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Tuesday, 10 July 2012

General Information of Uzbekistan

Geography 

The physical environment of Uzbekistan is diverse, ranging from the flat, desert topography that comprises almost 80 percent of the country's territory to mountain peaks in the east reaching about 4,500 meters above sea level. Located in the heart of Central Asia, Uzbekistan occupies more than 447,400 square kilometres, measuring 925 km from North to South and 1400 km from West to East. Along the borders on each of the former Soviet Asian Republic which is Kazakhstan 2.203 km, Tajikistan 1.161 km, Kyrgyzstan 1.099 km and Turkmenistan 1.621 km , and in the south - on Afghanistan 137 km.

General Information
Official Name               :           The Republic Of Uzbekistan
Coordinates                 :           41 00 N, 64 00 E 
Independence   Day      :           1 September, 1991
Total Area                    :           447,400sq.km
Population                    :           29million (January 2011)
Capital                         :           Tashkent (2.5 million of population)
Time                            :           GMT + 05:00
Head of Country            :           H.E Islam Karimov- President
Head of Government      :           Shavkat Mirziyoyev – Prime Minister
Foreign Minister            :           Elyor Ganiyev
Currency                      :           Uzbek Soum (US$ 1 = Soum 1,657 as of 8 February 2011)
Dialing code                 :           +998

Weather
Peculiarity climate of Uzbek with great number of sunny days. Tourist’s season in Uzbekistan falls on spring months that are March, April and May, the second half is in August, September and October. Winter month’s temperatures ranges from -10C to 30C are suitable for the lovers of mountains and winter sports such as skiing. The average annual temperature is approximately 13C.

Language
Most common language spoken is Uzbek, but Russian is a widely spoken native or second language particularly in large cities. In different regions of Uzbekistan, other languages are also widely spoken such as Tajik in Samarkand and Bukhara. Individuals spoke in more than one language are common in large cities and in ethnically diverse areas. However with present Uzbekistan’s policy moving toward the West, the knowledge of English has become increasingly common
Religion 
Predominantly the Uzbeks are Sunni Muslim (80% of population), Shia (15%) along side with Russian Orthodox, Roman Catholic and Jewish are the minorities. Although constitutionally maintaining rights to freedom of religion, Uzbekistan maintains a ban on all religious activities not approved by state.

President of Uzbekistan
Islam  Karimov
Political system 
Under the 1992 Constitution, Uzbekistan is a secular and democratic republic country. Political system of the Republic is parliamentary democracy with a legislative organ Oliy Majlis (Supreme Council), executive body (government) and legal proceeding system. The head of executive power is President, directly elected to a seven-year term. Executive power rests with the President. The President appoints a Cabinet of Ministers with the approval of the legislature. The Cabinet of Ministers carries the day-to-day running of the country. The President also appoints regional governors.



The Culture

The People
Uzbekistan people are represented by multiple nationalities and ethnic groups such as the native nations of Central Asia are Tajiks, Kazakhs, Kirghizes, Uygures, Dungans. Minorities from Europe and East are Russians, Tatars, Germans, Jews, Lithuanians, Poles, Ukrainians, Byelorussians, Greeks and Turks live in Uzbekistan.

Traditional Clothing

National clothing for Uzbekistan is mostly bright colour, to be worn during cultural traditions. However, wearing traditional clothing is a part of norm for rural areas.

      Men’s clothing
Traditional men’s suit is a chopon, the quilted robe, tied with a shawl along with cap is called tubeteyka. Kuylak is the men’s straight cut shirt. Ishton is men’s wide trousers, narrowed at bottom. Traditional footwear is high-boots, made of leather. They were tied with embellished belt made of velvety richly handmade embroidery with silver pendants buckles.



      Women’s clothing
Traditional women’s suit is dwell of plain khan-atlas tunic-dress and wide trousers. Made of atlas fabric richly embroil with gleaming 
golden thread. Along with colourful headdress with unique patterns embroidered are the cap, headscarf and turban. Inseparable accessories are gold and silver jewelry which are the earrings, bracelet and necklaces.

The Wedding
Nikokh, wedding plays a very significant role for people in Uzbekistan and usually celebrate in a very solemn manner. Every region in Uzbekistan (14 in total) has its own peculiarities and rituals and may differ from one region to another. Some of the commonly met customs is matchmaking

One of the pre wedding rituals “Fotiha” - the engagement ceremony which symbolizes an agreement of two families to connect family ties, Fotiha determines the nature of the wedding.

