, padded quilts, chairs, or beds, but never on pillows. Men usually sit cross-legged, women with their legs to one side. The most respected guests sit away from the entrance. Objects such as shopping bags, which are considered unclean, never should be placed on the dusterhon, nor should anyone ever

step on or pass dirty items over it. The choyhona, or teahouse, is the focal point of the neighborhood's men. It is always shaded, and if possible located near a stream.

The Soviets introduced restaurants where meals center around alcohol and can last through the night. The Karakalpaks' national dish is besbarmak, boiled mutton, beef, or horse served over a

plate of broad noodles and accompanied by the reduced broth. Russians have brought many of their foods, such as pelmeni, boiled meat dumplings, borscht,

A vendor sells round loaves of bread called tandirnon to a customer at the Bibi Bazaar in Samarkand. Bread is especially important in Uzbek culture.

cabbage and meat soup, and a variety of fried or baked savory pastries.

Food Customs at Ceremonial Occasions. Uzbeks celebrate whenever possible, and parties usually consist of a large meal ending with palov. The food is accompanied by copious amounts of vodka, cognac, wine, and beer. Elaborate toasts, given by guests in order of their status, precede each round of shots. After, glasses are diligently refilled by a man assigned the task. A special soup of milk and seven grains is eaten on Navruz. During the month of Ramadan, observant Muslims fast from sunrise until sunset. Etiquette Elders are respected in Uzbek culture. At the dusterhon,

younger guests will not make themselves more comfortable than their elders. The younger person should always greet the older first. Men typically greet each other with a handshake, the left hand held over the heart. Women place their right hand on the other's elbow. If they are close friends or relatives, they may kiss each other on the cheeks. If two acquaintances meet on the street, they will usually ask each other how their affairs are. If the two don't know each other well, the greeting will be shorter, or could involve just a nod. Women are expected to be modest in dress and demeanor, with

clothing covering their entire body. In public they may walk with their head tilted down to avoid unwanted attention. In traditional households, women will not enter the room if male guests are present. Likewise, it is considered forward to ask how a man's wife is doing. Women generally sit with legs together, their hands in their laps. When men aren't present, however, women act much more casually. People try to carry themselves with dignity and patience, traits associated with royalty, though young men can be boisterous in public. People tend to dress up when going out

of the house. Once home they change, thus extending the life of their street clothes. Secular Celebrations The major secular holidays are New Year's Day (1 January); Women's Day (8 March), a still popular holdover from the Soviet Union, when women receive gifts; Navrus (21 March), originally a Zoroastrian holiday, which has lost its religious significance but is still celebrated with Sumaliak soup, made from milk and seven grains; Victory Day (9 May), marking the defeat of Nazi Germany; and Independence Day (1 September),

celebrating separation from the Soviet Union. Uzbeks typically visit friends and relatives on holidays to eat large meals and drink large amounts of vodka. Holidays also may be marked by concerts or parades centered on city or town squares or factories. The government marks Independence Day and Navrus with massive outdoor jamborees in Tashkent, which are then broadcast throughout the country, and places A man cuts bread in a choyhana, or tea house. The tea house is



gathering place for Uzbek men


of work or neighborhoods often host huge celebrations.




sharoyars- wide, light

Uzbek clothes have

more expensive and

trousers narrowing in


colorful fabrics, and

lower part. They wore

according to climate,


shawl or tyrban - a

conditions of life and



long silk, linen or

tribal customs and

when going out of the

cotton narrow piece

traditions. During the

house; once they are

of fabric around they

19th century, clothes

home they change,


still kept the features

thus extending the


life of their street




long, whole cutting, hiding the shapes of human body. Being uniformed clothes


the winter,

summer, the male, female and children were very similar in forms and Uzbeks their






holidays which were






Traditional male





Uzbek are warm


quilted robe - chapan,


tied up with a shawl

modest in dress and

or shawls, national



hat - tyubiteika, and


high boots made of


clothing their






Their clothes consist


of traditional robe,

with long sleeves of




made of satin, and


The shirts


underwear robe and

out robe. There were

traditional dress, and

summer - light robes


and winter - warm


quilted robes, both


had cuts on the sides

and turbans made of



gold or silver brocade







sitting or walking.





