Each country accepts guests in its own way, but there are very few special traditions and even rituals for this. In Uzbekistan, hospitality is one of the oldest traditions and customs that have reached today.
Hospitality not only reflects the respect of Uzbeks to their guests, it is a kind of law for every Uzbek family to accept a guest with all the necessary honors, no matter how much a person has a lot of weight in society and position. Of course, even more honor is expressed to important guests.
The ancient custom of hospitality has become important to Uzbeks since the time when there were nomadic tribes and when people set out on a long journey in order to find a better place for their tribe or community. Then all along the way, such a person was honored, because he ventured to go on a long journey, alone and he deserves great respect.
That family in Uzbekistan, which accepts guests badly, is not worthy of respect and members of this family can bring only shame to all other relatives. It’s very bad if it turns out that the guest was not accepted by tradition.
In each family, the owner of the house chooses a place at the table for guests and only then he himself and his family members sit down at the table. The most honorable guests are not supposed to be put near the entrance or near the door. In one house in Uzbekistan, by tradition, several generations live and, of course, are treated with great respect to the oldest generation.
Women and men sit at different tables, but this custom is now preserved only in some villages. In the city usually there is already a large table that can accommodate both guests and the whole large family. Guests usually greet the hand with men, and women give a deep bow, as the keeper of the hearth and warmth in the house.
Guests always come with souvenirs for adults and sweets for children. However, it will be a big mistake and an insult for the whole family if you refuse an invitation for dinner or for dinner. You can start the meal only after the owner of the house has read the prayer at the table.
These are not the only traditions that have survived to date in Uzbekistan. A lot of customs in Uzbek families are associated with the birth of children, with weddings, as well as with funerals.
As soon as young people in Uzbekistan reach the age when they can marry, parents start thinking about finding the right couple for their children. Young people are now free from prejudice and therefore parents give them the opportunity to decide on their own with whom to go through life. However, initially such rules were observed, that parents searched for their children couples from a decent family.
No wedding in Uzbekistan begins without the matchmaking and engagement. Usually the Uzbeks woo a young girl to come the most respected women from the groom’s family, because women can understand each other better, and they know how to approach such questions to the mother of the girl and to the bride herself.
After the consent for the marriage is given, the wedding day is appointed. During the matchmaking, the groom’s relatives give presents to all the girl’s relatives and from this moment the young ones are considered engaged.
The wedding itself among Uzbeks is associated with a large number of different customs and rituals, which are strictly observed. It is necessary that marriage be concluded before both God and society. As a result, for the young, the mullah is invited first, who reads the prayer, blessing the young people for a joint life. After that, the newlyweds are already sent to the registry office, in order to legitimize their relationship with all people and officially become a husband and wife.
Weddings among Uzbeks are always numerous and up to three hundred people can gather for a festive table. It is the festive table that is the most obligatory for the Uzbek wedding.Parents of the groom necessarily make the largest and most expensive gift – a house or apartment for a young family, so that they can live separately and start their new life.
The parents of the bride must fully furnish the accommodation for young people with all the necessities. This of course is expensive, but in the case of a wedding, the funds are usually not considered and each party does everything that is necessary.
When a young spouse comes to her husband’s house, that event is accompanied by a number of rituals, connected with the fact that young people can enter a new house clean and start a new life from scratch. The second day of the wedding is also full of different rituals. The second day is marked by the fact that the young spouse finds a new home and enters the family of her husband. Her husband’s relatives give many gifts to the girl, bless her for a happy life.
Another significant event in Uzbekistan, accompanied by many rituals, is the birth of a child in a young family. Celebrate the birth of a baby come on the fortieth day after his birth.
On this day a large number of guests gather, and everyone brings gifts for the kid: sweets, diapers, all things necessary for the child, toys.
The eldest women gather in the children’s room in order to carry out the rite of the first swaddling over the baby, while everyone else celebrates this day at the festive table. The entire ceremony of the holiday ends with the fact that each of the guests is allowed to see the child, and each one presents his gifts.
Of particular importance for the family is the birth of a boy. For Muslims, the circumcision rite is mandatory, which must be performed before the boy turns nine. This ceremony is accompanied by the gathering of guests, a festive table and fun after the circumcision is performed. The oldest men, who came to the circumcision ceremony, bless the boy.
Each rite is of great importance for the Uzbek people and each family respects the traditions of these rituals, despite the fact that, today, many countries are beginning to depart from certain traditions and family values.