Before Nikokh starts, the groom heads to pick up the bride from her home accompanied by his best man and a number of close friends. The bride’s family meets the guests with a festive table, offering “pilav,” a traditional meal of the Uzbek nation. The bride's family has to dress-up the groom with “sarpo” - the wedding robe to be ready for a wedding praying "Hutbayi nikoh" by the “Mullah” (Muslim priest)  before proclaims them husband and wife. The newly-wed then goes to the official civil registration of marriage to obtained marriage certificate, thus supplementing the wedlock in the face of God.

The culmination of a wedding ceremony is the bride's leaving her parent's house (or the place where the wedding party was held) to the groom’s house. In some regions of Uzbekistan, families follow the ancient ritual of purification, dated back in Zoroastrian tradition, when the groom carry the bride and walks around the fire three times before entering groom’s house.

Next morning after the wedding party the ritual "Kelin salom" - reception of the bride in her new family should be performed. The groom's parents, his relatives and friends give presents to the bride and she greets everyone with deep bows – three bows to each member of the groom’s family. There is another custom of a couple officially visiting bride’s parents after the wedding. And in some regions (including Tashkent) there is a tradition for bride’s parents to deliver food to the groom’s family for 40 days after the wedding.
  
The Music
Shashmaqam
The music of the Uzbeks takes a much greater influence from Persian Classical Music and the Middle East, rather than from Turkic-Mongolic Traditional Music. The centerpiece of Uzbek music is the Shashmaqam, or Six Maqams, which was named a “UNESCO Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity” in 2003. The Shashmaqam is a modal suite that brings together lyrical and instrumental songs, poetry and dance. Traditional Uzbek music is primarily melodic, highly embellished, micro-tonal, and mono- or homophonic. Common instruments include lutes, spike fiddles and flutes. 


At heart, Uzbek music is closely tied with the traditional music of Tajikistan (both sharing the Shashmaqam), a division largely owing to Soviet policies of ethnic nationalism. During the Soviet period traditional music in central Asia was treated ambivalently: initially discouraged due to a preference for propagandistic music, and later encouraged to promote local national identity (rather than broader religious or regional identities). These recent policies, combined with independence, have led to a revival of interest in traditional Uzbek music.

Cuisine
One of well developed factor in Uzbekistan is their cuisine which is also one of the most ancient and refined in Central Asia. Their 4 seasons especially winter and summer greatly influence the composition of their daily basic menu. There are about 200 of them vary from different region in Uzbekistan.

Plov
Uzbek well known cuisine is “Palov” which consist fried and boiled meat, onions, carrots and rice; with raisins, berries, chickpeas or for variation is fruits. This is one of the pride for Uzbekistanis on their ability on preparing the most unique and sumptuous “Palov” served on the large flat plate lyagan. Uzbek cuisine can't be considered as such without the flaky pastry Somsa”, which has minced meat and a piece of fat of sheep's tail inside, or the original ravioli-like  “Manty”, which are filled with meat, potatoes or sweet pumpkin, and cooked in steam.

“Chuchvara” or also known as “Warak-Chuchvara” (pel’meni) is also the most widespread national dish. A very small dumpling mostly prepare with the same method. The traditional Uzbek community would prefer to enjoy “Kebab Shashlik” with endless cup of green tea at the “Choyhona” (teahouse)

Arts and Handicrafts 
For centuries caravans used to carry goods between the West and the East along the Great Silk Road which ran through the territory of the present-day Uzbekistan. The origins of folk art are hidden in depths of centuries of history. Uzbekistan still continues to reveal new aspects of this ancient land and its culture.

Tubeteika
Uzbek applied arts has a wealth of variety when it comes to style, materials and ornamentation (Uzbek Tubeteika). Blue Ceramics, Silk, Cotton Weaving (Uzbek Suzanne), Carpet (Turkmen), Stone and Wood Carving, Metal Engraving, Leather stamping, Calligraphy and Miniature painting are some ancient art genres developed from the ancient past
Each region has its own cultural and ethnic tradition; these unique features were established by local guilds that strengthened these characteristics through their art. It is possible to recognize someone etchic background from their embroidered skullcap tyubeteyka or by the colour and embroider style of his gown Chapan

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