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A new bill in Uzbekistan proposes to fine people who throw expensive parties.
Uzbekistan’s Ministry of Justice intends to fine people up to $230 for throwing costly parties. Venues that host these festivities could also receive penalties up to $700 for the first offense and incur $1,200 for repeat offenses.
By January 1, 2020, festivities will only be allowed to start and end at specific times, and guests for celebrations like weddings and birthdays will be limited to 250. Police, tax inspectors, and state prosecutors will also be notified about the celebrations so that they can monitor compliance with the new regulations.
The bill was proposed to reduce extravagant celebrations in a country where the average monthly wage is only around $200. The legislation also aims to diminish the pressure felt by people to work hard just to hold expensive parties.
A common Uzbek wedding happens within four days where rituals heavily rooted in the Uzbek culture are done. It is also attended by over 400 guests. Such expensive celebrations usually cause families to be in great debt. Therefore, young Uzbeks usually work overseas for months or years to save up for their wedding ceremonies.
The legislation has been met with support and skepticism on social media. Many social media users said that the regulation can prevent wastefulness and help Uzbeks avoid working abroad just to make money for these events.
However, some doubt that the legislation will be effective. They even challenged officials to set an example in observing the new regulations, especially since previous campaigns have failed to put an end to Uzbeks’ lavish celebrations.