Dance of Tajik Minority
The Tajik ethnic group has a population of 41,028 (in 2000), of which 60% live in Tashi Ku'ergan Tajik Autonomous County, while others live in South Xinjiang.
The Tajik language belongs to the Iranian Austronesian, Indo-European languages Phylum. Most of the people in China speak the Sekule language whereas a few of them speak the Waihan language. The Uigur and Kirgiz languages are used universally among them.
The Tajik people believe in the Shiah of Islam universally. They also worship eagles, the sun and fire in a small way. The ancestors of their nationality might have originated from clans who speak East Iranian, living in Pamirs prior to AD.
Tajiks daily meal consists of tea and nang, a large pancake popular in Xinjiang. On some special occasions, they also eat whole sheep which have been stewed, but their typical meals are simple. To Tajiks, the best and most impressive present for festivals is always pure white wheat flour.
Costumes and Customs
For clothing, men wear shirt, long collarless jackets with buttons down the front as well as wide and long colored waistbands. Their trousers are very loose and they wear a small knife at the right side of the trousers waist. They don a round cap made of budge. Women wear one-piece dresses, knickerbockers and round embroidered caps. When going out, women cover the cap with a long, large veil, which covers the head, shoulders and waist, so just their eyes, noses and mouths are exposed. All men and women wear felt socks, high soft boots made of wild goat hide whose are soles made of yak hide.
The Tajik people pay great attention to etiquette. Juniors must greet seniors and, when relatives and friends meet, they will shake hands and men will pat each other's beards. For saluting, men will bow with the right hand on the chest and women will bow with both hands on the bosom.
The Tajik Spring Festival, which falls in March and marks the beginning of a new year, is the most important annual occasion for the Tajik people. Every family will clean up their home and paint beautiful patterns on the walls as a symbol of good luck for both people and herds. On that day, Tajik people will send greetings to each other and wish for a bumper harvest.
The beginning of Ramadan marks the end of the year. On this day, every family will make torches coated with butter. At dusk, the family members will get together, have role call and each person will light a torch. The whole family will sit around the torches and enjoy their festive dinner after saying their prayers. At night, every household will light a big torch tied to a long pole and plant it on the roof. Men and women, young and old, will dance and sing through the night under the bright light of the torches.
The Islamic Corban Festival, Almsgiving Festival and Kaizhai Festival are also important occasions for the Tajik people.