No long beards for teachers in Tajikistan under the age of 50

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Here's something from La Presse yesterday on Tajikistan.

Teachers in Tajikistan under the age of 50 will no longer have the right to have a (long) beard, according to new rules issued Monday by the government.

"Men over 50 years of age are permitted to have a beard of over three centimetres in length, but those that are younger than that will have to shave", specified a decree from the Ministry of National Education published by the state-run journals. "As for shoes, anything that covers the foot is possible, including rubber boots", it adds.

Long beards are often considered to be suspect by the authorities in Tajikistan. The country has been plagued from 1992 to 1997 by a civil war fed by islamist movements, which resulted in tens of thousands dead, and a fragile peace afterwards.

Rubber boots are popular among rural peasants who use them for protection against frequent flood rains in the mountainous country.

An article here in English on the same subject also notes that less conservative styles of clothing have also been banned for teachers: jeans, mini-skirts and t-shirts. It says this to be a "balancing nod to conservatism" but since this only applies to teachers it looks like nothing more than a dress code to me.

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