Each country receives guests in its own way, but in few places there are special traditions and even rituals for this. In Uzbekistan, hospitality is one of the most ancient traditions and customs that have survived to this day.
Hospitality not only reflects the respect of Uzbeks for their guests, it is a kind of law for every Uzbek family to receive a guest with all the necessary honors, no matter how important a person is in society and position. Of course, even more honor is expressed for important guests.
The ancient custom of hospitality has become important for the Uzbeks since the time when nomadic tribes existed and when people went on a long journey in order to find the best place for their tribe or community. Then, all along the way, such a person was honored, because he risked going on a long journey, alone and he deserves great respect.
A family in Uzbekistan that receives guests poorly is not worthy of respect, and members of this family can only bring shame to all other relatives. It is very bad if it turns out that the guest was not received according to tradition.
In each family, the owner of the house himself chooses a place at the table for guests, and only after that he and his family members sit down at the table. It is not customary to seat the most honored guests near the entrance or near the door. Traditionally, several generations live in the same house in Uzbekistan and, of course, the oldest generation is treated with great respect.
Women and men sit at different tables, but this custom is currently preserved only in some villages. In the city, a large table is usually set up, which can accommodate both guests and the whole large family. Guests usually shake hands with men, and women are bowed deeply, as the keeper of the hearth and warmth in the house.
They always come to visit with souvenirs for adults and sweets for children. However, it would be a big mistake and an insult to the whole family if you refuse an invitation to dinner or lunch. You can start a meal only after the owner of the house reads a prayer at the table.
These are not the only traditions that have survived to this day 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 get married, parents start thinking about finding a suitable match for their children. Young people are now free from prejudices and therefore parents give them the opportunity to independently decide with whom to go through life. However, such rules were initially followed that parents were looking for couples from a decent family for their children.
No wedding in Uzbekistan begins without matchmaking and engagement. Usually the most respected women from the groom's family come to woo a young girl from Uzbeks, because women can better understand each other, and they themselves know how to approach the girl's mother and the bride herself with such questions.
After consent is given to formalize the marriage, a wedding day is appointed. During matchmaking, the groom's relatives give gifts to all the relatives of the girl and from that moment the young are considered engaged.
The Uzbek wedding itself is associated with a large number of different customs and rituals, which are strictly observed. It is necessary that the marriage was concluded both before God and before society. As a result, for the young, a mullah is first invited, who reads a prayer, blessing the young for a life together. After that, the newlyweds are already sent to the registry office in order to legalize their relationship in front of all people and officially become husband and wife.
Uzbek weddings are always numerous and can gather up to three hundred people at the festive table. It is the festive table that is the most obligatory for an Uzbek wedding. The groom's parents make sure to make the largest and most expensive gift - a house or apartment for a young family, so that they can live separately and start a new life.
The bride's parents must fully furnish the young people with everything they need. This, of course, is expensive, but in the case of a wedding, funds are usually not considered and each party does whatever is necessary.
When a young spouse comes to her husband's house, the event is accompanied by many rituals associated with so that the young can enter the new house clean and start a new life from scratch. The second wedding day is also full of various rituals. The second day is marked by the fact that the young wife finds a new home and enters her husband's family. The husband's relatives give many gifts to the girl, bless her for a happy life.
Another significant event in Uzbekistan, which is accompanied by many rituals, is the birth of a child in a young family. They come to celebrate the birth of a baby on the fortieth day after his birth.
On this day, a large number of guests gather, and everyone brings gifts for the baby: sweets, diapers, all things necessary for the child, toys.
The oldest women gather in the children's room in order to perform the first swaddling ceremony over the baby, while everyone else celebrates this day at the festive table. The whole ceremony of the holiday ends with the fact that each of the guests is allowed to the child's bride, and each gives his own gifts.
Of particular importance to the family is the birth of a boy. For Muslims, the circumcision rite is compulsory, which must be performed before the boy turns nine years old. This rite is accompanied by the gathering of guests, the festive table and fun after the circumcision rite is performed. The eldest men who come to the circumcision ceremony bless the boy.
Each ritual is of great importance for the Uzbek people and every family honors the traditions of these rituals, despite the fact that today in many countries they are beginning to deviate from some traditions and family values.