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A family starts from matchmaking. Matchmaker is the person who is called upon to unite bonds of relationship between two families. Two-four persons, who are often respected women and rarely parents themselves, participate in matchmaking. Matchmaking party chooses the honored, intelligent and well educated people as matchmakers. Their task is not easy and very important. Their words should be well-considered and reliable. Matchmakers visit the house of a future bride on behalf of a bridegroom asking for her hand. The subsequent life of two young people depends mostly on the bridegroom himself, experience of his parents, relatives as well as matchmakers. At the same time these people who undertake to do such a responsible job should know well both families as well as their children. If they do not, they have to find out from neighbours, relatives, friends of the family. After getting necessary information matchmakers proceed to the job.

Otherwise they will be obliged to the misfortune of two young lives. They recognize that this is a delicate and responsible task, since their decision will influence the future of a young family. The matchmakers following the saying “who has a marriageable girl, he/she has caprUzbek brideices” visit the bride home three-four times with some interval. When they return they are asked “The wolf or the fox”. In case they have good news, they reply “the wolf”. Otherwise they say “the fox”. The matchmakers haunt the bridegroom’s threshold without a rest and visit her house with enviable persistence till they get agreement. When their aim is realized traditional ceremony called “breaking a bread” is held as a sign of engagement. Before the matchmakers did not come to the bride’s home suddenly that is without a notice. One the matchmakers and sometimes the bridegroom’s mother early at the dawn when everybody were asleep went to the girls’ home and swept the threshold. When the parents of the girl noticed this they started preparations to meet guests.

They tried to learn more about the bridegroom’s family and their social status. As a rule the parents of the girl, even if they are predisposed to the bridegroom, never give their final consent to matchmakers at their first visit. Parents try to raise the dignity and honour of her daughter. At present the work of matchmakers is considerably lightened. Firstly, young men make the acquaintance themselves and get the permission of their parents. Secondly, the role of matchmakers is undertaken by relatives like parents, aunts and sisters. They want to know about social origin, ancestry, blood of the bride or bridegroom.

Much attention is paid to the opinion of the neighbours as well as the reference from place of study or work. Besides particular importance in this process is given to a specially organized “date” of young people. Meeting in such a appointments a girl or a guy learn their personality, interests and outlook, even though from surface. If they like each other they can start meeting themselves later. According to its results they can decide to marry. Old matchmakers like an ambassador executing missions of a state importance, were trained for this work, knew proverbs and sayings, puns, were sharp-witted and smooth-tongued, had the soul of a poet and logical thinking of a scientist, could keep secrets. Thus they rose to the level of connoisseur of family relations.


Traditions of Uzbekistan.