Customs and traditions
Uzbekistan is a Sunni Muslim country where religion is of great importance to most of its residents. At the same time, nearly 70 years of Soviet influence have created strong secular traditions.
The way to visit when visiting an Uzbek home or office is similar to that of other Muslim countries. Men shake hands with one another and usually hold their left hand to the heart. Men do not take a woman’s hand unless she reaches out her hand first. Close acquaintances like to embrace each other and can kiss each other with cheek kisses – but only with one person of the same sex. Younger people are required to take care of the elderly first.
- Countryaah: Overview of the capital city of Uzbekistan, including information about its population, economy, geography, history and map.
Often, relatives of several generations live together under the same roof. Most commonly, at least the youngest son stays in the parents’ home to take care of the aging parents.
Guest in Uzbek home
According to Abbreviationfinder, Uzbekistan has a strong tradition of hospitality. The guest is welcomed in the main room of the house, which is dominated by a cloth (dusterhon), often placed directly on the floor. The company sits on carpets: the men with their legs crossed, the women with their legs aside. The guests with the highest status are placed farthest from the entrance. Since the bread is served directly on the cloth, bags or other objects must never be placed on it. You must never step on the cloth or stretch it with objects that can be regarded as unclean.
Unless cutlery is presented, it is important to take the food with your right hand. The right hand should also be used when an item is handed over to another person or when you receive a thing yourself. You should never point to anyone or anything with your right index finger.
After Russian influence, plenty of vodka is offered on festive occasions, if the environment is not strictly Muslim. Each one is required to bring out a bowl and at each occasion the glass must be emptied. Otherwise, drink a lot of green tea (the uz cups enjoy hanging out at their many tea houses) and drinking yogurt (katyk).
Politics is a sensitive topic of conversation and should be avoided if you are not close friends. It is appreciated if the guest is well-read about the Uzbek cultural heritage and says something positive about it.
In Uzbekistan, the usual Muslim celebrations are celebrated, but some of them have a distinctly nationalistic character. Several non-religious holidays are also noted.
According to Countryaah, on January 14, the day of the Finnish Defense Forces falls, when the creation of the independent Uzbek army is celebrated. International Women’s Day on March 8 is gaining a lot of attention, just as it did during the Soviet era. The arrival of spring is celebrated on March 21 with the holiday nouruz, which traditionally marks the lunar calendar New Year. Nouruz is an age-old weekend that gained renewed popularity after Uzbekistan’s independence in 1991. Then, traditional foods such as the wheat gourmet dish sumalak, the lentil and meat soup halim, the stuffed pasties somsa and the rice dish plow are eaten.
Other secular weekends include Teachers’ Day on October 1 and Constitution Day on December 8 and Independence Day on September 1. The latter shows many Uzbek flags in the streets.
President daughter out in the cold
Another five of President Karimova’s TV channels are closed. Data claims that she plans to go into exile.
President’s daughter falls in love
Gulnara Karimova looks to lose in influence. Several of the TV and radio channels she controls are closed, her media companies are investigated for financial crime, the company’s bank accounts are frozen and one of her confidants arrested, accused of corruption. The head of one of the silenced TV channels is suspected of financial crime and is reported to have disappeared.
Victims of forced labor in the cotton fields
A four-year-old father commits suicide after being forced to work with the cotton crop and then humiliated in public for not filling his quota. A 16-year-old schoolboy is reported to have died of a heart attack after a hard day’s work, and other uz cups are reported to have moved the country to escape the work press. Uzbekistan signs a billion dollar contract for this year’s cotton harvest and its biggest buyer is China.
Prison for MR activist
Human rights activist Bobomurod Razzoqov is sentenced to four years in prison for human trafficking. According to the Human Rights Watch organization, the allegations are a revenge from the Uzbek authorities for his human rights struggle, including his report on child labor during the cotton harvest in southwestern Uzbekistan. The 60-year-old Razzoqov is chairman of Ezgulik’s (Member) Regional Department in Buchara. Ezgulik is Uzbekistan’s only officially registered human rights group.
Prison for 75-year-old activist
A 75-year-old human rights activist is sentenced to five years in prison for blackmail and embezzlement. He is one of several senior human rights activists in Uzbekistan who was sentenced for a short time.
President’s daughter is deprived of UN assignment
President Karimova’s daughter is deprived of the position of Uzbekistan’s ambassador to the UN agencies in Geneva. Assessors link the incident to the fact that her employees have been included in a Swiss money laundering investigation and in the corruption investigation into TeliaSonera’s business in Uzbekistan (see September 2012).
Four million work abroad
Independent economists estimate that four million people, more than a third of Uzbekistan’s workforce, have left to find work abroad. The task then comes after Karimov criticized the uz cup who traveled to Russia as a guest worker. Although the president calls them “lazy,” they are expected to make one of the most important contributions to the state budget through the money they send home to their families.
ICRC stops investigating Uzbek prisons
The International Committee of the Red Cross stops all its inspections of prisons in Uzbekistan, as they are considered meaningless. The authorities do not allow visitors to have individual conversations with prisoners without witnesses.
Military equipment from the UK
Uzbekistan receives military equipment worth £ 450,000 from the UK, which in exchange may use Uzbek airspace and the country’s railway network to evacuate British military from Afghanistan.
Fighting in Uzbek exclave
Kyrgyz border guards clash with mainly ethnic Tajiks in the Uzbek excl Soch, which is surrounded by Kyrgyz territory. The dispute concerns the installation of power lines to a border station. Residents temporarily take a number of Kyrgyz citizens hostage and the Kyrgyz authorities respond with a blockade to the exclave. Concerns are high that the event will increase tensions in the Fergana Valley.