Turkmen culture is rich in traditions, deeply rooted in ancient times. These traditions, which mostly concerned with family relations and events, such as wedding ceremonies, childbirth, and death, are linked to certain popular beliefs. “This world is full of noise; beginning with the celebration of a new born child and ending with weeping at his death,” wrote the 18th Century Turkmen poet, Maktymkuli.
Traditions of Hospitality
Our country is famous for its hospitality and friendliness. Guests are a real holiday for every family. In old days hospitality was a form of security. People could not survive the hardships experienced in the desert without each other’s support. If somebody was inhospitable to a traveler, even relatives of such a person would despise him. To this day, a visitor will be offered tea and food before even being allowed to explain why he has come! They set the table with the most delicious and beautiful dishes. Bread and salt are sacred for Turkmens and it is the main detail for any dish.
Respect of adults
The respectful attitude toward seniors is also based on ancient traditions. From early childhood, child is taught to respect adults. The habit persists even in adulthood. Turkmens never argue with adults and don’t complain. The customs demand honoring parents and seniors. Turkmen saying runs: “Gold and silver do not grow old, the father and mother are priceless”. Father is the head of the family. He protects women, children, and has the right to evaluate the actions of their children. Respect is shown not only to father but also to mother. Children should worship their mothers and respect them. The slightest display of disrespect or inattention to mother is not only denounced by people but also should be stopped on the spot.
Turkmen traditional dance
Kushtdepti is one of the national dances which contain beautiful folk melodies and songs sharpened by centuries a choreographic language began to perform amazing throat singing consonant turning into rhythmic dancing, which tell the story on eternal cycle, asking God to get rid of illnesses and hardship, to send happy life and mystery of a born new life. The dancing story changes one after another and gradually increasing the speed accompanied sharpened leaps, dizzying turns attracting the audience to the breathtaking cheerful emotions.
In our culture, as in other Eastern country, wedding is not possible without national traditions and ceremonies. Religious beliefs and ancient people’s traditions became intertwined in wedding ceremonies. As so often happens in the East, all costs directly related to marriage rest upon the groom’s family shoulders. Therefore, all relatives of the groom’s family help in preparation of the wedding. In Turkmenistan exactly in nine days before the wedding, the dowry is sent to the groom’s house. The utensils, clothes and carpets are included in the dowry. The traditions of woman wedding costume are rich and diverse. For example, red dress is one of the most widespread variants. The dress from silk homespun fabric – ketene, studded with silver or gilded pendants from the embroidered collar till the hem, it is supplemented with the stylish thrown robe, the coat-breasts of which are covered with the elegant armor and silver ornaments. The bride’s head and hair are decorated with silk embroidered tyubeteika and adornments for plaits: silver chains, bells and pendants. After the end of the wedding, a little more than a month, already married daughter can go to her parents’ house to visit them. In the house of her parents, the separate festival is organized. To this day, the Turkmen wedding has kept the unique atmosphere of ancient traditions, which makes it a wonderful, bright and unusual event.