In the 4th century B.C. the inhabitants of the territory, where modern Uzbekistan is, changed their nomadic life style and settled in these areas. At the down of civilization, settlers had distinctive culture, which is now almost the same to that of Darius and Alexander the Great times. Even the great migration of nations and the intrusion of Mongolians could not change it. Only Islam that came after Arab conquest had slight influence of the culture, but it did not override the former culture of the nation, on the contra
ry, it harmonized with existing values. Modern life changed
the traditions a little, but most Uzbek families still honor them. The common Uzbek family still consists of several generations relatives. There is a specific hierarchy in the family and respect the elderly, but it is not discrimination, it is ancient tradition based on life.
The population of modern Uzbekistan is 27, 2 million people. The Uzbek language forms a part of Turkic group and has many different dialects in different parts of the country. Until 1927 it used Arabic alphabet (until 1923 traditional, after reformed), in 1927-1938 Latinized, since 1939 drawn on the base of Russian graphics (Cyrillic), from 1994 it has started to change to Roman letter. Most of Uzbeks are Sunni Muslims. There are Orthodox, Catholic, Jewish communities and temples in big cities of the country.
Uzbek people are very easy to contact. It is customary for men to shake hands while greeting or putting the right hand to the heart and bowing the head. You will be asked about your health, business and life during greetings. You will be invited to be a guest and have a tea. Preparing and serving tea is prerogative of men, entirely of the host. A little amount of tea in piyala (little bowl) is the sign of hospitality- the more honorable the guest is the less tea is in his piyala. Holding out the empty piyala for extra tea by the guest means he is paying tribute to the host. Accordingly, uninvited guests are served with a full piyala of tea.
Uzbek national clothes haven’t changed since the beginning of the new era. Chapan – quilted caftan can be used in summer and winter equally protecting the body from the heat and frost. Luxurious golden embroidered caftans people present to honorable men or use for wedding parties. Women wear long straight dresses from khan-atlas and straight-cut wide trousers. Khan-atlas is bright design of thick silk. There is another national fabrics adras–thick silk in combination with cotton. Men headdresses are skull caps; women wear kerchiefs, felted hats and turbans. The kid’s skull caps are by far more diverse, embroidered and colorful with splendid brushes, balls and amulets. The skull caps of different regions vary from each other in their forms, design and color. Taking into account the influence of the world fashions, most people in big cities and villages keep abreast of the times, especially young people. Nevertheless famous Uzbek embroideries and embroidered clothes, stuff from metal and precious stones, traditional heard dresses and carpets are still in great value rather than those of European style.
The culture of Uzbekistan is one of the outstanding and distinctive ones in the East. It is inimitable national music, dance and painting.