About Uzbekistan

Uzbekistan to host the Second International Handicrafters Festival in Kokand
13 July 2021
Uzbekistan to host the Second International Handicrafters Festival in Kokand

The First International Festival of Handicrafters in Kokand was held during 10-15 September 2019 by the initiative of the H.E. Shavkat Mirziyoyev, the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan.

The event was aimed at and demonstrated safeguarding of traditional handicrafts traditions, preserving and developing cultural diversity through supporting creativity. During the first International Handicrafters Festival, the ancient city of Kokand had brought together guests from more than 370 from around 78 countries and around 1,200 local handicrafters.

Uzbekistan plans on organizing the Second International Handicrafters Festival in the upcoming year 2022 in the ancient city of Kokand with the aim of promoting handicraft traditions, which are an invaluable source to attract Uzbek youth to safeguard the heritage and support the diversity of craftsmanship in Uzbekistan.

As a part of the event, with the aim of attracting talented handicraft masters and youth of Uzbekistan to participate in the festival, additional exhibitions and show-contests will also be organized in the regions of Uzbekistan during April 2022, as well as in the capital city Tashkent and Karakaplakstan during June 2022.

During the previous event in 2019, various exhibitions of handicrafts, fine art, folk art, and ancient handicraft machines were organized near the square of Khudayarkhan Palace. The production process, feature films and documentaries, books, albums and photographs about folk arts were presented. Uzbek national clothes demonstrations of tightrope walkers, comedians, and folk groups were organized within the framework of the festival in 2019.

In the shade of such historical and tourists destinations of Uzbekistan as Bukhara, Samarkand and Khiva, the Fergana Valley often remains unnoticed, even though it holds the most valuable treasures in it. The Fergana valley, which is known as the greenest area in the country, is known not only for the best fruits in the country but also for its cotton cultivation, silk production in Margilan and handicraft culture. The razor-sharp knives and world-famous skull caps are made in the town of Chust.

Kokand is located in the western Fergana Valley and in 228 km southeast from the capital Tashkent is a historic city of the region. The city that lies along the route of the ancient Silk Road, was destroyed several times, but in the 18thcentury it became once more a prospering city under the kingdom of Khudayar Khan, the last ruling Khan of Kokand. During this period, the city became a political, cultural and religious center with 35 madrasahs and 300 mosques. Although only a few of these are still there today, the old part of the city is worth a visit – especially the Khudayar Khan Palace, which is a real gem of Uzbekistan and Central Asia in general. 

The Historic Center Kokand, or Qoqon in the local language, was nominated to be a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2008. According to a report submitted to UNESCO: Qoqon - is one of the cultural centers of the Ancient East. The most worthy attention is fine and unique by their beauty and architectural shape of buildings - a residence of governors Qoqon Khanate - Urda, Norbutabiy Madrasah, Djamiy mosque, Kamol Kozi Madrasah, Dasturkhonchi, Sohibzod Kazrat, Zingbardor and many others. Among the historical sights in the old town are Norbutabi (Norbutabe) Madrasah, Jami (Juma) mosque and minaret, the architectural ensemble Dahmai-Shohon (Dahma-I-Shakhon) mausoleum, Kamol Kazi Madrasah, the tomb of Madari Khan’s women and Khudoyar-Khan’s Palace (Hudoyarhan Palace). The main madrasahs are Norbutabey, Dasturkanchi, Aminbek, and Medresei-mir, and the mausoleums are Modari Khan, Dakhma-I-Jakhon and Mukimi.

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Did you know?

Uzbekistan is one of only two countries in the world to be ‘double landlocked’ (landlocked and totally surrounded by other landlocked countries). Liechtenstein is double landlocked by 2 countries whilst Uzbekistan is surrounded by 5!

Did you know that Uzbekistan lies in the very heart of Eurasia, the coordinates for Uzbekistan are 41.0000° N, 69.0000°

Uzbekistan is home to the Muruntan gold mine, one of the largest open pit gold mines in the world! The country has 4th largest reserves of gold in the world after South Africa, USA and Russia

Uzbekistan is the world capital of melons. They have in excess of 150 different varieties, which form a staple part of the local diet, served fresh in the summer and eaten dried through the winter.

