As I wandered through the aisles of the bazaar I could see the group of them strolling towards me. Their tall embroidered hats set them apart from the rest of the shoppers. These women were Tajiki. Tajiki’s are another one of the many minority people groups that live out here. Due to my coloring and rather large nose I am occasionally taken as a Tajiki. Our eyes meet across the way and I was brave enough to call out a greeting to a totally stranger. I wasn’t sure whether she could speak Uyhgur or not, but I thought it was worth a try. Her face light up and she too started moving my direction to greet me.
Important cultural note: Tajiki women customarily greet each other with a short peck on the lips. While I had learned this fact about their people in the past, and had even seen photographs at the Museum and in local guide books, it completely slipped my mind. Uyhgur women, on the other hand, greet by kissing each other for a second longer on both cheeks. So as I held her hand affectionately I puckered up and moved my head ever so slightly to one side… she however didn’t veer at all and went straight for my mouth. The resulting kiss was a little awkward as the corners of our lips meet and I remembered in a flash why she didn’t offer her cheek.
One more cultural milestone accomplished. I have now kissed a total stranger on the lips in the most respectful way possible.
Spotting them in the Bazaar
Still friends after our akward kiss
A Group shot to print off and take when I go and visit their home town latter this summer.
Me, trying to be Tajiki