Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Won't Dance, Don't Ask Us

Nofunistan in Central Asia:

President Emomalii Rakhmon has banned high school graduation parties in this largely Muslim Central Asian country, The Associated Press news agency reports.

Rakhmon said he was concerned about the “pompous” and “excessive luxury” of school festivities, according to his press service. Earlier, he ordered a ban on the use of cellphones and private cars at high schools.

In recent years, end-of-the-year graduation celebrations have become elaborate and lavish, with wealthy families buying teenagers new dresses and suits, and renting limousines, restaurants and ballrooms for parties, a trend made all the more jarring given Tajikistan’s widespread poverty.

Rakhmon also urged all new parents to drop Russian-style endings for infant surnames. Names, he said, should be according to “historic traditions,” and he also urged parents to drop from birth certificates Russian patronymic middle names that commonly end with “ovich” or “ovna.”

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