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Uzbekistan: Rules for Observing Family Events

(Mar. 30, 2018) On March 15, 2018, the Senate (upper chamber) of the Oliy Majlis (Uzbek legislature) adopted the nonbinding Resolution on Regulating Celebrations of Weddings, Funerals, Family Festivities, and Other Events and published it for public comment on the government website. The Resolution is expected to enter into force on March 30, 2018, and even though it is more like a recommendation, it is expected that local government authorities will follow the rules it prescribes. (Resolution of the Uzbekistan Senate of the Oliy Majlis, Mar. 15, 2018 (in Uzbek).) The Resolution states that while the celebration of weddings and other family events is an inalienable part of Uzbek culture and tradition, such celebrations are becoming too lavish and negatively impact the financial well-being of Uzbek families.

With the purpose to “avoid conflicts related to payment of the bills for wedding celebrations,” the Resolution provides for restricting the length of the festivities and number of the invitees. (Id. (translation by author).) For example, weddings cannot be celebrated during the nighttime, all festivities must stop no later than 11 p.m., and the traditional national food plov, a rice-based dish which is a staple of Uzbek cuisine, can be offered only between noon and 3 p.m. Plov can be offered to no more than 200 people, and other wedding-related events should be attended by no more than 150 people. To ensure public security, the Resolution states that it will be illegal to use more than two cars for the wedding procession, and transportation at weddings shall be provided by a government licensed company. Also, the Resolution lists some traditional ethnic rites and rituals which cannot be performed by wedding guests. Only one entertainer or music group should be invited to perform at a wedding. Public control over the implementation of this Resolution will be organized and special commissions created under local government authorities. Members of these commissions will be required to attend the weddings and ensure that they are conducted in accordance with the prescribed rules. (Id.)

Commenting on the adoption of this Resolution, the Chief of Uzbekistan’s Information Agency stated that “if someone has too much money, he should help the state and people instead of conducting unnecessary spending, for example, he can buy books and donate them to a school library.” (Weddings Will Be Placed Under Control, UPL.UZ (Mar. 5, 2018) (in Russian, translation by author).)