Guide for dating in Central Asia helps you to meet the best girls. This dating guide gives you tips how to date Central Asian women. You will learn rules where and how to flirt with local Central Asian girls. We advise how to move from casual dating to the relationship and find the real love. We also tell the best dating sites in Central Asia. In this article below you will find more information where to meet and date girls in Central Asia, Asia.
Girls in Central Asia:
- Looks of girls: 3.5 - 4 / 5
- Attitude of girls: 4 - 4.5 / 5
- Loyalty of girls: 4 - 4.5 / 5
- Education level of girls: 2.5 - 4 / 5
Dating in Central Asia:
- Chance of arranging dates: 2 - 3.5 / 5
- Casual dating culture: 1.5 - 3 / 5
- Online dating popularity: 2 - 3 / 5
Sex in Central Asia:
- Women's sexual activity: 1.5 - 3 / 5
- One-night stands: 1.5 - 3 / 5
More about Central Asia:
- Nightlife in general: 2 - 3.5 / 5
- Locals' English level: 1.5 - 3 / 5
- Budget per day: US$100 - $600
- Accommodation: US$50 - $350
- 1 Dating
- 2 Women
- 3 Sex
- 4 Best Places to Meet Single Girls
- 5 Relationship
- 6 Love
- 7 Marriage
- 8 Regions
- 9 Cities
- 10 See Also
Central Asia is a region that stretches from the Caspian Sea in the west to China and Mongolia in the east and from Afghanistan and Iran in the south to Russia in the north. The region consists of the former Soviet republics of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. Depending on different interpretations, the neighboring areas are sometimes also considered part of the region. From the mid-19th century until almost the end of the 20th century, most of Central Asia was part of the Russian Empire and later the Soviet Union. Central Asia has a population of about 72 million with an area of 4,003,451 square kilometers.
A majority of the region's marriages are arranged by parents. Dating is uncommon in the villages of Central Asia; the idea of unmarried couples living together is virtually unheard of. To a Central Asian girl, the family is the most important thing in life. Before she can get serious with you and aim for marriage, she needs to know her family approves her choice. Make sure to use your charm, charisma, and maybe even nice gifts to win their approval.
The dating culture is quite strict, women normally do not date with a random person in Uzbekistan. You can date only if you want to make a family and kids and at the same time it has to be official. In Kyrgyzstan, dating is a serious business because people are expected to get married in their early twenties. If they fail to find a partner themselves, families get involved. Yet for progressive women, the attempts by their families to find them good matches can get annoying quickly.
In Turkmenistan, especially in rural areas, marriages are often arranged by special matchmakers. Aside from finding the right match in terms of social status, education, and other qualities, the matchmakers invariably must find couples of the same clan and locale. Most couples have known each other beforehand and freely consent to the marriage arrangement. Kazakhs are Sunni Muslims. Their marriage and wedding customs have traditionally been in line with Islamic law and customs. Following their nomadic clan traditions, there are strict taboos preventing marriages to relatives going back seven generations.
The dating, engagement and wedding process among Tajiks is complicated, with processes of choosing the spouse, courtship, proposal, engagement and many other processes. In the old days, child marriages were common and some customs related to them endure.
Sugar dating is one of the best ways to find a date in 2022. Men who are willing to buy gifts for sugar babies, will get physical or emotional pleasure for a return. Take a look of the wide selection of girls from SecretBenefits.
Dating in Central Asia can be a bit tricky due to not knowing if you have a solid connection, so your best bet is to sign up for a dating site before you venture to the night club or bar, so you can meet a few locals ahead of time. AdultFriendFinder.com lets you meet local members in Central Asia and get to know them on a personal basis before you meet in person. Take advantage of site features like live chat and member to member webcams so you can begin flirting before arranging a face-to-face meeting.
The position of women in society in Central Asia has been and is influenced by a variety of factors, including local traditions and customs, decades of Soviet regime, rapid social and economic changes and instability after independence, and new emerging Western values. Women are increasingly holding high-ranking political and government positions. In December 2009 Kazakhstan adopted the law "On the state guarantees of equal rights and equal opportunities for men and women", which stipulates equal access of men and women to civil service.
