At this point my personal observations seem to be of scholarly relevance. I noticed that indeed many people who in their daily life identify themselves as Tajiks and speak Tajik might have an absolutely different identity when it comes to officialdom, i.e. passports, statistics. For instance, in my class at school and university all my Tajik fellows appeared to have passports where they were registered as ethnic Uzbeks. This was revealed when the teacher asked all the Uzbeks to raise their hands, then Russians and then followed Tajiks, where I was alone with my hand in the air. Some were utterly surprised and worried for me that I kept my ethnic identity unchanged, trying to convince me that I might have problems with the state. I don’t know if this might prove true, but the majority of Uzbekistan’s Tajiks are convinced that their official Tajik registry can cause harm and prove an obstacle on their career path and life in general. Very often, young Samarkandis aged 16 receive passports with an entry Uzbek, on the line for ethnicity. Tajiks applying for passports receive Uzbek ethnicity by default, even if they in their application identify themselves as Tajiks. This, however, is obviously the case only in Samarkand and Bukhara. My mother is a Samarkandi Tajik and my father a mountainous Tajik. He is Tajik officially, whereas my mother and all her relatives (cousins and aunts) in Samarkand are registered as ethnic Uzbeks.
Bergne shares some very interesting findings on ‘how Tajiks define[d] Tajiks’ back in 1920s. He shows how Pamiri Tajiks distinguished between Tajiks, themselves, and the “Farsigu” (Persian Speakers). Linguistically this was a correct answer, since the Persian language belongs to the western branch of Iranian languages, which is distinct from eastern Iranian languages (such as Yaghnobi, Sogdian, Kurdish and so forth). Bergne’s conclusion on this matter is that mountain dwellers identify themselves as Tajiks whereas city and plain dwellers of, for instance, Samarkand and Bukhara “were more inclined to identify themselves in regional terms”, such as Samarkandi, Bukhor(o)i (Bergne 2007: 11). Tajiks of Bukhara who called themselves Uzbeks replied to Sukharyova’s question of who they considered to be Tajiks, as the “inhabitants of Tajikistan” or the “Fars” – “Persian speaking Shi’i immigrants from Iran or Merv”. Her conclusion in the words of Bergne was that “Muslim Tajik-speakers often thought they were Uzbeks, but, when asked to describe Tajiks, thought they were either immigrant mountaineers, or Shi’i “Fars”” (ibid. 13).
Sukharyova makes a fair point referring to the fact that the first census in Bukhara was conducted after the UzSSR and Tajik Autonomous Oblast being established. “As a result many understood the term ‘Tajik’ and ‘Uzbek’ to mean residents of Tajikistan or Uzbekistan and identified themselves accordingly” (Sengupta 2002: 68). In a number of occasions responses like “earlier we were Tajiks, now we are Uzbeks” (cf. ibid. 65) make it clear that, if it ethnicity ‘Uzbek’ and ‘Tajik’, then people are easily flexible with changing them. Sukharyova reported some of the confessions of respondents saying “we are Uzbeks, but our language is Tajik” and “prior to the revolution they identified themselves as Moslems, neither Tajik, nor Uzbek” (ibid.).
Some more confusing stories recorded by Sukharyova show that while some members of one and the same family identify themselves as Tajiks, others say they are Uzbeks. Sengupta cited such an example, where “the elder brother, 36 years of age considered himself a Tajik, whereas the younger brother 26 years of age, an Uzbek” (Sengupta 2002: 68). An additional factor of Sukharyova’s observation should be included at this point: whereas female members called themselves Tajik, male members opted to be Uzbek. Bergne writes about how Sukharyova tried to explain this phenomenon: “this division might be due to a masculine inclination to identify with the prestigious military caste in the former Bukharan emirate, which was mainly drawn from families of nomadic Uzbek background” (Bergne 2007: 12).
 I lived in various towns of Uzbekistan, but grew up in Samarkand and worked in Bukhara. I worked a lot with people, as well as with minority groups, such as Central Asian Roma
 Pamir is a chain of mountains in mostly Tajikistan, inhabited by Iranian people, who speak various Eastern-Iranian languages, which just like Tajik belong to the Indo-European family; the biggest difference between Pamiri Tajiks and Tajiks from elsewhere is religious – Tajiks are mainly Sunni Muslims, whereas Pamiri Tajiks are either Shi’i Muslims or Ismailis.