Tuesday, January 25

15 unusual customs and traditions of Central Asian countries

Traveling is a fun activity for many people around the world. It helps them broaden their horizons and expand their network. But one thing people seem to forget is that culture changes as you go to a new place.

If you plan to travel to Central Asia to learn new things and possibly meet Kazakh women, you must know some of their traditions. These cultural rules are not mandatory, but they can put you in the good book of the locals. So, read on to learn more about the traditions of this interesting region.

Rules for eating

If you stay in Central Asia for a while, the locals will constantly invite you to eat and drink to show that they care about you. Here are essential things to know about eating in Central Asia:

  • You cannot decide how much food you will receive, as Central Asians like to treat visitors to sumptuous meals.
  • Don’t feel pressured to eat more than you can consume.
  • If it is full, leave the rest of the food on the plate, as it is a sign that you have had enough.

Central Asians tend to overfeed their guests. So if you are visiting the region and notice locals offering you meals, don’t be surprised. Accept their kind gestures and feel free to stop eating when you feel full.

Rules for greeting

The greeting method in Central Asia is different than in the Western world, as there are specific things you shouldn’t do. Unlike the US, Central Asians are less liberal in their interactions, especially in public, and if you are going to have a good time there, you should behave accordingly. So, here we show you how to greet people correctly in Central Asia:

  • As a man, greet other men by shaking hands and saying, “Salam Aleikum.”
  • Women kiss each other on the cheeks when greeting each other, especially if they are close friends.
  • Women do not shake hands with men when they say hello.
  • Do not keep eye contact for an extended period, as locals perceive it as a disrespectful sign.
  • In some countries, people put their hands to their chests and bow their heads to express gratitude and sincerity.
  • When locals greet you, they tend to ask you about your health and your family. Answer and ask the same questions as well as a sign of formality.

Respect is a fundamental aspect of the Central Asian tradition. You have to say hello to everyone you come across, regardless of whether you stay in rural or urban areas. It goes without saying that when someone greets you first, you need to make sure to respond politely.

Rules for visiting people’s homes.

If you are visiting someone’s home in Central Asia, here are the essential things to keep in mind:

  • Keep your shoes outside.
  • Don’t go to someone’s home without cakes, sweets, and drinks.
  • Most Central Asians eat sitting on the floor with very low or no tables.
  • In almost every home in Central Asia, the owner spreads a tablecloth called Dastarkhan on the floor or on a low table. They will also place different Asian delicacies on the cloth; do your best not to step on the fabric and other people’s feet.
  • When sitting on the floor, do not point your feet toward the food.
  • If you cannot eat because you are in a hurry to leave, the hosts will offer you bread. Break off a piece with both hands and eat it, as it is rude to refuse this treat.
  • Do not take a photo without asking your host for permission.

When visiting someone’s home in Central Asia, remember not to treat it as your own. You should only do what the owner of the house asks you to do. Lastly, always ask for help if you are unsure of their traditions.


Central Asia is a beautiful region to visit as it comes with its fair share of traditions and rules. You don’t need to follow all the practices. But learning about the culture and superstitions of the region can make your stay more fun, as locals often reach out to people interested in their culture. Therefore, do not hesitate to use the customs mentioned in this article when traveling to Central Asia.


Elaine Coleen is a writer in the travel niche. He loves exploring and visiting new places around the world. This helps her learn new things and interact with people on different levels. Elaine’s experience writing travel articles comes from her constant need to see new countries, which helps her in her role as content director at Womenandtravel.


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