In the Uzbek family, older members are respected and treated with great deference by younger ones. Young girls and boys must speak politely not only to their parents and grandparents but to everyone above their age. This attitude is reflected in both the Uzbek and the Russian languages. There are no such generic words as “brother” and “sister” in Uzbek. Instead, it has separate words for older brother (aka) and younger brother (uka), older (opa) and younger (singil) sister. These words are also used outside the family context to establish age and power relations between speakers or to indicate particular levels of respect in a way that resembles the Japanese use of -san: Alisher-aka, Matluba-opa, or simply opa-jon (literally, dear elder sister, a rough equivalent of “Ma’am”). In a formal context Uzbeks often use the Russian form of addressing an elder, by using the first name and the patronymic, as in Alisher Juraevich.
Whereas in modern English the second person is treated as plural (“you are”) and is therefore neutral in tone, in Uzbek the plural form of you (siz) is the sign of respect used by strangers and is the way to address your parents and other older family members. The second person singular (san) is used when addressing children or close friends, and is otherwise considered rude. In Russian, the rules are similar but more relaxed, and children usually call their friends and parents tee (singular), while vee (plural) is reserved for strangers and elders.
Given the traditional Uzbek respect for elders, coupled with the overall respect for power, you might think that at work the oldest people wield near absolute authority; this is not always the case. The elderly are more likely to be at the top in places where their power or expertise is rarely questioned, such as in their own private businesses, or in traditional craft workshops where they are held in a high esteem as masters by their students. In more fluid types of organization, although older employees are certainly respected and even revered for their experience, they seldom occupy top positions.
Many people complain that in modem society, especially in the cities, the traditional attitudes to older people have faded, but in any case, they can still be summed up in one word: respect.