Tajik traditional meal ‘Oshi palav’ joins UNESCO heritage list

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Oshi Palav, a traditional meal in Tajikistan, has been inscribed in 2016 (11.COM) on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

According to UNESCO, Oshi palav (pilaf) is atraditional dish of communities in Tajikistan recognized as a part of their cultural heritage.

Otherwise known as the 'King of meals', it is based ona recipe using vegetables, rice, meat and spices but up to 200 varieties of thedish exist. Considered an inclusive practice that aims to bring people ofdifferent backgrounds together, oshi palav is prepared to be enjoyed at regularmealtimes, as well as social gatherings, celebrations and rituals.

The importance of the dish to communities inTajikistan is indicative in sayings such as No Osh, no acquaintance or Ifyou have eaten Osh from somebody, you must respect them for 40 years. Groupsof men or women prepare the dish either in their homes or at teahouses whilesocalizing or playing music and singing.

Knowledge and skills associated with the practice istransmitted on an intergenerational basis in families, in addition to cookingschools from master to apprentice. Once an apprentice masters oshi palav, theapprentice hosts a dinner for the trainer and guests during which the trainerreceives a skull-cap and traditional dress while the apprentice receives askimmer (a tool for cooking oshi palav) symbolizing the apprentice'sindependence.

Source: National information agency of Tajikistan