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The Customs of Tajik People

The Tajik people mostly live in southwestern part of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, and are closely related to the Uygur people of that area. They have their own spoken language, but no written language.

The Tajiks practice monogamy and large families spanning several generations live under one roof. To Tajiks, breaking up the family and living apart is unthinkable, and such a separation would be considered a major disaster.

Their houses retain a tradition suited to their lifestyle. Generally, a family of three or four generations lives in one house. in the past, they would have lived in one big room, sleeping on long beds along two of the walls. But now, only Taxkorgan Tajik Autonomous County still keeps this tradition. Tajiks in other areas now have separate rooms for smaller family units within the bigger family.

The garments of Tajiks are mainly cotton-padded. There is no obvious difference in the four seasons of a year. This has something to do with the cold climate of the Pamir Plateau. Women wear clothes with bright colors, and favor long skirts. They mostly wear floral caps embroidered with brightly-colored patterns and with ear flaps. When going outdoors, they wear kerchiefs, older women wearing white, while younger ones wear yellow or green.

The men's caps are like barrels, lined with black lamb skin. The lower brim rolls up, revealing lined fur, which is both decorative and practical.

Tajiks living on the plateau have their special wedding ceremonies. To most ethnic groups, the wedding ceremony starts with the bride and bridegroom, but the wedding of the Tajiks are different. On the first day of the ceremony, the bride and the bridegroom proclaim their marriage and hold separate banquets with their own families lasting three days.

On the fifth day, the bridegroom, accompanied by friends and relatives, goes to his bride's home. An imam stands before the newlyweds to ask for their opinions. If both agree, they must drink a cup of water, and eat a bit of meat, cake and salt. Only then are they allowed to be together.

After that, the grand celebration begins. People sing and dance until midnight. Then, the newlyweds ride on the same horse to the bridegroom's home. On the sixth day, the family members of the bride spend one night at the bridegroom's home. That marks the end of the wedding.

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