About Uzbekistan

International Cultural Forum “Central Asia at the crossroads of Civilizations” in Khiva, Uzbekistan is officially open
16 September 2021
International Cultural Forum “Central Asia at the crossroads of Civilizations” in Khiva, Uzbekistan is officially open

International Cultural Forum “Central Asia at the crossroads of Civilizations” initiated by the President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev at the 75th Session of the UN General Assembly in September 2020 is held in Khiva, Uzbekistan during 14-16 September 2021. The event is sponsored by UNESCO.

The international forum is attended by such international organizations as UNESCO, Shanghai Cooperation Organization, ICOMOS, IССROM, TURKSOY, around 500 participants, experts from more than 50 countries from CIS, EU, experts in the field of cultural heritage, science, art, and other fields, as well as Mass Media representatives.

A concert named “Khiva – the capital of Turkic Culture” will be held in Ichan Kala Museum as a part of the program. Another concert show will be held as a part of the official reception on behalf of the Uzbek government that will take place in the Nurullaboy Complex in Khiva.

The International Advisory Committee on Cultural Heritage of Uzbekistan (IAC) has started its activities as of 15 September 2021 in collaboration with the UNESCO World Heritage Center. Among the participants of the event were the Deputy Prime-Minister of Uzbekistan and the Minister of Tourism and Sports Aziz Abdukahkimov, the Deputy Director of the UNESCO World Heritage Center Jyoti Hosagrahar (online format), the General Director of Centre for the preservation and restoration of cultural heritage (IССROM) Webber Ndoro, the Representative of UNESCO in Uzbekistan Alexandros Makarigakis, experts on culture and the committee members.   

The activities of the International Advisory Committee IAC are aimed at enhancing relations between Uzbekistan and UNESCO on protection, preservation, popularization, and rational use of the cultural heritage, as well as preparation of proposals for including Uzbekistan’s cultural heritage in the UNESCO World Heritage List.

A meeting of the Permanent Council of Ministers of Culture of TURKSOY – the International Organization of Turkic Culture, is also held on 16 September as a part of the event. A report on the events organized within the framework of "Khiva - the cultural capital of the Turkic world" and a presentation on the cultural capital of TURKSOY in 2022, as well as the election of the Secretary-General of TURKSOY in 2021-2024 is presented during the current meeting.

Multiple other events, such as the 5th Congress of the World Society for the Study, Preservation and Popularization of the Cultural Heritage of Uzbekistan "Cultural Heritage of Uzbekistan - the basis of the New Renaissance" in Tashkent, the International Conference "Archeology and Tourism: Determining the Potential and Management of Heritage" in Nukus, International Scientific and Theoretical Conference “The role of Bakhshi art in world civilization” in Nukus, Karakalpakstan, International festival of Bakhshi art in Nukus cities are also delivered as a part of the Cultural Heritage Week.

The Week of the Cultural Heritage of Uzbekistan will be taking place until 21 September 2021. 

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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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