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Transcript of Uzbekistan
Bread is the most important part of
Uzbek food. It's considered holy and throwing away bread, even small parts of it, is a sin. Plov is the signature Uzbek dish made of rice, carrots, and meat. Uzbek cuisine is complicated, delicate, and dishes are often made over the course of a whole day - there are no "fast-foods" or things like sandwiches. During celebrations, there are often 3-4 course meals. The table is always filled to the brink with food and it is very important for the guests to leave with full bellies. Tea is a necessity and the teapot is often refilled several times during the meal.
If there is even a slight reason for
celebration, Uzbeks will have a party for it. We
love to celebrate and get together for whatever reason.
Also, it's completely normal for relatives or friends to visit each other without invitation and spend several hours talking and eating in each other's houses. During parties, the two genders are separated and women will often have their own room to eat while the men eat elsewhere. If it's a more casual party, people will sit on the ground on soft blanket-like coverings (kurpacha) with the food on plastic sheets (dasterhon). If it's more formal, guests will sit on tables and chairs. Personal space is limited between the same gender, but very wide between different genders. Men drink
lots of vodka, often to the point of drunk singing,
and women tend to lean on wine,
or no alcohol at all.
Folk music is characterized by
many stringed instruments and percussion accompanied by nasal singing. It's often sang by old men in traditional Uzbek clothing in a traditional Uzbek setting playing a banjo.
Pop music is very similar to American pop music, with the same premise of young artists in modern settings, dancing and having fun. Modern Uzbek music is an example of Western influences.
Songs are, 99.99999999% of the time, about love and feelings, with very few songs about other subjects.
There are singers who take elements from both genres, like Ulugbek Sobirov. The song you're about to hear pretty much sums up Uzbek music. The dancers in the video show how women
dance during parties as well.
Uzbek clothing is very colorful and,
while it was very gender-specific a few years
ago, it's becoming more uniform across the genders today. A decade ago, it would have been shameful for women to wear pants, but now they do and it's fine, which is a result of the spread of Western pop culture. However, women are still expected to dress modestly. Traditional clothing is often made of many variations of the same silk material called "shayi". The popular clothing is the same as American, while traditional clothing looks like...
Uzbekistan's landscape consists of deserts, plains,
and oases that support a nomadic lifestyle, which some still practice to this day. There are several ancient city-states that have been announced as UNESCO World Heritage Sites such as Khiva and Bukhara. The country is still globalizing and accepting Western influence while protecting its heritage sites due to tourism. The people are mainly Muslim, which means it has many mosques and architectural styles derived from the religion. The time the country spent as part of the USSR contributed to its culture as well as took away from it, so there is a mixed sense of identity, but identity nonetheless.
Uzbek is the only official language of the country,
but over 15% claim Russian as their first language, and more than half the population claim to speak and understand Russian. Because there is a large minority of Tajiks, Tajik is spoken as well in some areas. Russian is important for interethnic communication, especially in urban centers, but it is practically nonexistent in remote, rural areas. After the fall of the Soviet Union, Russian was severely discouraged with the re-introduction of the official Uzbek Latin alphabet, but now since the two countries are friends again, Russian is accepted. Anyway, many signs, notices, and even government boards are often in Cyrillic Russian, so it's best to speak the language since it is so deeply engraved into the culture.
The Latin alphabet has been taught in schools since 2005.
Origin of Language
Latin vs. Cyrillic
O'zbekiston Markaziy Osiyo davlatlari orasida juda qulay tabiiy-geografik sharoitlarga ega. Mamlakat hududi o'ziga xos past - tekislik va tog' relefini o'z ichiga oladi.
Uzbek has a huge number of
dialects which vary from place to place. Among the best-known are the Tashkent dialect (capital city), Afghan dialect, the Ferghana dialect, the Khorezm dialect (the one I speak), the Chimkent-Turkestan dialect, and the Surkhandarya dialect.
Uzbek: Altaic family, Turkic branch
The dominant religion in
Uzbekistan is Islam. It is a monotheistic, universalizing religion. The majority of the people are Sunnis, which is a branch of Islam. The holy book is the Qur'an and one of the major prophets is Muhammad. The Five Pillars of Islam is a code by which every Muslim lives by. Islam is an evangelical (missionary) religion. It is not a hierarchical religion as every follower is believed to be in contact with God equally and no human being has any more power than another, but there are leaders which lead prayers.
Kalon Mosque, Bukhara
Customs and Holidays
Ramadan Hayit (Iyd ul Fitr)
This official holiday, known as Ruza Hayit, includes a religious practice known as "Ruza" which lasts 30 days and which is considered a ceremony of spiritual and moral purification. From sunrise to sunset the person cannot eat food or drink water, perform only good deeds, and keep clean thoughts as well as actions. Lying or thinking badly about someone breaks your fast, as well as eating food.
Qurbon Hayit (Iyd ul Adha)
This holiday lasts three days and it's often customary to sacrifice sheep and celebrate with relatives and friends. People aren't allowed to work during the first day. Visiting the sick and needy is encouraged, as well as giving alms and being extra generous.
Source of Religion
90% - Muslim
5% - Russian Orthodox
5% - Other (Jews, Baptists, Roman Catholics, Lutherans, Seventh-Day Adventists, evangelical and Pentecostal Christians, Buddhists, Baha'is, and Hare Krishnas)
"The territory of Uzbekistan has been a center of
Islam in the region for a thousand years, but under the Soviet Union the religion was banned: mosques were closed and Muslim education was stopped. Beginning in 1988, Uzbeks have revived Islam, particularly in the Ferghana Valley, where mosques have been renovated."
