Attitude of Students from Central Asia (Studying in Moscow) to the Traditional Wedding

Attitude of Students from Central Asia (Studying in Moscow) to the Traditional Wedding

Barsukova S.Yu.

Dr. Sci. (Soc.), Professor, Department of Sociology, Faculty of Social Sciences, National Research University Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russia.

ID of the Article:

This work was supported by Russian Foundation for Basic Research (RFBR) (project No. 20-59-22001).

For citation:

Barsukova S.Yu. Attitude of Students from Central Asia (Studying in Moscow) to the Traditional Wedding. Sotsiologicheskie issledovaniya [Sociological Studies]. 2023. No 5. P. 70-81


A traditional wedding is an important part of the cultural code of the inhabitants of Central Asia. Can a wedding become a point of conflict between generations? The article is devoted to the attitude to wedding traditions of young people from Central Asian countries (Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan), who study in Moscow. The research method is a semi-structured interview (N=23). In the interview, the distance between “what parents think is right” and “what kind of wedding I want” is clearly visible. Young people want to hold their own wedding more privately and less burdensome in terms of effort and money spent. There are several reasons for the reproducibility of wedding traditions: respect for the ancestors, the desire to avoid conflict with relatives; disenfranchisement of girls as a gender norm; the need of families to demonstrate their success; fear of shame, loss of reputation. The attitude of young people to a traditional wedding varies. Someone is willing to voluntarily follow traditional wedding rituals. Someone moderately criticizes wedding traditions, but is ready to obey them so as not to upset relatives. Someone sharply criticizes traditional wedding ceremonies and intends to hold a wedding contrary to the traditional canon.

wedding rituals; rituals of the life cycle; youth; students; generational conflict; wedding in Central Asia


Asimova N. (2020) Ritual economy: on the example of wedding ceremonies. Namangan, 2018. Obshchestvo, Gender i Sem’ya v Tsentralnoy Azii [Society, Gender and Family in Central Asia]. No. 4: 87–106. (In Russ.)

Barsukova S.Yu. (2022a) Ritual economy, or how much is spent on a wedding in Central Asia. Journal of Institutional Studies. Vol. 14. No. 3: 46–58. (In Russ.)

Barsukova S. (2022b) Bank loans vs debt within social networks: The case of Central Asia. Terra Economicus. Vol. 20. No. 3: 87–97. (In Russ.)

Bolshakov V.P. (2016) Cultural practices in the formation of culture. Vestnik Sankt-Peterburgskogo Gosudarstvennogo Universiteta Kulturi I Iskusstv [Bulletin of the St. Petersburg State University of Culture and Arts]. No. 2 (27): 16–22. (In Russ.)

Larina E.I., Naumova O.B. (2010) Capture is our everlasting custom: bride kidnapping among the Russian kazakh. Etnograficheskoe Obozrenie [Ethnographic Review]. No. 5: 3–20. (In Russ.)

Latipova N.M., Ganieva M.H. (2019) Religion in the life of modern youth of Uzbekistan. Ekonomika. Sotsiologiya. Pravo [Economy. Sociology. Law]. No. 4 (16): 58–64. (In Russ.)

Sumachev A.V. (2014) Criminal law regulation of folk customs. Vestnik Tyumenskogo Instituta Povisheniya Kvalifikatsii Sotrudnikov MVD Rossii [Bulletin of the Tyumen Institute for Advanced Training of employees of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia]. No. 2 (3): 25–28. (In Russ.)

Hushkadamova Kh.O. (2010) Marriage relations in modern Tadzhikistan society. Sotsiologiya vlasti [Sociology of Power]. No. 3: 79–88. (In Russ.)

Hushkadamova Kh.O. (2011) National rites in Tajikistan today. Sotsiologicheskie Issledovaniya [Sociological Studies]. No. 5 (325): 78–81. (In Russ.)

Yunusova N.M. (2013) The role of family traditions and household rituals in the formation of a child’s personality. Vestnik Tadzhikskogo Natsionalnogo Universiteta [Bulletin of the Tajik National University]. Т. 2. No. 3–7: 192–194. (In Russ.)

Content No 5, 2023