MY BIG TAJIK WEDDING
Every year nearly one million of Tajiks leave their homes and come to Russia looking for a decent work. The reality is tough - most of them end up with the lowest paid jobs due to language and cultural barrier. Not only that - In spite of the fact that Tajikistan was the first country to provide Russia with highly needed labour migrants right after the USSR’s collapse, surveys show that close to 70% of Russians admit they hate migrants. Every day an average of three Tajiks are victims of racist attacks, police brutality, dangerous working conditions and unsafe housing. Nevertheless they still come to Russia, coping with all hardship for the chance to earn four times more than they would have at home. Surprisingly enough, it’s not always family’s day-to-day living they save for. For thousands it’s a wedding ceremony.
In Tajikistan, live swirls around weddings. In the country, where 47.2% live below the poverty threshold, and 80% of the employable population work abroad as labour migrants, the amount of money spent on weddings per year equals the country’s budget of $2 billion. People save money for weddings for years, put it all in a ceremony of a lifetime leaving the new family’s provider with the need to hit the road again, now to earn the living. Yet despite all odds Tajiks all over the country still throw fabulous celebrations. Dazzling colours of joyful ceremonies are quite a contrast to the behind-the-scenes reality. The wedding industry is probably the only one with stable income, and it’s the country’s major industry including entertainers, singers, musicians, restaurants, cameramen, photographers, sellers of wedding dresses.
In 2013 Tajik authorities have issued a law limiting the number of wedding guests, budget and even the hours a reception can last. But nothing can change the fact that for Tajiks the wedding celebration has literally become the most important day of their life and weddings last at least 3 days anyway. Brides change up to 20 dresses that have to shine and sparkle, and a 200$ per meter fabric straight from Emirates is a preferred choice. For Tajiks a wedding is something that you have to do properly, by the tradition. A show that you put up for the neighbourhood and beyond, that makes you look good, like you can afford it. You can hardly tell the difference between a rich family wedding or a very poor one. They will do their best to fit in. Even if the whole family will end up with debts that only several years of work can cover. Even with the legal limits, Tajiks say, to pay for a wedding a total of four people from both sides have to work for at least a year abroad to save the money. Full story could be wiewed here – http://www.saltimages.ru/features/my-big-tajik-wedding