Faces of Central Asia – 2019

Hi all. I’ve done a few ‘Faces of’ post through the years, where I basically present photos of people from the places I’ve been. Things have changed in the world – although kids make for great photos often, I’ve decided to blur the faces to protect their identities in this post and I guess for any future posts where children predominantly appear. You’ll that weddings feature a bit in the photos this time – it seemed to be the time of year to get married in Tajikistan and Uzbekistan! Any ways, here are the photos of people from Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan. Enjoy!

Tajikistan Faces

So here we are in Khujand, northern Tajikistan. The main park outside the ancient citadel was often the location for wedding photos to be taken. And here’s one that came out well.

Here in Panjakant at the house of my guide, where I stayed my last night in Tajikistan. Lovely man, sorry about the kids’ faces.


Uzbekistan Faces

Weddings were the flavour of November in Central Asia last year. particularly in Uzbekistan. The first two above were taken at the Registan in Samarkand. Then we have one from Khiva below. There’s no denying wedding shots are always interesting, and thankfully it’s not so hard to ask someone to take the photo if they are all dolled up for… well… photos!

Where did you get that hat, where did you get that hat? These wooly Uzbek-style hats probably come in handy during winter. And if you want to pay to be photographed wearing one, Khiva is the place for that!


Turkmenistan Faces

Finding subjects wasn’t so easy in Turkmenistan. I am rarely comfortable asking for to take shots of people, but luckily in the market in Mary my guide seemed to know everyone there. The lady in the first photo on the left was a friend of my guide and she had a little stall there selling hand bags and other goods. The second photo is of two women in the flower section, where there were quite a few smiles. Turkmenistan was the most challenging for two reasons – one was that I was always being told to be careful what I photographed, and although that mostly didn’t include people I felt I needed to be ultra cautious. In the same market I was asked to delete a photo by one of the men in charge of the whole market. Why, well he didn’t explain but strangely it was a wide shot of the place. Secondly, especially in Ashgabat where I spent the majority of my time, you hardly saw people out on the street!

So these three photos were taken at the centre at the Sayd Jamaledin Mosque – now in ruins thanks to the 1948 earthquake. It was some sort of celebration and people were cooking, preparing food and eating together. You see the men cooking Abghoost, famous in Iran which I have written about before, and also plov which is a Central Asia specialty – rice, vegetables, meat. This site is a little way out of Ashgabat on the way to Mary.

One thing you shouldn’t photograph is soldiers, which is a real pity because many soldiers stand guard in various places around Ashgabat, including this spot which is the entrance to the Mausoleum of Turkmenbashi. I love the hats particularly. This is obviously a zoomed in photo, I took it from a safe distance my guide advised me was safe.

This gentleman was a trainee guide who came on the tour with us. He was the person who remained with me for the longest time, with me every day. Serdad is showing the camera a plate of manti I think, Russian style dumplings. MMMmmmmm dumplings. A roadside restaurant on the way to Mary.

Finally, the school uniform is the same throughout the country, and I really would have liked to get a few examples of it as it differs from male to female obviously, and then there is a new one for university students. There was a kind family and we asked the father if I could take this photo in this big shopping mall on the last day in Ashgabat. I apologise for the smudged face, but I do think it’s the right thing to do. I do have a few other photos in Uzbekistan and Tajikistan with kids, but I wanted to keep them to a minimum and only shared this because I wanted to show the uniform and it’s a good photo too.


Thanks for stopping by today, I hoped you enjoyed this post. Take care, stay safe wherever you are, and May the Journey Never End!

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