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> Morning Plov, Traditions in Uzbekistan, continued...
post Nov 8 2009, 04:30 AM
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There are several types of morning plov in Uzbekistan, it seems, and even these several types vary depending on the style, religiousness, and socio-economic-geographic details. On Saturday I attended a morning plov in Tashkent, served what might have been nearly 200 people from 7am to 8am, and was a neat mix of modern plus old and religious traditions. There was lots of prayer, lots of food, lots of singing and talking, and of course, as with all of these no matter what, no women.
Some morning plovs have multiple waves of guests: the first wave might arrive at 6 or 7, be seated, eat quickly, and leave in time for the next wave to be seated. This morning plov had just one big wave, starting at 7am. They're pretty formal, most people dressed well, and the hosts stand in a receiving line in traditional Uzbek robes.
Some precede marriage; others, like this one, commemorate the anniversary of the death of a father.
The name of these social events (the "plov") seems to come directly from the food that is served at the event (called plov - the rice-based dish that is the traditional food of Uzbekistan. It's sort of like what folks in the USA call rice pilaf, but only sort of).
It is interesting to experience these and it was a great learning experience. I think it's one of the most unique cultural traditions I've ever experienced for many reasons not least the timing of it. I can't come up with a reason why it would take place so early in the morning when, well, with all due respect, I can't honestly say that I know Tashkent to be filled with folks who are super-eager to wake up at 6am! So maybe it's a sign of respect to the hosts - not just arriving for the plov and participating, but the fact that one is willing to show up on time so early in the morning.
This one was in a large restaurant setting and was complete with spoons for the shared plov plates. However, I'm told that outside of Tashkent or Samarqand, these are even more traditional affairs and won't involve silverware. The food was good, the company was good, and it was nice to be able to share the experience. I appreciate the invitation, and the experience!

Sleepless in Tashkent
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post Nov 9 2009, 03:23 PM
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Rolling Stone

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So... plovs are... a fancy breakfast with rice?

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