Intangible Cultural Heritage Elements of Ferghana Valley
Collection on Intangible Cultural Heritage Elements of Ferghana Valley
Social Practices, Rituals and Festive Events
One of the most ancient cultural locations of Uzbekistan is the Ferghana Valley, which is especially attractive for its peculiar social practices, customs, rituals and folklore song traditions.
Shombarak EventThe term shombarak means ‘evening welcome’, the name given to the process of taking the bride to the groom’s house. The event is conducted as follows: After the groom puts on the wedding clothes sent by the bride, he goes to the bride’s house accompanied by his friends. Meanwhile, at the bride’s house, the bride’s relatives and neighbours gather and wait for the groom’s arrival. When the groom and his friends are seen from afar, two to three boys go into the bride’s house shouting, ‘The groom is coming’. Shortly thereafter, the groom and his friends, singers, and musicians walk into the house dancing and singing the song ‘Shombarak’. In Shahrikhon, the song is performed in Uzbek and Tajik languages. In addition, after the groom and his friends enter, they also sing folk songs ‘Hay Yor Do‘st, Aylanaman’ (Hey Beloved Friend, I am Enchanted) and ‘Vohay Bola’ (Hey, Guy). In the Asaka District, events connected with conducting a wedding party were studied. The customs associated with the groom’s arrival were recorded. These include laying a cloth under the feet of the groom, spreading a kerchief in front of him (a tradition called ‘blocking the road’), presenting a knife to the bride’s young brother, throwing candies over bride’s head, and singing the song ‘Deydiyo’.
Lachak EventLachak is another wedding-related event, which takes place when the bride is leaving her family home to join her new husband. The bride's relatives and her mother-in-law attend the lachak event. During a special ceremony that takes place during the lachak, the bride wears a lachak scarf and receives presents from her mother-in-law and sisters-in-law. Following the gift-giving ceremony, a number of folksongs are performed, including yor-yor and lapar songs. When the bride is ready to leave, two breads are laid on her head to express wishes of fertility and prosperity. Then the bride bows to each present while the song `Kelin Salom' is performed. Thereafter, the bride is seen off to groom's house accompanied by a yor-yor song. Through practicing the lachak event, a number of folk songs and practices in Ferghana Valley are preserved.