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Tajikistan - mosque gate - Elter photo

Tajikistan - ornament - Elter photo

Tajikistan - brass musician - Elter photo

Tajikistan - portrait - Elter photo

Practicals

Tajikistan - a market in Dusanbe - The Three Musketeers - Elter photo

Shopping

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Tajikistan - yurt - s.n. photo

Background

Tajikistan - national flag

Destination in brief

Tadjikistan in brief

Tadjikistan is a landlocked country located in the southeastern part of Central Asia. Neighbors: Kyrgyzstan (north), Uzbekistan (west), Afghanistan (south), China (east).

Size: 143,100 km² (55,251.2 mi²) - Mountains cover 93% of the territory of Tajikistan, and half the country lies at a height of over 3,000 meters (9,842 ft) above sea level (three quarters of which are permanently covered with snow or glaciers).

Capital city: Dushanbe – pop. 680,000 (2020) - The name ‘Dushanbe’ means ‘Monday’ in Tajik! The city got its name from the village it grew out of, where a popular market was held on Mondays.

Population: 9.4 million (2020) – 80% Tajiks, 14% Uzbek - Tajiks consider themselves to be a Persian people, like the Iranians. They would not call themselves Iranian, but consider themselves as belonging to the same ethnic and language group, but with a slightly different culture.

Language: Tajik - Tajik is basically a dialect of Farsi (Persian). Speakers of Tajik and Farsi can easily understand each other, although, as a result of belonging to the Soviet Union for 62 years, Tajik has a many loanwords from Russian. The use of Russian is in fact dominant in business communications, while Tajik prevails in public administration.

Religion: 85% Sunni Muslim – Tajikistan is one of the most fervently Muslim country in Central Asia, despite the persistent efforts of the local regime to keep the influence of Islam and its clergy in check.
Authorities take a dim view of long beards in Tajikistan. No law specifically bans beards but religious clerics, who encourage Islam-conform facial hair, have been instructed to keep the beards of the devotees to a maximum length of 3 centimeters. Local police have seemingly been given free reign to forcibly shave thousands of bearded men. Wearing the hijab (veil) is also officially discouraged.

Political system: republic, presidential system, formally a multi-party system, but one party strongly dominates the country
Tajikistan was part of the Soviet Union between 1925-1991.

Currency: Somoni (TJS)

Most common surname: Sharipov  

Safety: The capital and the major cities are safe for tourists, but some rural areas, mountains are somewhat risky for individual travellers. Organized group tours are highly advised.

When to go: Summer is too hot, so optimal timing is: April-June and September-November 

Top tourist attractions:
Dusanbe, Iskanderkul Lake, Hisor Fort,  travelling on the really high Pamir Highway (M41), scenic valleys among the mountains (like Bartang or Zeravshan valleys), visiting nomad yurts, AK-Baital Pass

Climate

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Tajikistan - sightseeing in a rainy day - Elter photo

History

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Tajikistan - Dusanbe - Ismoili Somoni Monument, an Art Deco–style monument honoring the founder of the Samanid dynasty, a national hero - Elter photo

Nowadays

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Tajikistan - Dusanbe - Elter photo

Tajikistan - Nurek - Soviet-type council-house - Elter photo

People

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Tajikistan - Sioma Valley - kids - Elter photo

Tajikistan - festive headscarf - Elter photo

Tajikistan - Hisor - wedding ceremony with karnays (long trumpets) - Elter photo

Tajikistan - portrait - Elter photo

Tourist etiquette

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Tajikistan - May I come in? - j.h. photo

Attractions

Dusanbe

Tajikistan - Dusanbe - Rudaki Park - Gerb Monument - Elter photo

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