Customs and Traditions of Uzbekistan

Uzbekistan is well known for its chaikhanas (teahouses), where men get together and spend time chatting and joking over a cup of tea. Tea is served from ceramic pots into small pjala bowls. The precious liquid is poured into the clean pjala of the host and poured back into the chainik (teapot) - this is repeated three times. The fourth time round, a half filled cup is offered in the guest's own pjala, allowing for the tea to cool down rapidly so as to quench ones thirst immediately. A bowl filled to the brim goes against all standards of hospitality and good form. Tea is served with homemade jam or honey, which substitutes as sweetener.

The Applied Art - Uzbek Traditions
The applied art of Uzbekistan is a real cultural and historical phenomenon. It is well known because of Uzbek traditions. The beautiful architectural ensembles of Bukhara, Samarkand, Khiva, Tashkent and Ferghana are famous for their pieces of applied arts. The attractive pieces are created by masters of wood-carving, chasing, lacquered miniatures, embroidery and jewelry plus all arts of Uzbekistan. Now the applied arts are not only the ancient art introduced by museums. The local population admired superb production as in the 20th century many walls of the houses were decorated with embroideries, carpets, ceramics and carvings. Traditionally, embroidered carpets were of dark color. In wood-carving Tashkent and Ferghana valley craftsmen are popular with their products of small tables, chairs, boxes, doors, and different souvenirs. Therefore, while in Uzbekistan, you will have a choice not only to buy souvenirs and gifts but also to savor the wonderment of Uzbek culture and heritage.

Uzbek Ceramics
Uzbek Ceramics is very diverse in its color and design. It is also original in terms of shape. The most famous centers for ceramics are Rishtan and Gurumsay in Ferghana valley and Khorezm. They are renowned for their glazed white and blue ceramics. Another type of Uzbek craft typical for Samarkand is the art of making crockery, smoking pipes (chilim) and snuffboxes (noskadi).

Jewelry
Uzbek craftsmen of today still practice ancient jewelry making techniques for cutting gemstones, grain filigree, granular work, engraving, embossing, chasing and enameling. Modern jewelers not only uphold traditions, but also they take fashion demands and styles into account.

Culture: Uzbekistan Metal Chasing and Engraving
Since ancient times, the largest cities in Uzbekistan - Bukhara, Tashkent, Samarkand and Khiva, have been the centers for copper engraving based on traditional methods. Each region has specific shapes and designs. The most popular items of this art are jugs, teapots, and trays, and lately, washstands, band basins, buckets and large bowls. Copper embossed items were highly valued formerly and they are very popular today too.

Art Embroidery, Weaving
One of the most popular trends of applied arts in Uzbekistan is embroidery. Several places in Uzbekistan recognized for their embroidery are Nurata, Samarkand, Bukhara, Shakhrisabz, Surkhandarya, Tashkent, Jizzakh, and Ferghana. Each school is distinguished by its unique aspects such as ornamentation, composition, and color range and stitching. The traditional art of embroidery is still alive among Uzbek people. Embroidered cloths are widely produced in Bukhara, Shakhrisabz and Tashkent plants. Gold embroidery is the finest kind of embroidery. This craft has always been applied in Bukhara. The other ancient craft in Uzbekistan is weaving. Its richest historical traditions have stayed with us hitherto. Cotton fabrics and silks were in high demand everywhere all over Central Asia. The mystery of making these invaluable cloths was unraveled here long before the Great Silk Road was established. The art of weaving still exists in Ferghana valley and, doubtlessly, handcrafted cloth is still preferred to factory woven fabric.