SEEING-OFF TO THE LAST JOURNEY

Death is usually crowded and solemn ceremony. Respect to the departed is the ancient tradition of Uzbeks people. It is natural when the person after reaching old age takes leave of this transitory world. Our father and grandfathers were right that “the death of a father or a mother is inheritance”.

There are many rituals related with this ancient ceremony. For instance, a man in his declining years passed on. Uzbeks like other muslim nations conduct the ceremony of parting of the dead. The eyes of the dead are closed, the feet are laid together and big toes are tied. The man washes the dead (a woman washer for women, and a man washer for men) before his last journey and wraps him up to a perpetual cloth: shroud.

According to the tradition the decedent are wrapped up to the shroud laced from white fabric. The dead is usually are mourned over by women. A grave which consists of two parts is prepared. Two parts are the grave itself and a side hollow, where the body is placed. At the ceremony of funeral sons, brothers and relatives of the dead put on chapan (national outer cloth) and tyubeteyka (national head cap). Sticks are made from fresh branches and stick into around the grave.

During funeral women do not go to the cemetery no matter the dead is a man or a woman; only men see off the dead to his final journey. According to Uzbek tradition all people even if they are the strangers has to follow funeral procession at least for seven steps carrying on their shoulders tobut (a coffin). The majority of people consider this action as a good deed.

Before burying the dead mullah reads djanaza (requiem prayer).Surahs from Koran related with the transitory nature of the world and death are read. Then commands to do good deeds, to observe indisputable laws of morality and conscience are narrated to the gathered people. Besides djanaza is not read to the people, who made a suicide. It is considered as a sin.

When the burial is finished a man asks: “What a person was he/she?”, and the people certainly reply “A good and worthy of getting to Eden”. This is also a peculiar tradition.

Pieces of white material are handed out to the relatives and the participants of the funeral. The possible debts of the dead are taken on by his eldest son or the closest relative.

For three days the family of the dead meet guests. During these days the clothes of the dead are hanged at home and meals are not prepared in the house of the dead. Neighbours and close relatives take this responsibility on them.

There are several ceremonies of funeral which take place after 7, 20, 40, 365 days after the death. Usually there is specially prepared food plov for the guests on the day of 40 days or 1 year after the death.

Life is the opportunity for the men to do good deeds. Death inevitably takes away the body but the soul will continue to live while good deeds will remain forever.

 

 

Traditions of Uzbekistan.