by Nathan Hamm on 9/13/2004 · 4 comments

I have no opinion or experience one way or the other, but I am curious as to whether or not Uzbeks really do this:

when i was in uzbekistan last year, i met this guy who, after having me over for tea, handed me an invitation to his daughter’s wedding. the invite was in uzbek so i couldn’t read it. but i could read the date of the celebration; it was september 11th. i told him that i didn’t think many people will be getting married on that day in america. he said that in his culture it is traditional to schedule happy occasions on otherwise sad days. that way, over time, the sad occasion gets replaced in people’s minds with the happy things that came later. i don’t know if that’s a real uzbek tradition or if it’s just something that he said after blundering into the faux pas of bringing up 9-11 with an american.

Alisher? Asror? Other Uzbek readers?

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Nathan is the founder and Principal Analyst for Registan, which he launched in 2003. He was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Uzbekistan 2000-2001 and received his MA in Central Asian Studies from the University of Washington in 2007. Since 2007, he has worked full-time as an analyst, consulting with private and government clients on Central Asian affairs, specializing in how socio-cultural and political factors shape risks and opportunities and how organizations can adjust their strategic and operational plans to account for these variables. More information on Registan's services can be found here, and Nathan can be contacted via Twitter or email.

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Tatyana September 13, 2004 at 7:50 pm

I was as surprised (unpleasantly, that’s it), as you when I saw on local Brooklyn TV cable a segment on this same topic – people scheduled weddings in Bay Ridge on 9/11. I heard one bride giving exact same reason – ‘to neutralize negative connotation of that date with celebration”.
I wonder would she booked her wedding ceremony in a cemetery, between the toombstones?

Alisher September 14, 2004 at 12:35 pm

actually i have never heard of such a thing, honestly I dont think so, but who knows, in Uzbekistan customs sometimes change noticably from one region to another..

roman September 14, 2004 at 9:25 pm

i’m from samarkand, and i can recall nothing of the sort

Asror September 19, 2004 at 10:48 pm

I have no idea about it. Actually in my home town I haven’t heard such kind of scheduling of happy events on sad dates.
As Alisher said maybe it depends on regions.

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