I've now had a couple of weeks to observe the Tajik people and their ways.The first thing I noticed upon entering Khujand was the colorful dress of the women, a huge contrast from the gray soviet buildings and the dusty roads.If she does, then her parents are contacted and if they too, and the girl (though her opinion is secondary), agree the marriage happens one month later.
After the wedding, the girl goes to live with her husband and his family and her married life begins in a new family.
There is nothing close to Western "dating" in Tajikistan.
All Tajiks are Muslim, but few fundamentalists live here in the city.
Families vary on how committed they are to Islam, but Tajik traditions exist for all families, no matter how devout.
The natural environment, too, is generally beautiful -- the sky is very blue and mountains line all horizons, but there are few trees and no grass here in the city.
Perhaps out of habit from the days of the Soviet Union, the Tajik people seem to care much more about preserving their culture --their national dress, the national dishes, their commitment to Islam--than about bettering their country as a whole--the economy, the roads and the buildings, for instance. Whatever the case, Tajik culture is still very rich -- remarkable that it survived the uniformity of the Soviet Union.
Unions are made on practicality and the modest woman who knows how to cook and clean well is the choicest pick, though her beauty also plays a role.
Parents, often it is the mother, choose the bride for their son who then goes to "look" at her to see if she pleases him.
One of these, and perhaps the most different to our Western traditions, is arranged marriage.