Uzbekistan Parliament Passes Law on Wedding Restrictions

Diyora Temirova

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Uzbekistan’s government recently approved a law placing restrictions on wedding festivities in the country and even
extended the limitations to include birthday parties and funerals. President Shavkat Mirziyoyev openly criticized the excessive
spending on such festivities and pushed for a law that limited the spending to only include 250 guests, 2 music acts, and 3 cars
maximum in a motorcade for transportation to the wedding. They also stipulated that the festivities must take place between 11 a.m.
and 6 p.m., a drastic change from the traditional weddings that usually extend until midnight.
Mirziyoyev and his supporting legislators’ point in pushing for the law stems from the excessive spending that causes so
many families to accumulate monstrous debt from the events. They also worry about what the implications mean about the families’
income sources. In a country where monthly incomes vary from $200-$300 on average, a wedding can run a family up to $20,000 at a
time and is usually paid off by asking all extended family members to chip in, still barely covering the costs.
Citizens, however, are speaking out against the government officials’ apparent hypocrisy, some claiming that the money not
flowing into their incomes is going into Mirziyoyev’s pocket, and others highlighting that certain officials, such as MP Alisher
Hamroyev, had extravagantly large weddings themselves.

Celebrities now are also pitching in to highlight the importance of the wedding business in Uzbek economy. Singers Ozoda
Nursaidova and Munisa Rizayeva brought attention to the abundance of employment weddings provide by highlighting the expanse of
staff needed to man a single night. Rizayeva took to Instagram to reveal that her fees for weddings feed 150 people monthly.
On behalf of the officials overseeing the law’s implementation, there has been plentiful exchange of charged, opinionated
language that has added a level of drama to an issues that could otherwise be relatively simply resolved. Mirziyoyev exaggeratingly
claimed that a man “would sooner hang himself…than marry four daughtes,” to highlight his disapproval of the “shameless” spending.
MP Hamroyev openly stated, “…it is wrong to say and think that when and how people throw weddings is [only] their own business.”