Women in Turkmenistan comprise 50.8% of the country's population. They generally have assigned roles in society and reduced rights compared to men. The study of women's rights in the country is made difficult by government censorship and lack of reliable, official data. Under Article 18 of the Constitution of Turkmenistan, women are guaranteed equal rights to men. In practice, however, they face routine political and societal discrimination. Women are not allowed to form independent women's organizations, and all such organizations must be registered under the Women's Union of Turkmenistan.
Women's rights in Afghanistan have been varied throughout history. Women officially gained equality under the 1964 constitution. However, these rights were taken away in the 1990s through different temporary rulers such as the Taliban during the civil war. Especially during the latter's rule, women had very little to no freedom, specifically in terms of civil liberties. Ever since the Taliban regime was removed in late 2001, women's rights have gradually improved under the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.
Central Asian Girls (age 18 - 29)
The appearance of a typical Central Asian woman is quite impressive to look at. The delicate facial structure, long and shiny black hair, and slim bodies of local girls are simply what dreams are made of. Even though they may look modest, Central Asian girls know exactly how to make their best features seen. They don't wear revealing clothes daily, but their innate elegance and knowledge of their strong suit make the fashion sense of a Central Asian girl impeccable.
The parents of a local girl teach her to be respectful to others and modest, but she also wants to stand out from other women. She will behave as graciously as you’d ever hope and she will masterfully support any conversation thanks to the inborn intelligence and good education they receive in their early years.
Central Asian Women (age 30 - 45)
A Central Asian woman cannot imagine a family without children. She may be very happy with being married to you, but she will always want to start a family. If children are your top priority and goal for the nearest future, you should know that Central Asian women make amazing mothers. They know not only how to make their children feel loved and well cared for, but also how to raise them to become self-sufficient individuals with excellent moral qualities.
Central Asian women make no secret out of their love for housework. Unlike most other women around the world who only do housework out of necessity, the women enjoy tidying up the house and making it look comfy and elegant.
Central Asian Ladies (age 45+)
When a Central lady finds a husband, she considers him to be her partner for life. No matter what you may be going through, you can always count on the support and love of a Central Asian lady. And we don’t even need to mention that these women are as far from the idea of cheating on their spouse as possible — even the thought of paying attention to another man will never cross their minds.
From the historical, geographical, social, and cultural peculiarities of Central Asia, you can be easily tempted to think that the Central Asian ladies have outdated views on life and marriage. However, that is far from being true. The truth is that local ladies absorb modern views as quickly as they learn to showcase their ethereal beauty.
Foreign Girls (tourists, expats, students, etc.)
As emerging economies yet to reach high levels of progress, most of the foreign girls are tourists. Central Asia is most notable for being home to the 'stans': Rugged countries with limited arable land, historically coveted for their position between Europe and East Asia, The Central Asia region hosted about 12 million visitors annually and is gaining more attention as an emerging tourism destination, with strong potential for further development under the common brand of the Great Silk Road.
As mentioned earlier, religion plays a central life in the lives of many Central Asians. This has resulted in fewer girls engaging in sex before marriage. This has however changed recently with the proliferation of western culture into the lives of Central Asians.
Although sex is considered to be important, many Central Asian women are reluctant to discuss their sexual preferences with their husbands. Attitudes towards premarital and extramarital sex differ for males and females. Women are expected to refrain from premarital sex, though not all do so in practice.
With the high influence of Islam on the Central Asian countries, the occurrence of one-night stands is predictably low. This is because of the stigma that is attached especially to girls who lose their virginity before marriage. However, many young central Asians are slowly reversing this trend and secretly having one-night stands.
Best Places to Meet Single Girls
With its medieval blue-domed cities, kinetic bazaars and remote yurtstays, Central Asia encapsulates the romance of the Silk Road like nowhere else. For decades – centuries even – much of the world has regarded Central Asia as a blank on the map, synonymous with the middle of nowhere, rather than the heartland of Asia. For a certain type of wanderer, this is all part of the attraction of a land that has been largely off-limits to travelers for the last 2000 years. Head even a little bit off the beaten track and you'll likely have the place to yourself. The region's little-visited oddities, namely Turkmenistan and most of Kazakhstan are even further removed from the modern world and offer an addictive interest all of their own.