European-style clothes, especially in cities,


some of



are still incorporated. In and


countryside at



indispensable of


wedding garments.





ceremonies you can still see people in

Religion: Uzbeks are Sunni Muslims. The territory of Uzbekistan has been a center of Islam in the region for a thousand years, but under the Soviet Union the religion was heavily controlled: mosques were closed and Muslim education was banned. Beginning in 1988, Uzbeks have revived Islam, particularly in the Ferghana Valley, where mosques have been renovated. The call to prayer was everywhere heard five times a day before the

government ordered the removal of the mosques' loudspeakers in 1998. Nine percent of the population is Russian Orthodox. Jews, Baptists, Roman Catholics, Lutherans, Seventh-Day Adventists, Evangelical and Pentecostal Christians, Buddhists, Baha'is, and Hare Krishnas also are present. . Most Sunni Uzbeks are led by a stateappointed mufti. Independent imams are sometimes repressed, and in May 1998, a law

requiring all religious groups to register with the government was enacted. In addition to leading worship, the Muslim clergy has led mosque restoration efforts and is playing an increasing role in religious education. WEDDING

Uzbek women usually marry by twenty-one; men not much later. Marriage is an imperative for all, as families are the basic structure in society. A family's honor depends on their daughters' virginity; this often

leads families to encourage early marriage. In traditional Uzbek families, marriages are often still arranged between families; in more cosmopolitan ones it is the bride and groom's choice. Either way, the match is subject to parental approval, with the mother in practice having the final word. Preference is given to members of the kin group. There is particular family say in the youngest son's choice, as he and his bride will take care of his parents.

People tend to marry in their late teens or early twenties. Weddings often last for days, with the expense borne by the bride's family. The husband's family may pay a bride price. Polygamy is illegal and rare, but it is not unknown. Following independence, divorce has become more common, though it is still rare outside of major cities. It is easier for a man to initiate divorce. Many Uzbek ceremonies,

especially those associated with family life, such as weddings and the birth an upbringing of children represent the combination of Islamic rituals with more ancient forms related to mystical practices. A wedding involves the whole community, and it is not uncommon to see three hundred guests at the wedding party. The rituals begin with an engagement ceremony, at which the wedding date is set, and end on the day after the wedding with a ceremony

in which the bride is formally received into her new family. SOCIALIZATION Uzbek Tea ceremony Tea is poured from ceramic pots into small pjala bowls. The precious liquid is poured into the clean pjala of the host and poured back into the chainik (teapot) this is repeated three times. The fourth time round, a half filled cup is offered in the guest's own pjala, allowing for the tea to cool down rapidly so as to quench one's

thirst immediately. A bowl filled to the brim goes against all Standards of hospitality and good form. Tea is served with homemade jam or honey, which acts as a sweetener. Toast Every guest takes his turn as toast master. The toast master stands up, his glass of vodka in hand and delivers a short speech, which ideally includes the following elements: thank you, praise of the host, something witty, and best wishes to all for health and prosperity. Then

everybody clinks their glasses in the center of the table and drinks (you may be expected to not leave anything in your glass). When invited to a banquet it is advisable to rapidly lay a strong foundation of bread and cheese since the first toast will be given within minutes. Banquet and Etiquette Tradition demands that the table be covered with food at all times. When guests arrive, all cold food items are on the table, served on small plates, namely the

appetizers, salads, cakes and cookies and a fruit arrangement in the center. Only completely empty serving plates are cleared. Guests' plates are changed after every course. The handshake Men will always shake hands with other men. Even if you





everyone, a simple handshake



with a big hug, and

handshake unless

definitely with a




formal A

woman visitor may


extends her hand.








traveler, do not


feel offended that


you do not receive

shaking hands.

the same attention as the males in your group. As odd as it may seem to us in the West, it is only out of respect that you are not

substitutes for a








ritual. Women will often greet you

be when

The kiss on the cheek Close friends or family members of the same sex will often greet each other with a more vibrant display of affection than a simple handshake. Kissing is the most common greeting seen among people of the region, and depending on where you are traveling, this is most often done two or three times on alternating cheeks. However, when a pair is exceptionally happy to see each other, or when one is showing a deep respect for

the other, the exchange will most definitely continue past the requisite two- or three-kiss norm. As a sign of respect, elders will often receive a kiss from their less mature counterparts, whether acquainted or not. The "silent bow" One of the most beautiful features of Central Asian culture is found within one simple little gesture, this "silent bow". Often accompanying the handshake, men will place their left hand over their hearts and offer a slight, almost

indiscernible, bow to their counterpart in a gesture of deep respect. This subtle bow or slight inclination of the head is also displayed in a variety of other exchanges among people. However, when not shaking hands, it is the right hand that is placed on the chest. You will most definitely encounter this when someone is offering thanks, saying goodbye or parting ways, or even when a younger man passes an elder in the street and

wants to show his respect.


traditions, labor processes, various ceremonies, dramatized entertainment representations and games belong to the first group. The dances of...

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