Tajikistan Boys Clothes: Activities

Figure 1.-- This boys' music group is playing Tajik traditional instruments. The boys come from a local school. They wear ties show the Tajik flag colours--red, white, and green. They have long red coats which do not button up but are fastened by a sash around the waist. After their performance they took off their coat. They were dressed in a black two piece suit and wore black or brown shoes. Image courtesy of the William Fergusson collection.

We do not yet have much information on boys' activities and associated clothing in Tajikistan. Many such activities are similar to common activities in Europe. Western style clothing is commonly worn in Tajikistan, especially in urban areas. Some of the traditional outfits associated with activities are quite destinctive. Clothing for a wide range of activities is similar to clothing worn for these activities in the West.


Birthdays are celebrated in Tajikistan. The difference is that a person does not celebrate the day of birth but the day of being named. The party is much the same as anywhere else in the world. There is much food to eat. This is displayed on a table and the centre piece is the Birthday Cake. When guests arrive they bring with them presents for the Birthday person. No specific gift is given. As in the West, guests pick the gift they give. Money gifts would not be given. Flowers are favourite gifts. Tajiks, whether male or female, like flowers and make a big fuss when they are given. The gifts will be placed on a table and not opened until after the party is over.


We have no information on Takistan boy choirs at this time. We do note that the Tajikistan Turkish High School has a children's choir. I thought this might be a Soviet-era nstitution, but we note that is was active in 2003. A Tajik reader tells us that the Boy's Choir is a recent development. It is an educational joint venture between a Turkish Educational Foundation and the Independent Tajik Government.


We do mnot have details on many Tajik holidays. A mixture of holidays are celebrated. The Russians will celebrate Russian holidays. we believe that the Russians in Tajikistan are highly secularized and thus the secular Russian holidays are most important. Most Tajiks are Muslims and thus the Islamic holidays are important. An especially popular tradition in Tajikistan for children is Children’s Eid Treat Day. This childhood activity is similar to Trick or Treat and to carol singing in Britain. It differs in that there is no forfeit if no treat is handed out, nor do children have to sing first. There is a knock and on opening the door one is greeted by a group of children. Their happy, smiling faces filled with expectation for their Eid treat. Eid, of course, is the celebration which follows the end of Ramadan.


A HBC reader reports, "At the Opera House was a Traditional Music group dressed in their Uniform and playting a variety of ancient type instruments." the boys in the image here are wearing a felt hat called a Toqi (figure 1). It is decorated in a black and white pattern. The white shirt is called a kurtai mardone. It is made of silk and embroadered around the neck and shoulders. Around the wait is a silk material called a " miyonband ". There are two colours a red and yellow one and one blue in colour. It is tied around the middle on the right the knot ends hang down as a tail. The band comes to a point on the left side. The trousers are made out of velvet and coloured red. The name for the trousers is " sholvor ". Footwear would traditionally be a black boot but I think most of the group were wearing black trainers. The horn can be dismantelled into 3 pieces. It is played at weddings. The procession is preceded by the musicians followed by the wedding party. The bride and groom in front and the respective families behind. The Musicians stand on either side of the reception entrance. The horns make an arch under which the bride and groom pass. The wedding is not just a family affair but the whole village will turn out. There are big cauldrens at various points in the reception grounds cooking the traditional Tajik rice and meat dish called Plov. This is very feeling and a favourite meal. Everyone dances. Boys girls men women and it is tradition to scatter money over the dancers. Kids usually get these prizes.


A reader in Tajikistan has provided us some observations of Tajik children at play in Dunshambe, the country's capital. "Children are everywhere in Dushanbe. Most live in apartments. Generally they live with their mum, dad and brothers and sisters. These days there seems to be more one parent families than in former soviet times. However such families live with the in-laws so that for many children there are no male role models. The number of children varies from one child to several. My neighbour has two children, a boy and a girl. The family next door has three children, a boy and two younger girls."


Until the breakup of the Soviet Union, Tajik students wore standard Soviet school uniforms. A HBC reader in Tajikistan has provided us some information about Tajik school uniforms and school life after independence.


Shopping in developed countries is a major activity for teen agers and only less so for pre-teens because they have less money. The same is trur in developing countries because children tend to have less money. In a way hopping for children harkens back to earlier days in Europe and America. One such experience is the local candy shop. Such shops have virtually disappeared in America. They have not in Tajikistan. And a reader has sent us some fascinating images of candy shopping in Tajikistan.


We know very little about sporys in Tajikistan. We haveno information at this time about traditional sports. We do notice that football appears to be a passion among Tajik boys. No matter where you go, you can always observes boys playing football or at least kicking a fooball around. As soon as boys get hoime from school the footballs come out. We rarely see them playing any other sport. This seems to be almost entirely a boy activity. Rately do you see girls with soccer balls.

Summer Camp

The Soviet Government throught the Young Pioneer organization sponsored an extensive system of summer camps throughout the Soviet Union. Most Russian children participated, although I am not sure if participation was as high among the many other national groups in the Soviet Union. Participation was not compulsory. Some children did not like the regimentation and chose not to sign up. Some traditional parents in the Central Asian republics may have also been reluctant to send their children, especially the girls. Even so, the idea of summer camp was well established throughout the Soviet Union. As the Soviet Government supported the summer camp program, participation was inexpensive if not free to some children. Millions of Soviet children participated. As a result, of the break up of the Soviet Union at the end of 1991, the Young Pioneer program collased as did free or low-cost summer camps for children. There are today private summer camps in Tajikistan of varying costs. I do not know of any Government-sponsored camps, but the Trade Union Council appears to play a major role. (In Soviet days factories and trade unions often sponsored summer camps for the children of workers ofr members.) Participation is not nearly as high as during the Soviet era, but quite a number of children do go to summer camps. Some children participate in international camps, but the cost means that only a few are involved. Two Tajik children have described their experience at a camp in the Ukraine.

Youth Groups

I have only limited information on Tajik youth groups. I have no indication that the Scouts were founded before Tajikistan was incorporated into the Soviet Union. For its modern history as part of the Soviet Union, the only youth group allpwed was the Young Pioneers. The Pioneers still function in Tajikistan. They now wear a kerchief in the Tajik national colors of red, white and green. It has also been renamed. The new name means King Somoni inheriters. It is hard to put English words to the concept.


Tajikistan until the Soviet era was a very traditional society. Most boys began working at a very early age. Only with the Soviet era did it become common for children to attend school. Educating girls in particular was a novel concept. We have little information on boys working before the Soviet era, but suspect that many followed the trades of their fathers. We are also unsure how the transition to the Soviet era was made.


Related Chronolgy Pages in the Boys' Historical Web Site
[The 1880s] [The 1890s] [The 1900s] [The 1910s] [The 1920s] [The 1930s] [The 1940s]
[The 1930s] [The 1940s] [The 1950s] [The 1960s] [The 1970s] [The 1980s]

Related Style Pages in the Boys' Historical Web Site
[Long pants suits] [Knicker suits] [Short pants suits] [Socks] [Eton suits] [Jacket and trousers] [Blazer]
[School sandals] [School smocks] [Sailor suits] [Pinafores] [Long stockings]

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Created: May 16, 2003
Last updated: 5:12 AM 7/15/2005