Whether you want to explore the architectural gems of Bukhara or take a horse trek across the high Pamirs, everywhere in Central Asia you'll be greeted with instinctive local hospitality and offered a shared meal, a helping hand or a place to stay. Beyond Uzbekistan's Silk Road cities, mass tourism has yet to make any inroads in Central Asia, lending an authentic sense of discovery to each trip. Add to this the intrinsic fascination of a forgotten region slowly emerging as a geopolitical pivot point and you have one of Asia's most absorbing hidden corners.
Bars, Pubs and Nightclubs
- Save the Ales: Bishkek's favorite craft-beer bar, where drinking the best beer in town straight from the taps more than makes up for the higher than average prices. On warm evenings, tables spill out from the small indoor seating area and into the yard out the front. It can be hard to find – look for the glowing sign off Tynystanov across the street from the Turkish Embassy in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan.
- Chukotka: Good rock bands from around 9 pm and DJs spinning house, soul, hip hop and disco after midnight make sure the dance floor is never still at this ever-hip Almaty, Kazakhstan nightspot inside Panfilov Park. The crowd is open-minded, student-to-30s and gay friendly. The free admission helps, as do the relatively reasonable drink prices.
- Staryy Edgar: Bishkek's most loveable old pub is hidden in a basement beneath the west side of the Russian Drama Theatre. The walls are festooned with old tape-recorders, typewriters, bottles and 20th-century 'antiques', and from around 7 pm there's usually a low-key live band playing blues or soft-rock covers. Decent food, too. Gets pretty full but there's summer seating outside in the park.
- Dushanbe Plaza Restaurant Club: With a 360-degree view of Dushanbe, Tajikistan, the top floor of this wedding-cake building offers the perfect place for sundowners. A DJ ensures that the dance floors of the adjoining club are kept pulsing with the latest house music and a few limited dining options mean party types can make a night of it.
- Blues Café: A surprisingly tasteful and low-lit bar deep in the Russian old town of Uzbekistan, Blues Cafe is one of Samarkand's coolest spots and has live jazz and blues music most Fridays. There's real coffee, a full menu of Western food and cocktails to be had.
- Chemodan Zusmanovicha: The location in a residential area near Orto-Say Bazaar in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan makes this spot hard to find, but the too-cool ambiance and well-crafted mixed drinks at 'Zusmanovich's Suitcase' make it worth the effort. Check their social media pages for details on live music and other performances.
- Chor Bagh: Right in Central Park, Chor Bagh is the most attractive place to enjoy a drink in Khorog, Tajikistan with a great open-air pavilion perched above the river for those balmy summer evenings. Good for a cold beer and pancakes.
- Tapas Bar: For flat-out debauchery, it’s hard to beat this hipsterish student venue, formerly known as VM. Ostensibly a warm-up (or warm-down) bar for club-goers, its small dance floor often takes on a life of its own, obviating the need to go elsewhere. Weekends bring live bands. It's accessed from its separate entrance inside the grounds of Le Grande Plaza Hotel, Tashkent, Uzbekistan.
- City Pub: Though looking nothing like one, a ‘real British pub’ has found its way to Ashgabat, Turkmenistan. It's often empty though, with televisions providing the only atmosphere. There's a decent menu here as well, which is best enjoyed in the brighter and generally more pleasant next door restaurant.
- Cafe Güneş: In a courtyard behind the Hotel Daýhan in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, this place serves up the cheapest beer in town and does tasty kebabs, with outdoor tables and a friendly atmosphere. If you're taking a taxi here or seeking directions, ask for Zip Bar – locals use its nickname.
- Vzletnaya: The latest club du jour caters to Almaty's young and beautiful crowd, as well as serious techno and trance enthusiasts. Quality local DJs get rave reviews for their sets.
Some of the malls in East Asia include:
- Protrade Central Asia, Almaty, Kazakhstan
- GUM Shopping Mall, Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan
- Asia Park Mall, Astana, Kazakhstan
- Umarion, Panjakent, Tajikistan
- Caspian Waterfront Mall, Baku, Azerbaijan
Remote even by Kyrgyzstan standards, the magnificent Köl-Suu lake stretches over 10km through a sheer mountain gorge that reaches nearly to the Chinese border. It's hard to grasp the true scale until locally run boat trips (from $200 per person) strikeout for the center of the lake, where they seemed dwarfed by rock walls on every side. At 3500m the weather here can change rapidly so be sure to pack warm and carry extra provisions.
