Siyakhat hotel
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The first thing is a clay stove for baking bread and the second one is bread it self. But these words' meanings in Turkmenistan are much broader than their direct sense, they are considered to be sacred notions
  Ikar PASEVIEVjournalist Down
HIGH flame flew up to the sky, and dry stalks and boxes of cotton blazed up. But then flame settled and disappeared. Only the stove's mouth shone brightly and a woman bent over it plunging her hand with raw chorek and applying it to heated clay. Some minutes flew by and the master took brown aromatic scones as if pierced by sunlight out of the stove. The first scones broken into pieces were given to the children gathering round the tamdyr. Then she bent over the heated stove again putting new choreks into it.
    "At all times for Turkmens bread comes first", the famous Turkmen writer Ata Durdiyev, the author of the historical bestseller "Keimir Kyor" tells". In Turkmen folklore there is a proverb: "Bread is the king of everything . Since childhood we have been inculcated in quivering at titude to bread: if you drop even a tiny piece of it, you should pick it up immediately and put it aside for crumbs not to be trampled down.
    My grandmother brought up all our family of about fifty people living in the same yard. She put a piece of bread under pillows of those who were ill, feeble or afraid of something at bedtime to protect them from evil spirits. In the morning it was eaten. Being young I often go to business trips throughout Turkmenistan and my granny always put a piece of chorek into my bag. At first I wondered why but she answered: "It is not food only, chorek will be your fellow — traveller, and protect you".
    Then I got to know that setting of a Turkmen always took a piece of chorek as a talisman.
    No one from the children of the family had a right to open sachak (a table-cloth which chorek is wrapped up in). They had to ask their mother who made it herself and broke off a two-finger piece of chorek. We were inspired with the rule that it would never do to take bread being unwashed, you must be high-minded as if you go to mosques.
    It is interesting to know that bread remains clean if it is dropped by accident to the dust. Durt does not stick to it as if it were sacred. Once I was told a story . In one of Turkmenistan's districts there was a leader respected by all, a hereditary peasant. Once he came to a village school. While going along the corridor accompanied by his assistants, teachers and students he suddenly noticed a piece of chorek had dropped by somebody. Immediately he picked it up and put into his mouth. Then he began chewing and went on the conversation. Witnesses were impressed. Many years have passed but that event is still told from mouth to mouth.
    Tamdyr itself as well as bread is considered to be sacred. No one Turkmen makes up his mind to destroy a tamdyr, even very old, ramshackle and neglected. He will not do it even if its owner is not against it. Coming up to a tamdyr Moslems read their prayers.
    In the past some large families built one good tamdyr. I remember how my mother sent me to know who was the last to bake bread. So, fuel was saved, the stove was heated once and then the heat was kept up. It also showed good-neighbourhood of villagers. When an old traveller came to a strange village and saw many tamdyrs, he shook his head, because there people were not friendly. Many tamdyrs were a bad sign. Individual farmers were not in respect because severe conditions made Turkmens live in communities to overcome troubles together. Every woman opening a new sack of flour shared the first bread with her neighbours, it was "khudayoly" (sacrifice).
    Since olden days in peasants' farms of Turkmenistan Kharman-toy (Harvest Day) is celebrated at threshing-floor after threshing. They prepare dograma, a national dish make from scones crumbled, pieces of roasted meat and onions. Different games, the races, wrestling, concerts of bakhshis (folk-singers and musicians) are held.
    At present much is done for fulfilment of the Presidential State Programme "Grain". Its main aim is to grow enough wheat to refuse from its import and supply the people with bread of high quality. And since olden days every Turkmen family considers that if they had six sacks of grain they would live comfortably for a year.

Siyakhat is a reliable partner and always guarantees a high class service. We invite you to visit independant neutral Turkmenistan.

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    60a, Gerogly str.,
Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, 744012
Siyakhat hotel
tel./fax: (99312) 344033, 344071

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