Since the people were suppressed religiously during the Union, a fundamentalist wave was expected to sweep over the country upon independence, but just the opposite took place. While most label themselves as Muslim, many lack basic knowledge of the religion.
The President, Islam Kharimov, fears the creation of an Islamic state. Since the beginning of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan's terror campaign in February 1999, he has
cracked down on whomever he perceives as extremists.
Origin of Minorities
Obviously, the Russian minority in Uzbekistan originates to the times of the Soviet Union. But, as time passes, more and more Russians are leaving Uzbekistan for their homeland. "In 1929 Tajikstan was split off from the south of Uzbekistan, causing lasting tension between the two; many Uzbeks regard Tajiks as Persianized Uzbeks, while Tajikstan resented Uzbekistan's retention of the Tajik cities of Bokhara and Samarkand." This history identifies the origin of the Tajik minority.
Islamic religion flourished in Uzbekistan as a result of the Soviet Union break up. Islam was brought to ancestors of modern Uzbeks during the 8th century when the Arabs entered Central Asia. Islam initially took hold in the southern portions of Turkestan and gradually spread northward where it remains the dominant religion of Central Asia.
Uzbek is the direct descendant of Chagatay, while being largely derived from Turkish as well. Diffusing to few other surrounding stan countries, and while being a huge influence to other languages, it never really expanded much farther than the home country. It is traced back to 600-700 AD.
Uzbekistan is a relatively gender-equal society where women and men of all ages have similar access to economic and social benefits and political facilities. However, there have been clear and consistent gender-based patterns in employment and traditional household responsibilities despite the social and gender equal society claimed during Soviet rule. Today women are more "restricted" to the patriarchal domain than in the past, and constitute the majority of the impoverished in the country.
Despite warm relations among the Central Asian countries, there is still some ethnic tension between the minorities of Uzbekistan for jobs and resources with the border Soviets left behind.
"In June 1989, rioting in the Ferghana Valley killed thousands of Meskhetian Turks, who had been deported there in 1944. Across the border in Osh, Kyrgyzstan, the Uzbek majority rioted in 1990 over denial of land.
There is official support of minority groups such as Russians, Koreans, and Tatars. These groups have cultural centers, and in 1998 a law that was to have made Uzbek the only language of official communication
After the death of Chinggis Khan, his descendants and
princes competed for influence in Asia. Timur/Tamerlane
emerged as the victor and became the de facto ruler of Western
Asia by conquering Iran, Asia Minor, the southern steppe region north
of the Aral Sea, and India. He also invaded Russia, Turkey, and Iraq,
before dying during an invasion of China in 1405. Timur initiated the last flowering of the region by gathering the great minds of the world into his capital - Samarkand (A CITY OF UZBEKISTAN TODAY). He imbued his empire with a rich Perso-Islamic culture with amazing architectural masterpieces, studies of medicine, science, and math. It was during his dynasty that Turkic became a language. After his death, people fought for influence, which attracted Uzbek tribes living in southern Siberia. While the tribes were coming, some Uzbeks split off and became what is today known as Kazakhstan. They took over the Timurid dynasty and began
the Uzbek empire. There were many more empires to follow, but
Uzbekistan always remained the center. Today, Uzbekistan's
population went over 30 million, more than
any other Central Asian country.
Uzbekistan is pretty much the greatest and most important "stan" of Central Asia and of ALL TIME.
"Symbols of Uzbekistan's independence and past glories are most common. The flag and national colors—green for nature, white for peace, red for life, and blue for water—adorn murals and walls. The twelve stars on the flag symbolize the twelve regions of the country. The crescent moon, a symbol of Islam, is common, though its appearance on the national flag is meant not as a religious symbol but as a metaphor for rebirth. The mythical bird Semurg on the state seal also symbolizes a national renaissance. Cotton, the country's main source of wealth, is displayed on items from the state seal to murals to teacups. The architectures of Samara and Bukhara also symbolize past achievements.
Amir Timur, who conquered a vast area of Asia from his seat in Samarkand in the fourteenth century, has become a major symbol of Uzbek pride and potential and of the firm but just and wise ruler—a useful image for the present government, which made 1996 the Year of Amir Timur. Timur lived more than a century before the Uzbeks reached Uzbekistan.
Independence Day, 1 September, is heavily promoted by the government, as is Navruz, 21 March, which highlights the country's folk culture."
Famous athletes include:
-Djamolidine Abdoujaparov - a former racing cyclist,
he won the Tour de France three times, and is known as the "Terror of Tashkent" for being a dangerous cyclist.
-Artur Taymazov won Uzbekistan's first wrestling medal at the 2000 Summer Olympic Games, and then three gold medals at the 2004, 2008 Summer Olympic Games and 2012 Summer Olympic Games in Men's 120 kg.
-Ruslan Chagaev - professional boxer, won the WBA champion title in 2007 (beat Nikalay Valuev), defended his title twice before losing it to Vladimir Klitschko in 2009.
-Soccer (fubtol) is the most popular sport in Uzbekistan. Nasaf won the AFC Cup in 2011. The Uzbek League always gets really close to qualifying for the World Cup, but, depressingly, always finishes just short.