Located in the Tien Shan mountains of Kazakhstan, Lake Kaindy is a sparkling turquoise lake featuring an eerie sunken forest. An enormous limestone landslide, triggered by the 1911 Kebin earthquake, blocked the gorge and formed a natural dam, which filled with rainwater and created the lake. Today, the water in Lake Kaindy is reportedly so cold that the foliage remains on the sunken trees, even after 100 years.
Beginning in Afghanistan and ending in Kyrgyzstan, the Pamir Highway is a scenic, remote historical road that traverses the Pamir Mountains of Tajikistan. It was once an important link along the ancient Silk Road, but today, travelers making the journey have the chance to see yaks or even a rare herd of Marco Polo sheep along the way.
National Museum of the Republic of Kazakhstan: This huge blue-glass-and-white-marble museum covers the history and culture of Kazakhstan from ancient to modern times. Themed halls comprise interactive displays and artifact exhibits, ranging from a yurt in the Hall of Ethnography to a chronicle of the capital's modern history in the Hall of Astana. Don't miss the Golden Hall, which houses several thousand Bronze Age ornaments from the famed 'Golden Man' (a national symbol of Kazakhstan) – a 3rd- or 4th-century warrior whose gold-clad remains were uncovered in 1969.
Yasaui Mausoleum: This astoundingly beautiful, tiled mausoleum in Kazakhstan, Turkestan with a turquoise dome is home to Kozha Akhmed Yasaui. The main chamber is capped with an 18m-wide dome, above a vast, 2000kg, metal kazan (cauldron) for holy water, given by Timur, who had the tomb built in the 14th century. Yasaui’s tomb lies behind an ornate wooden door at the end of the main chamber: you can view it through grilles from corridors on either side.
Bibi-Khanym Mosque: The enormous congregational Bibi-Khanym Mosque, northeast of the Registan in Uzbekistan, was financed from the spoils of Timur's invasion of India and must have been the jewel of his empire. Once one of the Islamic world’s biggest mosques (the cupola of the main mosque is 41m high and the pishtak or entrance portal, 38m), it pushed contemporary (14th century) construction techniques to the limit, so much so that the dome started crumbling even before construction had finished.
Ethnography Museum: Sharing the same complex as the National Museum of Antiquities, this small museum houses an exquisite collection of traditional Tajikistan clothing (including a great set of woolen socks and gloves that seem disproportionately large for the average wearer) and some fine enamel jewelry in the form of amulets and earrings. The real gems of the collection, though, are the samples of vertically striped silk cloth known as 'atlas' – a fabric still worn by Tajikistani women on special occasions.
Universities and Colleges
Some of the universities and colleges found in the region include:
- The Almaty University of Power Engineering and Telecommunications, Kazakhstan
- American University of Istaravshan, Tajikistan
- Oguz Han Engineering and Technology University of Turkmenistan, Ashgabat
- Bukhara Engineering Institute of High Technology, Uzbekistan
- Institute of Archaeology of the Science Academy, Uzbekistan
If you just want a quick, unbounded and easy relationship, Central Asia is not a place to search for that kind of thing. People in Central Asia generally look out for long term relationships that they can be serious and open with. Locals seem to like to take things slow. Before you even begin meeting in real life or forming a love interest towards each other, you need to talk and do some moves on your partner for a couple of weeks. Further flirting and little games are not needed in the dating life of the locals. Central Asians will tell you if they are interested in you and want to spend a date or two with you. But they will also be honest when they don’t want to and you should respect that.
Central Asian people do not like to show their affection in public mostly because they are still tied to their norms and traditional way of living. But they are still a very passionate couple and will usually show you affection in their everyday manners and action.
Holidays come with the added benefit because they offer the chance for one to hook up with beautiful girls. Spending the holidays in Islamabad is the perfect opportunity for you to hook up with local Pakistani girls or even foreign girls who are also on holiday. However, Islamabad is a strongly Islamic country and religion plays a key role in the life of the citizens. This means that some acts such as public display of affection are discouraged.
