About Uzbekistan

Makhalla (Uzbek quarter)
07 July 2017
Makhalla (Uzbek quarter)

Makhalla (Uzbek quarter) is a keeper of Uzbek traditions. It is an entire system of relations between inhabitants of one quarter, which has existed in Uzbekistan over centuries and which has influenced on the development of Uzbek traditions and life style. In some way, it is the form of community, united on a small area.

A mosque or chaykhana is considered the center of makhalla. Once the area of makhalla was determined by the voice of muezzin, who called people to pray from the top of a minaret: those houses, where his voice could be heard, were deemed to be a part of that makhalla. Chaykhana is the place where men gather to discuss news and inner life of the quarter (gap). Also they discuss many issues in everyday life, because makhalla is a self-governing administrative unit.

Some makhallas were established from the union of craftsmen, who had workshops close to their houses. Such makhallas got their names thereby. Some makhallas were named in honor of monuments and sights, which were located on its territory. Others got names after a city or village, from which the residents of these makhallas came.

The makhalla feature is that all residents live in peace and harmony with each other, respect and care for the elders, help each other, watch over the cleanness and order on the street. Also, the whole makhalla helps its residents in weddings, funerals and other events.

Life in makhalla is based on definite unwritten rules. So the law “shafat” protected residents from “strangers” who could break the adopted life style. If any resident of makhalla wanted to sell his house, first he offered it to his relatives, then to the neighbors and then to other residents of makhalla. No-one could break this rule. Today many Makhall rules and laws are mitigated.

Today Uzbekistan numbers over 10 thousand makhallas. Some of them are not limited to a quarter of cottages and private houses, now a makhalla can be a group of multistory houses. As before, makhalla helps people to live in peace and harmony, playing an important role in culture and life style of its residents.

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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

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  • Singapore
  • Norway
  • Iceland
  • Finland
  • Uzbekistan
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