Friday, May 25, 2007

Today's News: Tajikistan to ban lavish weddings

From correspondents in Dushanbe, Tajikistan (link), May 25, 2007 04:38am. Article from: Agence France-Presse

TAJIKISTAN'S President Emomali Rakhmon asked parliament overnight to crack down on lavish weddings and funerals, continuing an anti-luxury campaign that has already targeted gold teeth.

Mr Rakhmon submitted a bill limiting weddings to 200 guests, a single day, and the use of no more than four cars, saying that extravagant weddings thrown "by businessmen, bureaucrats and religious figures seem like competitions". Tajik weddings can swell to as many as 1000 guests, though Mr Rakhmon's assessment in April of their cost to the country also raised eyebrows.

The president said that 500,000 cows and sheep had been slaughtered for such events in 2006 alone, and that the country spent $US1 billion ($1.22 billion) a year on them - a questionable figure in a country with a GDP of slightly more than $US2 billion ($2.43 billion). The new bill also forbids feeding guests at funerals and burial ceremonies. It allows free meals at traditional events marking the 40th day after a death, but only a single dish - and no more than 100 guests.

Our wedding seem like a piece of cake compared to these traditions. Only one sheep was slaughtered! But I have to agree, we had more than a single dish, potluck as it was.

And gold teeth are really common in Central Asia, see picture here.

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