Tips for Successful Relationship
As the months and years roll on, we tend to slink into our proverbial sweatpants and get lazy in our relationship. We lose our patience, gentleness, thoughtfulness, understanding, and the general effort we once made toward our mate. Think back to the first year of your relationship and write down all the things you used to do for your partner then start doing them again.
Over time, we assume that our partner knows us so well that we don't need to ask for what we want. What happens when we make this assumption? Expectations are set, and just as quickly, they get deflated. Those unmet expectations can leave us questioning the viability of our partnership and connection. Keep in mind that "asking for what you want" extends to everything from emotional to sexual wants.
Create a weekly ritual to check in with each other. This can be short or long, but it begins by asking each other what worked and didn't work about the previous week and what can be done to improve things this coming week. Additionally, use this opportunity to get on the same page with your schedules, plan a date night, and talk about what you would like to see happen in the coming days, weeks, and months in your relationship.
Unless you have committed to an asexual partnership, sex and touch such as kissing, holding hands, and cuddling are vital components of a romantic relationship. How much sex a couple has is, of course, up to the particular pair of individuals, so you must discuss your ideas about it to manage any desire discrepancy.
Life and work distractions can become paramount in our minds, and that leaves little time or energy for our partner. Barring any emergencies or deadlines, we should be fully present when we are with our mate. We truly hear what they are saying (instead of pretending to listen), we leave our distractions behind, and we don't pick them up again until the sun comes up and we walk out the door.
When conflicts inevitably come up, remember to approach them thoughtfully and with a lot of kindness toward your partner and yourself. If you see the stress beginning to escalate during a conversation about a conflict, one or both of you can call a break so that cooler heads can prevail.
In most disagreements, we communicate from the obvious emotions such as anger, annoyance, and the like. Leading from this place can create confusion and defensiveness, and it can ultimately distract from the real issue. Start communicating from the bottom layer which is the feelings that are driving your reactions, such as disappointment, rejection, loneliness, or disrespect.
Conversations quickly turn to arguments when we're invested in hearing our partner admit that we were right or when we are intent on changing their opinion. Choose to approach a conversation as an opportunity to understand your significant other's perspective as opposed to waiting for them to concede. From this perspective, you will have an interesting dialogue and prevent a blowout or lingering frustration.
It's well understood that apologizing is a good thing, but it only makes a real impact when you mean it. Saying things like "I'm sorry you feel that way," "I'm sorry you see it that way," or "I'm sorry if I upset you" are a waste of time and breath. Even if you don't agree that your action was wrong, you will never successfully argue a feeling.
Any issues you avoid, or truths you don’t want to acknowledge, will likely undermine your relationship. It’s better to face the truth squarely in the face right now and address it, rather than let it sabotage your relationship in the long run. Be intentional and figure out the truth about your relationship. Think through all aspects of it—your feelings and thoughts, the other person’s feelings and thoughts, as well as their external context.
Dating in Central Asia is limited to meetings but yes, some people go beyond limits set by society and religion. Dating is more common in big cities but people in rural areas don't date. People date secretly. You can try to date. But there is no guarantee that you will end up with that person even if you want that to happen. Because in Central Asia marriage is not between two people, it's between two families. Marriage is already complicated, so when two families are involved there is very little chance of both families agreeing to anything at all.
Casual dating is strongly disapproved of among the older generation of Central Asians. There remains a lot of protectionism and paternalism surrounding women especially, and conservatism regarding their relationships. Some of the younger generations have a more liberal understandings of relationships and begin dating during or after they finish their tertiary studies. However, the sight of two people from the opposite gender alone in public is likely to draw varying degrees of judgment.
How to Make Sure She Is the One
Before marrying a woman, you must be sure that she will always support you in any situation, especially in the presence of other people. If she is very considerate, then you won’t have to worry that she somehow will disgrace you. For example, a tactless woman may make a toxic comment to your relatives or may comment on your shortcomings in front of the guests. It doesn’t mean that she should always agree with you. She just has to know how to gently tell you about your problems.
A healthy, stable relationship focuses on giving rather than taking. Seeing your significant other happy should make you just as happy, and she should treat you in the same way. Your joy should be her joy, too—it can be as simple as asking about your day or looking after you when you are sick. As time passes, the excitement at the beginning of the relationship will pass, but you should both be just as focused on giving each other happiness.
