Nadezhda Dukhovny
Nadezhda Dukhovny

Ancient and Unique Uzbekistan: The Jizzakh Region III

This photo is courtesy of the Press Service of  the Tourism and Sports Department of the Jizzakh Region.
This photo is courtesy of the Press Service of the Tourism and Sports Department of the Jizzakh Region.

Since ancient times, there have been cultural traditions that reflect the way of life of local people anywhere in the world. Having survived to this day, they are the true heritage of the peoples inhabiting the countries that exist today.

This photo is courtesy of the Press Service of the Tourism and Sports Department of the Jizzakh Region.

Even on the territory of the same country, you can find different traditions. For example, in Uzbekistan, there are several wedding ceremonies, depending on the region in which the celebration is held. Jizzakh also has its own traditions, including wedding celebrations that have their own characteristics.

Tea ceremony. This photo is courtesy of the Press Service of the Tourism and Sports Department of the Jizzakh Region.

Bread Breaking Ceremony

A group of the relatives of the groom, consisting of 3-5 people, goes to the bride’s family with bread, halva, and other sweets. In this ceremony, in the presence of representatives of both sides, all bread and sweets are divided into two equal parts.

National sweets. This photo is courtesy of the Press Service of the Tourism and Sports Department of the Jizzakh Region.

The bride and groom taste the broken bread and sweets, while those present say: “Blessed are you”, “May your life be as sweet as these sweets,” and are in a hurry to inform their relatives about the wedding.

Blessings

The purpose of the ceremony is to receive the blessing of the elders, to agree on the tasks to be performed, to determine the date of the wedding and the procedure for its holding.

This photo is courtesy of the Press Service of the Tourism and Sports Department of the Jizzakh Region.

The blessing of the wedding is recommended to be performed by two parents in agreement with the ceremonial council organized by the assembly of the residents of the quarter.

This photo is courtesy of the Press Service of the Tourism and Sports Department of the Jizzakh Region.

In this case, cleaning, preparation, and holding of the wedding will be carried out at no additional cost.

This photo is courtesy of the Press Service of the Tourism and Sports Department of the Jizzakh Region.

Both families will share the funds received with their close relatives and neighbors. In this case, all existing tasks will be solved without unnecessary delays.

This photo is courtesy of the Press Service of the Tourism and Sports Department of the Jizzakh Region.

By acting together, the parties maintain mutual respect and strengthen spiritual ties.

Sending wedding gifts to the bride

The bride is brought in by 4-5 representatives from the groom’s side. In the presence of the couple, various issues will be agreed upon. Representatives of the groom’s side dress the bride in ceremonial attire.

This photo is courtesy of the Press Service of the Tourism and Sports Department of the Jizzakh Region.

The amount of money given to the bride and groom during the ceremony should not exceed the norm, and family gifts for young people should be enough until the new family can act independently.

This photo is courtesy of the Press Service of the Tourism and Sports Department of the Jizzakh Region.

As a result of this ceremony, the bride and groom not only agree on the wedding expenses but also take moral responsibility towards the future family.

This photo is courtesy of the Press Service of the Tourism and Sports Department of the Jizzakh Region.

Hen-party and greeting the groom

The ceremony is traditionally held at the bride’s house before the wedding day.

This photo is courtesy of the Press Service of the Tourism and Sports Department of the Jizzakh Region.

Friends, relatives, and neighbors of the bride are invited to the party. Recently, the celebration has been held with the participation of artists.

This photo is courtesy of the Press Service of the Tourism and Sports Department of the Jizzakh Region.

As a result of this ceremony, social relations are further strengthened.

Before the wedding feast, the groom and his friends go to the bride to the sound of karnays and surnays. A table is set for them in the bride’s house. The groom and his friends have fun, soup is served, and the groom is clothed in gold.

Poyandoz

After the wedding ceremony, the groom’s friends and relatives of the bride are waiting on the doorstep for the groom to leave the wedding ceremony. The elders put a satin cloth on the floor of the groom so that he steps on it as if entering into a new life full of prosperity.

This photo is courtesy of the Press Service of the Tourism and Sports Department of the Jizzakh Region.

In Jizzak, there are a number of folklore groups performing songs and dances that speak a lot about the local heritage of the region. These groups can always be seen on the dance floor when national holidays and special events are celebrated.

Performance by folklore groups. This photo is courtesy of the Press Service of the Tourism and Sports Department of the Jizzakh Region.

The repertoire of the folklore ethnographic ensemble Garden Flowers contains a composition based on the ancient rite “Yil Boshi” (“the beginning of the new year”), or “Yilvoshi” as it sounds in the local dialect. This custom is unique to the region and is observed among the population living in remote villages.

With the beginning of Navruz, the residents of the community go out to the fields to celebrate the New Year, cook sumalak and soup in large pots, as well as bake the so-called “green” samsa, puchak, tatran, and other spring delicacies.

Somsa. This photo is courtesy of the Press Service of the Tourism and Sports Department of the Jizzakh Region.

Delicious, crispy and nourishing Jizzakh samsa is now popular not only in our country, but throughout Central Asia. “Jizzakh samsa” is a popular and beloved dish, as well as a symbol of the Jizzakh region. A distinctive feature is its unprecedented size. The juicy filling consists of large slices of meat, onions and lamb fat tail. One portion of Jizzakh samsa can replace a whole complex lunch. So do not forget to give it a try if you suddenly find yourself in these parts. Bon Appetit!

Somsa. This photo is courtesy of the Press Service of the Tourism and Sports Department of the Jizzakh Region.

All dishes are specially prepared from greens, which testifies to the arrival of spring and the awakening of nature from winter sleep.

Locals celebrate Navruz with humor and funny songs, as well as play old folk games, arrange cockfights, ram fights, wrestling, and children’s games.

This photo is courtesy of the Press Service of the Tourism and Sports Department of the Jizzakh Region.

The purpose of the New Year’s ceremony, which was held by the ancestors, and after them the grandparents, the members of the ensemble demonstrate to the public.

Folklore ethnographic ensemble Garden Flowers also studied the ancient tradition of “Darvishon” (in the local dialect “Dervishona”), which is also observed among the population living in remote villages of the region.

For this, meetings were held with the population and a variety of information was collected about the customs of the rituals.

Based on the information collected, the ensemble members created and staged a script, and during the performance, special attention is paid to the specific dialect of the region and the necessary details.

Performance by folklore groups. This photo is courtesy of the Press Service of the Tourism and Sports Department of the Jizzakh Region.

 

About the Author
Nadezhda Dukhovny was born and raised in Uzbekistan and made aliya in 2005. She holds an MA in Linguistics from Tel Aviv University and works in translation. She has a true interest about her motherland and would like to tell more about that fascinating country to make Israeli readers familiar with another culture from other part of the globe.
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