A popular Tajik pop star has been fined for celebrating her birthday, which is a breach of her country’s law on celebrations.
Firuza Khafizova was fined 5,000 somoni ($530) by a court in the capital of Dushanbe after she posted videos of her party on her Instagram account, featuring her and her guests performing on stage, according to BBC.
Article 8 of Tajikistan’s regulations on traditions, celebrations and customs bans birthday celebrations outside the family home.
The prosecutor in her case defended the restrictions, saying they are in the best interest of citizens, so they can spend their money on family needs rather than on unnecessarily lavish celebrations. But many Tajiks have taken to social media to vent their displeasure at the “strange law”, pointing out it is personal business in which the state shouldn’t interfere.
Tajikistan’s law on the observation of national traditions was first introduced in 2007 and expanded in 2017 to include rules for conducting weddings, funerals and celebrations of children being born.
The measures impose strict limits on the number of guests and dishes, and the duration of festivities, allowed. They also ban the slaughtering of livestock for funeral ceremonies.
The idea behind the law was to prevent excessive spending on family occasions and to ease the debt many incurred to pay for such events.