Dastarkhān

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
A Kyrgyz dastorqon being prepared for an afternoon meal (of paloo (pilaf), not pictured) during Nooruz.

A dastarkhan (Persian: دسترخوانdastarkhawan, Pashto: دسترخوان‎, Tajik: дасторхон, dastarkhān, Azerbaijani: dəstərxan, Kazakh: дастархан [dɑstɑrχɑ́n], Kyrgyz: дасторкон dastorqon [dɑstorqón], Uzbek: dasturxon dasturxon [dasturxɒ́n]) is the name applied across Central Asia and West Asia to the traditional space where food is eaten. The term may refer to the tablecloth which is spread on the ground, floor, or table and is used as a sanitary surface to use for food, but it is also used more broadly to refer to the entire meal setting.

The food put on a dastarkhan (the "spread") ranges from simple tea and bread (for small meals shared by a family) to various salads, nuts, candies, sorpa, and meat set out for a feast.

A large cultural significance is placed on the dastarkhan among different groups, and as such, various traditions, customs, values, and prohibitions surround the use of the dastarkhan. These include, for example, that there is usually a dedicated drink (usually tea) pourer, or that one must never step on or over even a corner of the dastarkhan.