Cougar Culture- Uzbekistan


What exactly does the word culture mean? Well, culture is a way of people’s life that determines people’s background.  However, it’s not just this, it is also the way of doing things that are passed down from generation to generation- such as the language, beliefs, norms, and values for a society. Here at FDR High School there are teachers and students who are from different parts of the world, sharing a variety of different cultural beliefs, and therefore, FDR High school is known mostly for its diversity.  For example, the student population from Uzbekistan at FDR High school is increasing every year.  The culture of Uzbekistan is unique, and this article will teach you a little about one of FDR’s fastest growing cultures.

Uzbekistan culture is very vivid, distinctive, and impressive. The culture itself  formed over thousands of years and has taken in many traditions. One especially distinctive and well-developed feature of Uzbek culture is their cuisine. One of the most very well-known dishes is called Plov, which is usually cooked by men. Mostly Plov can be cooked during special occasions such as weddings, holidays, and parties. Its main ingredients are rice, carrot, onion, and meat. There used to be parties in my middle school, and Uzbek student’s top choice for bringing something would be their favorite dish, Plov! And of course, the teachers and students from different parts of the world loved it. In addition, there are more dishes that are extremely appetizing including- manty (dumplings), samsa, shashlik(kebab), etc..  If you cook with love from the bottom of your heart, your food will be tasty and delicious. This is the belief for Uzbek people when cooking!

In Uzbekistan, hospitality is one of its features. Anyone who comes to an Uzbek house, as a guest, is served tea. At first, a table cloth, or dasturkhan, will be prepared along with a tea and two pieces of flat bread. There is a special way of giving a tea, first the tea is poured from a teapot into a piola (cup), and it is then returned to the teapot three times, so that the tea releases the flavor and full color. Lastly the tea is given to the guest. Tea is the main thing that has to be place on dasturkhan, but there are still different kinds foods, salads, fruits and cookies to be place on a dasturkhan to show hospitality to the guest.

Uzbekistan marriage is an arranged. The parents determine who their child will marry.  The mother plays the most roles for finding a bride for her son, by going to a match-maker. Sometimes the family has to match the other’s social status. First the mother assesses the bride, and recommends her son meets her. If boys and girls agree to marry each other, than the parents of two will be fully preparing for a wedding which includes many special traditions. The first step takes place with “Osh-Xurakon,” which will be taking place at the bride’s house, after the two families agree to marry each other’s children. More than 5 people will be attending from the groom’s side, including the mother-in-law. The Second step is “Fotikha tuy,” which takes place in a restaurant.  This also will be done by the family of the bride. In this occasion, there will be more than a hundred or less people invited, including the brides and groom’s side. On this day, before going to a restaurant, the mother-in-law of a groom will go with some relatives to a bride’s house to give special presents for a groom. The presents include earrings which the mother-in-law will be putting into the bride’s ears. We are almost there, the groom’s side will be hosting an occasion called an “Sambo’sa,” where less than fifty people were invited. Sometimes it’s all males or all females. Finally, the wedding day will be arriving! The groom goes to the bride’s house along with his friends. The bride will be in traditional curtain called a “chimildik,” and they will bring the groom with them. There, one woman (bekhalfa) reads some religious texts in order to remove evil spirits. This is just one of the most common traditions of Uzbek marriage. The wedding is a day of happiness, from morning to a midnight.  People dance their night away!

The culture of Uzbekistan is still unique today.  People still follow the same traditions from many centuries back. Knowing one’s culture and history is very interesting. Everything that happens has a reason behind it. At FDR High School we are very lucky, to have such diverse and rich cultures.