Clara Drew, Jeannie Rana, Jacob Carner, and Annie Hollon

Ethnic Groups and Religions

Ethnic Groups:

  • Tajik 62.2%, Uzbek 23.5%, Russian 7.6%, Kyrgyz 1.2%, and other 5.5%
  • Tajik is the official language
  • Civil war: May 1992-June 1997
  • Conflict started over presidential election.
  • Rebels against government.
  • Rebels won and forced president to resign.


  • Sunni Muslim 85%, Shia Muslim 5%, other 10%
  • Sunni Muslims are a branch of Islam who believe in the 4 caliphs as successors to the prophet Muhammad. Caliph means "successor" and refers to the leaders of Islamic society after the death of Muhammad.
  • Only practice what Muhammad was revealed to by Allah (God).
  • The term "Sunni" is short for a term meaning " the adherents of the Prophet's traditions and the majority."
  • Before Islam was introduced, most of the natives were of zoroastrian heritage.

Cultural Traditions and Etiquette

  • Hospitality is treasured.
  • Respectful of elders.
  • They should not eat or pass dishes using left hand because your left hand is considered "unsanitary."
  • They're not allowed to place dinner bread on a plate upside-down. This is because it is considered a blessing from God, so it is considered disrespectful.
  • Weddings, birthday celebrations, and other ceremonies/events are very lavish.
  • They must eat all of the food served, otherwise it is considered rude to the host

Common Attire


  • Straight dresses with long sleeves that cover the hands are worn over trousers.
  • As many as 7 dresses are worn at a time during festive celebrations, each with different sleeve lengths to allow for the fine embroidery to show.
  • Many women wear either a large kerchief wrapped around their heads, or what is called a Toki-Kallapush, or skullcap. This is a round headdress that is worn mostly in colder climates (such as mountains) with many religious or ethnic symbols sewn onto it.
  • Many women wear wooden clogs or leather shoes in traditional places. However, some women in the mountain groups wear tall leather boots because of the terrain.
  • In weddings, women wear a simple white dress with no jewelry. When she moves into the groom's house, she must cover herself with a number of kerchiefs to keep from her skin showing. Finally, as guests come to congratulate them and visit, she must wear her finest clothing and big jewelry. This 3 wardrobe changes reflect the 3 stages of transforming from an unmarried women to a married woman.


  • Men's clothing are a lot less diverse.
  • A loose shirt is worn over trousers, however the style of the neck of the shirt is very important. It shows which region you belong to.
  • Men's fashion is much more relaxed than girls. They are not expected to follow the rules quite as much as the women are.
  • However, some men are traditional in what they wear, and can wear a Toki-Kallapush too.

Interesting Facts

Fact One: Legend of the Yeti/Abominable Snowman

  • 1967-1968 Russian soldiers reported to see it in the Parmir Mountain Ranges, but the superior brushed it off.
  • Guards on next watch saw and reported it again. They were sent to "capture it at all costs."
  • Shot at it until it stopped moving and put it in a nearby shed.
  • Later transported it to the capital secretly to collect "data and information."
  • Remains disappeared, but no one has determined what happened to them.
  • Still a very big legend in Tajikistan.

Fact Two: Independence Day

  • Gained independence September 9, 1991 from the Soviet Union.
  • Celebrations take place all over the country in places such as Ayni Park, Friendship of Peoples Park, 800- Aniversary of Moscow Square, and Metropolitan Ampitheatre.
  • Includes: Parade with girls in traditional dresses. They carry chocolate around, also.
  • Very big and festive concerts with famous music groups.
  • Very important to Tajik people.
Fact Three: Linguistically Complex

  • Official Language: Tajik, which is a form of Farsi, but Russian is still used commonly.
  • Ethnic minorities speak their own language, which include Uzbek, Pashto, and Kyrgyz. Mountain minorities speak distinct languages, which include Shughni, Yagh, and Nobi.

Clara Drew, Jeannie Rana, Annie Hollon, and Jacob Carner

Ethnic Groups and Religions- Jacob Carner

Cultural Traditions and Etiquette- Jeannie Rana

Clothing and Attire- Clara Drew

Interesting Facts- Annie Hollon