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National traditions of Uzbekistan. Habits, mentality and the way of living

Uzbekistan is a country inhabited by one of the oldest ethnoses on the planet. Its rich history has defined the special flavor of the way of life of her current local population. The formation of the Uzbek national character is significantly influenced by Muslim traditions. The State religion requires daily observance of the universal five-time daily “prayer” and fasting in the holy month of Ramadan. Islamic customs and ancient magical rituals were intertwined in various rituals associated with the social and everyday aspects of life of Uzbeks. Despite this, Uzbeks cannot be said to be fanatical believers. They are not strangers to secular things. Thus, they show tolerance to representatives of other faiths.
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The traditional feature of the social structure in Uzbekistan is the “mahalla”. It is a neighborhood community setup which includes relatives and people living in the same vicinity. The principles of mutual assistance lie at the heart of their association. The “mahalla” often occupies an entire village or settlement. In the Uzbek family, there is a strict hierarchy that provides authority for the husband and father as the head of the house and the respect and obedience of the younger to the older ones. You will still come across early marriages, but recently they have become quite rare. Love and care is shown towards children in any family.
One of the ever reliable customs of Uzbekistan is the hospitality of the local population. The art of receiving guests is highly valued in the Uzbek society and has clear rules. Visitors are met at the entrance to the house. Everybody is welcomed, after which they inquire from one another about the latest news and happenings. The Uzbeks like to communicate with each other. The conversation is always conducted in a simple and democratic manner. The favorite place of the local population for talks on a variety of topics is the chaikhana. Both friendly meetings and business negotiations are conducted here. Copyright
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It is not acceptable to refuse an Uzbek’s invitation to dinner. Uzbeks go to visit each other with gifts and sweets for children. It is important to be on time as lateness is considered disrespectful to the host. You must remove your shoes at the entrance to the house. The dining table “dastarkhan” is usually set up in the central room or in the courtyard. The meal begins with tea drinking and ends with it. The more expensive the guest is for the hosts, the less tea they pour. Frequent appeal to the owners of the house for another round of tea demonstrates respect for the house. A single cup filled to the brim is poured for an unexpected and unwelcome guest. Uzbek tea drinking is associated with a variety of customs that should be observed even by foreigners.
Samarkand Uzbeks are quite open and friendly people, and therefore it is common for them to exchange handshakes when meeting even strangers (male only). While shaking hands, friends inquire about each other’s health, and the latest changes in life. Women are greeted with a polite bow and the right hand placed on the heart. In terms of appearance, Uzbekistan does not have very strict restrictions. However, if it is a question of visiting places of religious significance, too short and revealing dresses are not accepted. The casual wardrobe of Uzbeks rarely contains shorts or short dresses. The people of rural areas have especially conservative views on how to dress.
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Residents of Uzbekistan remain polite even in the event of an approaching conflict. This feature of their mentality has an historical origin: for a long time Uzbeks were traders for whom offending the buyer meant losing profits. In Uzbekistan, refusal is never done directly. The traditional answer to the most varied requests is “hop mayli”, which translates as “okay”. This way, it is impossible to guess when the promise will be fulfilled. The Uzbeks do not like hurrying either in their work, in making decisions, or in carrying out the promises. Having failed to fulfill an agreement, the Uzbek will try to solve the ensuing conflict by all means without displeasing the other party.
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