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Uzbekistan Customs & Etiquettes

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.

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.

Uzbekistan is a male-dominated society, particularly in the Ferghana Valley. Nevertheless, women make up nearly half the workforce. They hold just under 10% of parliamentary seats, and 18% of administrative and management positions, according to UN figures.

Women are expected to be modest in dress and demeanour, 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.

Uzbek families are patriarchal, though the mother runs the household. The average family size is five or six members, but families of ten or more are not uncommon.

Close relations extends to cousins, who have the rights and responsibilities of the nuclear family and often are called on for favours. If the family lives in a detached house and there is space, the sons may build their homes adjacent to or around the courtyard of the parents' house.

Customs in Uzbekistan are prevalent in the daily lifestyle of the Uzbeks and all the practices has one common nature reflecting love, affection and respect among the citizens. One of the common practice among the Uzbeks are that if somebody invites any one to dinner, the host should take care about night accommodation too. 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 appetisers, salads, cakes and cookies and a fruit arrangement in the centre. Only completely empty serving plates are cleared. Guests' plates are changed after every course. Food, drink and banquet is a recent phenomenon but usually a cozy ambiance is created in the private home itself making their guest feel at ease and the strict business meetings often turn to informal friendships.

Uzbek tea ceremony is a loved custom in Uzbekistan. Special tea is served from ceramic pots into small pjala bowls. It is served with homemade jam or honey, which replaces the sweetener. It is a custom of Uzbekistan to conduct a small party of toast. The guest holds a glass of vodka and delivers a speech, the side menu includes bread and cheese with colourful garnishing.





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