Asia

Of Rice and Rams: A Boy’s Circumcision Ceremony in Uzbekistan

My alarm clock goes off at five. It’s been about four hours since I fell asleep. I’ve woken up to go to the early-morning festivities for a neighborhood circumcision ceremony which is locally and collectively referred to as one of several Uzbek “weddings”. I have been a Peace Corps Volunteer in a small provincial town in Uzbekistan for more than a year now. The people of my town are exceedingly friendly and known to be the most festive in the country. If there’s a wedding to go to, it will be a neighbor of mine pouring the vodka and cracking jokes for the table.

Ramadan in Kandahar

Ramadan is entering its final week and the holy day of Eid is beginning. The people here in Kandahar are much more observant of the traditions of Islam than anywhere else I’ve been. The fast is a true one, no drinking of water, eating of food, or smoking is allowed during the daylight hours. People go to work, but every thing tends to trickle off into just a drizzle of activity by late afternoon. However, like any generalization the individual experience is much more different.

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