It is Uzbek tradition that the most respected guest be seated farthest from the house’s entrance.

Tashkent’s metro features chandeliers, marble pillars and ceilings, granite, and engraved metal. It has been called one of the most beautiful train stations in the world.

The Uzbek master chef is able to cook in just one caldron enough plov to serve a thousand men.

When you are a host to someone, it is your duty to fill their cups with for the whole time they are with you.  What you must not do, however, is to fill their cup more than half-full.  If you do that as a mistake, say it is a mistake immediately.  Doing it means you want them to leave.  Wow!  Amazing, right?

To Uzbeks, respect means a whole lot.  For this reason they love it if, even as foreigners, you endeavour to add the respectful suffix opa after a woman's name; and aka after a man's.  Example: Linda-opa and David-aka.  You could also use hon and jon respectively.

Having been an historic crossroads for centuries as part of various ancient empires, Uzbekistan’s food is very eclectic. It has its roots in Iranian, Arab, Indian, Russian and Chinese cuisine.

Though identified with the Persia, the Zoroastrism probably originated in Bactria or Sogdiana. Many distinguished scholars share an opinion that Zoroastrianism had originated in the ancient Khorezm. Indeed, today in the world there were found 63 Zoroastrian monuments, including those in Iran, India, Afghanistan and Pakistan. Thirty-eight of them are in Uzbekistan, whereas 17 of these monuments are located in Khorezm.

One of Islam's most sacred relics - the world's oldest Koran that was compiled in Medina by Othman, the third caliph or Muslim leader, is kept in Tashkent. It was completed in the year 651, only 19 years after Muhammad's death. 

Tashkent is the only megapolis in the world where public transport is totally comprised of Mercedes buses. And due to low urban air polution it is one of the few cities where one can still see the stars in the sky.

You would be surprised to know that modern TV was born in Tashkent. No joke! The picture of moving objects was transmitted by radio first time in the world in Tashkent on 26 of July 1928 by inventors B.P. Grabovsky and I.F. Belansky.

Uzbekistan is the only country in the world all of whose neighbours have their names ending in STAN. This is also the only country in Central Asia that borders all of the countries of this region

Uzbeks are the third populous Turkik ethnicity in the world after Turks and Azeris (leaving both in Azerbaijan and Iran)

Did you know that there was silk money in Khiva? Super interesting right? Of course, but the best part of having silk money was that it could be sewn into your clothing.

Famous Islamic physician Ibn Sina (Avicenna in the Latin world) who was born near Bukhara was the one of the first people to advocate using women’s hair as suture material – about 1400 years ago.

Uzbekistan has a long and bloody history. The most notorious leader of Uzbekistan was Timur (or Tamerlane) who claimed descent from Genghis Khan. His military campaigns have been credited for wiping out some 5% of the world’s population at the time.

If you have thought that some of the Islamic architecture in Uzbekistan resembles that from Northern India, then that is because Timur’s great great great Grandson, Babur Beg, was the founder of the Moghul Empire that ruled much of India for almost four centuries! Babur’s great great Grandson was Shah Jahan, who built the Taj Mahal.

Uzbekistan was once a rum producig country. There is still a real arboretum in Denau (city near Termez on the border with Afghanistan), grown from a selection station that studied the prospects of plant growing in the unusual for the Soviet Union subtropical climate of Surkhandarya region: only here in the whole of the USSR sugar cane was grown and even rum was produced!

Uzbekistan has been ranked one of the safest countries in the world, according to a new global poll. The annual Gallup Global Law and Order asked if people felt safe walking at night and whether they had been victims of crime. The survey placed Uzbekistan 5th out of 135 countries, while the UK was 21st and the US 35th. Top five safest countries:

  • Singapore
  • Norway
  • Iceland
  • Finland
  • Uzbekistan
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