Tajikistan

Languages and Religion

The official state language is Tajik. The Tajik language belongs to a Persian language group, but because of Russian influence in the region the Arabic transcript was replaced by Cyrillic in the beginning of XX century. Uzbek and Russian languages are widely used in Tajikistan: Russian in the cities and Uzbek in boundary districts with Uzbekistan. At present a lot of young people can communicate in English language, especially in the cities. In case you need an interpreter at your working place, then a local IAESTE student will accompany you during the first week of your internship, while you will adapt to your new working environment. For the last century Tajikistan has never had any official state religion, nevertheless about 80% of the population professes some religion beliefs. Most Tajiks are Muslims, but there are big groups of Christians and Baptists as well. However, the Constitution dictates, that the church and state remain separate. Religion, generally, is a personal matter for Tajik people. They don’t have to tell someone about their religious preferences and they are not obliged to accept anyone’s beliefs. While you are in Tajikistan you are welcome to practice your own religion and find others, who share your beliefs. If you have special religious needs, explain them to your host and to us, and we will try to help you.

Clothing

There are no restrictions regarding clothes and many Tajik men and women wear both national and modern clothes. We recommend you to wear jeans with T-shirt during summer time. Bring a sun hat and sunglasses for summer and an umbrella for spring (spring and autumn are usually rainy). We recommend you to bring a light jacket since IAESTE Tajikistan arranges some trips to the mountains. The prices of clothes in Tajik markets are quite cheaper in comparison to Europe, so you may also buy some clothes here.

Major national holidays

January 1 New Year
March 8 Women’s Day
March 21, 22 Navruz
May 1 Labour Day
May 9 Victory Day
September 9 Independence Day
November 6 Constitution Day

Food

The eating style is usually traditional, but European foods are very popular as well. The most popular national dishes in Tajikistan are: Plov, Mantu, Kabob, Khurutob and many others. The Tajik kitchen as the other national kitchens of Central Asia reflects a national color. It includes a lot of meat, fat, rice and flavors, but usually not pork. We highly recommend foreign students to avoid eating fat Tajik dishes (especially Plov) at the beginning of your stay in Tajikistan, otherwise you might have some problems with your stomach. There are a number of restaurants, which offer Chinese, French, Italian, Turkish, Indian food both in Dushanbe and Khujand. The restaurants offer both vegetarian and meat dishes, have all kinds of meat, poultry and fish. The food in restaurants is considerably more expensive comparing to prices in fast-foods. During your working days you will probably have lunch at your work place (not free), but If the company does not have canteen facilities you may go to a nearby cafe, public canteen or tea house.

Lodging / Accommodation

IAESTE Tajikistan consists of two offices: the main office of IAESTE Tajikistan in Dushanbe and the Local Committee (LC) in Khujand. The Dushanbe office will be responsible for arranging lodging in Dushanbe and the LC in Khujand will provide with lodging in Khujand and other cities of Sogd region. Most foreign students are usually hosted by a family so that they can experience the original Tajik life. You will have a separate room, which will be furnished with all the necessary facilities. The accommodation and food provided by the family are free of charge. If you prefer to eat outside, you will have to pay for the food.