If you want to spend the rest of your life with someone, you must find that person intellectually challenging. Looks are fleeting but personality is forever—your conversations together should be interesting, insightful and full of depth. Your partner should be able to challenge your opinions, opening up your mind to new ideas and concepts.
An ideal wife is someone who will do good things, not just because other men's wives do them too, but because they are the right things to do. She surpasses other women, not because she competes with them, but because she competes with herself and tries to improve every day a little bit more.
There is a big difference between a wish and the ability to have children. If your girlfriend shows that she likes children and maybe even persuaded you to have a pet, then you know that her mother's instincts are active. For your children, this means that if you marry her, they will have a nice mother and a happy and healthy family. Look at her reaction when you start talking about children, she may feel afraid, but never disgusted.
In addition to supporting and encouraging you to pursue your own goals and dreams, she will have her own as well. A mature woman has a vision for her future and chases after it with voracity. A mature woman will be someone you can take on the world with. She will be your partner in crime, a teammate in your relationship, and life.
Family in Central Asia starts with matchmaking arrangements. A person who knows well both bride's and groom's family takes the responsibility of arranging their marriage. Sometimes up to 3 or 4 people participate in this very important task. Most of the time it is an elder woman who has the wisdom gained from prior experiences of arranging marriages, less commonly it is done by the parents of two young people.
The person who arranges the marriage chooses the bride or groom from two very respectable and educated families. It is a very difficult process, description of the bride to be or groom to be must be accurate, well presented and trustworthy.
In many Central Asian counties those who arrange the marriage visit homes of the future bride on behalf of the groom and his family and propose marriage. The future of a young family depends on the groom's character, his parent's and relative's life experiences and the marriage arranger herself. By taking the responsibility of matchmaking person has to know everything about the bride's and groom's families and as well as the bride and groom themselves otherwise it is considered a big sin to arrange an unhappy marriage for both families. Those people must understand that wellbeing and the future of the young family are in their hands.
In present time the process of matchmaking became easier in some parts of Central Asia, young women and men meet each other in their own and then ask their parents for permission to the marriage of their parents or immediate family members play the role of matchmakers. They tell each other about their families, relatives and other background information. A lot of attention is paid to how neighbors describe the bride or groom and references from school or work.
The bride and groom are allowed to have few dates before giving their final agreement for the engagement. Those dates are very important as they allow young people to find out more information about each other, such as their views on different aspects of life, their personalities and interests. Based on those dates they can make a better decision about the possibility of future marriage. Marriage arrangement is an ancient and well-respected tradition of Central Asia.
In Kazakhstan, the religious part of the wedding ceremony is called Neke Qiyu. The wedding process may take many weeks and even months to complete. This is because a Kazakh marriage, like marriages in most Muslim societies, involves a contract between families that requires negotiation. The Neke Qiyu is a small portion of the whole and usually takes about a half an hour to complete. The Neke Qiyu usually takes place on the evening of the day the bride is revealed to her groom's family. This festive ceremony is called betashar or "revealing of the face." After she shows respect to her groom's family, the veil is lifted and the bride receives a kiss from her mother-in-law. The mother-in-law then puts a white scarf on her head to symbolize her marital status and then welcomes her into the groom's family.
Turkmen weddings and early days of marriage feature many unique customs and rituals. According to popular Turkmen belief, the bride cannot walk on a spot marked by the blood of a butchered animal, walk past dirty water or cinder, pass beneath certain kinds of trees during the first days of marriage; she also is not supposed to visit funerals or commemorations. One of the most interesting and complex elements of the wedding ritual is the bashsalma — the ceremonial of changing of the unmarried woman’s headdress, or takhya, for the one of a married woman. The ritual is both solemn and cheerful and is characterized by noisy symbolical scramble between women and girls for the bride.
In traditional Tajikistan weddings, the wedding day - nikkah - starts very early with pilaw cooking with further invitation of all villagers. First men are fed, and then it is the turn of women with children. The bride and the groom (each in his/her own home) prepare for the wedding ceremony. Closer to the evening the mullah (priest) was sent for. The bride's friends and relatives invited women-neighbors for the wedding. When invited each one gave a girl who had invited her cup of flour - the sign of a happy wedding. After refreshments and prayers for the happiness of the groom and the bride, the bride and her friends sat in the corner opposite the front door behind a curtain. There the bride was dressed and combed with prayers and other women dancing in front of the curtain.
