Navruz, Part 1

Navruz, Part 1

As part of the Khujand city Navruz celebration, these men are sitting on a hand-carved, traditional bed, which we often see in other towns outside restaurants and other “hang out” kind of shops, especially in smaller towns. They are as much a couch or chatting and smoking room as a bed. Notice the hats – the fur ones I associate with Russia, and the Uzbek black and white hat I see everywhere around town, especially on Friday near the big mosque. Behind the men is a traditional tapestry, which can be embroidered by either hand or by machine. Either way, it takes great skill and a lot of time. Photo by Nancy

Our friend Dildor, who is one of David’s colleagues, and David’s student Shaboz, went with us to Khujand city’s Navruz celebration on March 21. As David has described elsewhere, it was like a fair – with government officials parading, exhibits of handicrafts, cotton candy and traditional Navruz food, amusement rides for the kids, and a big stage production of traditional dancing and song. Here are some representative photos.

Folks at the city park await the parade of government officials. The fort-like building is the city museum. Behind it, you can see the ruins of the old fort, which are now part of a modern day military installation. As always, my lovely mountains and plane trees. Photo by Nancy

This troupe of dancers let me take a lot of photos of them posing in front of the National Theater. Dildor, third from the left, wanted a photo of herself with the girls. Can you find me? Photo by David

This woman was one of the adults with the dancers above. While you often see a few, several or many gold teeth, you rarely see a whole set like this. Tajiks seem quite fond of this fashion. Photo by Nancy

Three traditions in one photo. Pretty girl in traditional clothes, round bread and wheat sprouts. The last is on posters celebrating Navruz around town. It is mixed with oil and seeds and boiled for about 24 hours to create a brown drink that looks enticingly like melted caramel. It does not taste like that. I suppose it is what you would call an acquired taste. Since Navruz I have seen this drink being sold right outside of the big market from street-side vendors. Photo by Nancy

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