Uzbek Customs and Taboos

The Uzbek people attach much importance to rites and customs. They respect the elderly in every aspect of their lives. If two persons go out by horse, the senior one will be seated in front of the young one, and the male will be seated in front of the female. When two men meet each other, they will firstly bow to each other with hands on the chest and then shake hands. However, when two women meet each other, they will firstly bow to each other with hands on the chest and then hug each other.


The family of Uzbek people (Photo from

When having meals, the senior is seated on the distinguished seat while the young ones are seated on other seats. In a family consisting of many people, they will eat on separate tables. In this case, the children and the women will have meal at the same table. In the past, the Uzbek people grabbed food with their hands, so they had to wash hands before and after meals. Nowadays, except in some pasturing areas where people have kept this habit, most of the Uzbek people have meals with chopsticks. During the meal, people are forbidden to take off their hats or cough while eating at the table with guests.

There are a lot of taboos in Uzbek ethnic group. Like other ethnic minorities in Xinjiang which also believe in Islam, people of Uzbek ethnic minority are forbidden to eat the meat of pigs, dogs, donkeys, mules and on the like. They have to wash hands both before and after meals. After washing the hands, they should wipe dry their hands with towels, instead of swinging hands. When there is only a mature woman at home alone, other people should not come over. In public, people are forbidden to be tripped to the waist. They cannot wear shorts in public either. The Uzbek people pay special attention to the cleanness and safety of the drinking water.

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