• Indonesia!

    Indonesia: Lombok. Go Now!

    Indonesia
    This archipelago nation is culturally diverse from big cities to isolated islands. Begin Your Journey!

  • Nepal!

    Nepal: Phewa Lake. Go Now!

    Nepal
    This landlocked country mixes the cultures of the Indian sub-continent with the high Himalayas. Explore Nepal!

  • Mongolia!

    Mongolia: Desert. Go Now!

    Mongolia
    This vast country has a culture that spans past and present... a nomadic life shifting to a modern & sedentary society. Begin Your Journey!

  • Qatar!

    Qatar: Dhows in Doha Bay. Go Now!

    Qatar
    Although little more than a deserted peninsula, Qatar has a thriving culture based on technology and immigration, with Doha (pictured) taking the lead. Explore Qatar!

  • Kyrgyzstan!

    Kyrgyzstan: Tian Shan Mountains. Go Now!

    Kyrgyzstan
    The mountains, including the Tian Shan Mountains (pictured), give Kyrgyzstan a unique culture, partially formed from this isolation from the mountains. Go Now!

Social Life in Uzbekistan

Behavior

Most of the behavioral restrictions in Uzbekistan are based on their Islamic faith. According to Islamic dietary restrictions pork should not be consumed and alcohol is forbidden. In Uzbekistan the restriction on pork is closely adhered to, but partially due to convenience as lamb, chicken, and even beef are more easily available. For the locals, alcohol is now a part of the daily life as the Soviets introduced numerous drinks to the people and today it forms a part of the culture; only the strictest Muslims refrain from drinking alcohol.

To a degree the people also maintain the Soviet mentality as they rarely get involved in other people's personal affairs and tend to keep to themselves when in public. Due to this attitude, the people take offense at few things. Although everyone will notice odd behaviors and cultural abnormalities, rarely will anyone point out your cultural mistakes.

In addition to following the dress restrictions mentioned below and following the local dining etiquette (see our Uzbekistan Dining & Food Page), the most important behavioral restrictions tend to be common sense. Avoid sensitive conversation topics, such as politics, finances, religion, and business unless initiated by your local counterpart. Also try to avoid being loud, rude, showing off wealth, or getting noticeably drunk in public.

Dress

The traditional dress in Uzbekistan is fairly loose-fitting and free-flowing as it essentially hung from the body, revealing nothing. For the women this tended to mean wearing the khan-atlas on top with simple pants on the bottom. These loose-fitting tops are generally very brightly colored as the pants often times matched. The traditional dress for men is the chapan, which is also a loose-fitting top, generally tied at the waist with a rope and a bit duller than the khan-atlas. For both men and women tight-fitting hats, called tubeteikas, are an important part of their culture. These hats, often embroidered, are a great statement of individual style so come in all colors and designs.

Today, partially due to a long period under Soviet rule, the dress is more westernized, but the traditional dress is still common on special occasions and in some areas on a daily basis. Most of the local people wear western clothing or simple clothing that has been made by hand. Generally, the people wear long sleeve pants and shirts and in the winter months heavy winter hats are common as well.

As a visitor to Uzbekistan, there are few dress restrictions, but a number of suggestions. Since the modern day dress is worn for comfort and convenience, not due to religion, wearing shorts and short-sleeved shirts is acceptable, although you may get some strange looks. Only do the most devout Muslim women feel required to cover their hair and few Uzbek Muslims consider showing your knees or elbows offensive, although the locals rarely wear clothing like this. The only time long-sleeved shirts and pants are absolutely required are in holy sites, like a Mosque, but it is still best to cover your elbows and knees at a minimum, especially for women.

This page was last updated: November, 2013