The traditional Central Asian family is extended, patrilineal, and patrilocal. There are many variations over this vast area, especially between the historically sedentary and the nomadic peoples. These were intensified by differential exposure to Sovietization, Tajikistan being the least influenced and Kazakhstan the most, with urban populations more affected than rural.
Extended families have traditionally been the most basic social unit among Turkmen. The traditional family unit is comprised of a man, his wife or wives, his sons with their families, and unmarried children. The father is the formal head of the household yet wives and elder sons can exert considerable informal influence. When sons move out, when they are between 30 and 40 years old, they tend to live near their fathers and help with family economic activities. Soviet housing shortages and internal passports tended to strengthen traditional extended family bonds rather than weaken them.
Tajikistan society has traditionally revolved around extended families that shared adjacent houses in a single-walled compound. The pattern has been disrupted somewhat by the construction of apartment blocks with only enough room for nuclear families and the breaking up of extended families as individuals move to where the work is. Family size has been declining, but large families are still common. A typical rural nuclear family has six or seven children. An extended family unit often has double that or more, when grandparents and other relations are added in. Urban families tend to be smaller, with two or three children, possible with grandparents, squeezed into a small apartment. Usually, the nuclear family includes the parents of the husband.
In Uzbekistan, society has traditionally been organized along patrilineal lines, with status kin relationships distinguished by gender and by birth order age among siblings. Kinship terminology is very complex. They are different terms for older and younger brothers and sisters and patrilineal and matrilineal uncles and aunts. Most Uzbek families are nuclear families with parents and grown children living separate residences, and brothers living apart from one another. There are also families in which three generations live together. Extended families living together are more common in rural areas, where such families have traditionally lived together in a large compound.
One-time backpacker Shangri-La, but bloody (and ongoing) war, famine, and nightmare politics since the late 1970s have left it with considerably less appeal for travellers.
The world's largest landlocked nation is sparsely populated, dominated by archetypal Central Asian steppe, with deep reserves of fossil fuels, and pockets of beautiful wilderness for outdoors enthusiasts.
A truly beautiful country high in the mountains, and with the exception of the admittedly fascinating but unsafe Ferghana Valley, Central Asia's easiest and perhaps most pleasant place to visit.
Central Asia's poorest backwater truly is off the beaten path, but has some incredible landscapes and Persian culture nonetheless.
An amalgam of desert moonscapes and arid mountains, dotted with the ruins of great ancient civilizations, and ruled until 2006 by a post-Soviet lunatic cultivating one of the most bizarre cults of personality in history, this is off-the-beaten-path, difficult (courtesy of rotten officialdom), but potentially very rewarding travel.
With cities such as Samarkand, Bukhara, Khiva, Tashkent, and other old Silk Road citadels, this country has way more than its fair share of culture and history. The people are warm and friendly and the country naturally is nothing short of beautiful. The government will go out of its way to complicate your trip, though.
In the context of cultural history, Iran, Mongolia, Western China (Inner Mongolia, Tibet, Xinjiang, Gansu, Qinghai, western Sichuan and northwestern Yunnan), parts of Russia (Buryatia, Tatarstan, Bashkortostan, Tuva, Altai, Khakassia) and part of Kashmir in India and Pakistan are often also included.
- Almaty — Kazakhstan's former capital is an infinitely more preferable destination than ad hoc Astana.
- Ashgabat — Turkmenistan's capital, with weird dictator monuments galore and natural gas wealth ostentation.
- Nur-Sultan (Astana) — Kazakhstan's dreary, cold northern capital.
- Bishkek — the leafy and drowsy capital of Kyrgyzstan.
- Bukhara — a 2,500-year-old Silk Road city in Uzbekistan and UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- Dushanbe — the sleepiest Central Asian capital by leagues in Tajikistan.
- Kabul — Afghanistan's capital and hub for, well, anyone who has to go to Afghanistan.
- Samarkand — another of Uzbekistan's world-famous 2,500-year-old Silk Road cities, and also another UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- Tashkent — Uzbekistan's capital, whose ages-old history lies below Soviet-era construction, and by far the region's biggest city, at some 3 million.