About Uzbekistan

Uzbek cultural events take place in Paris as a part of “The Road to Samarkand. Miracles of Silk and Gold” exhibition
12 June 2023
Uzbek cultural events take place in Paris as a part of “The Road to Samarkand. Miracles of Silk and Gold” exhibition

The Institute of the Arab World in Paris hosted the exhibition entitled “The Road to Samarkand. Miracles of Silk and Gold” as part of a cultural and educational program on 3 June-4 June last week. As a part of the exhibition, Uzbek ceramics masters Alisher and Shokhrukh Rakhimov held master classes in Uzbek handicrafts for the participants and guests of the cultural event.

The event was met with great interest by the French audience. More than 100 admirers of Uzbek culture and traditions took part in the master class.

One of the main goals of the event is to develop the best traditions in this direction of Uzbek folk art, to widely promote unique examples of Uzbek handicrafts & ceramics and promote the tourism potential of Uzbekistan among French audiences.

In the master class, the participants were given a lot of interesting information about the history of origin, secrets, rules of this art, and its development. The French people were informed how the wealth of ganch (the material used in the pottery) in Uzbekistan and the ease of working with it caused the formation of Uzbek ceramics as a special profession since ancient times.

During the event, the participants were presented with colorful patterns and a rich palette of Uzbek ceramic dishes and improved their knowledge about Uzbek art, culture and ancient traditions overall.

In particular, Boris Tissot, a participant in the event, noted that the demonstrated master class of representatives of this genre of Uzbek art made a great impression on him. “I used to hear a lot about this art direction, but today I did it with my own hands, put patterns on the dishes, and got unsurpassed pleasure from it. We, the French public, were struck by the fact that this art requires great skill, patience and love to create each pattern,” Tissot said.

“It would not be an exaggeration to say that I discovered a lot of new things about Uzbekistan and the culture of Uzbek people, especially in the field of Uzbek art and ceramics, by coming to today's event. Thanks to this master class, which was demonstrated by craftsmen, we once again confirmed that the Uzbek culture is rich in secrets, beauty and originality,” said Clément Labulfi, one of the participants of the event.

Within the framework of these events, a seminar prepared by the senior researcher of the Institute of Art History of the Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Uzbekistan, Doctor of Philosophy Zafara Aliyeva was also held. The topic of the seminar was “Karakalpak women's costume of the XIX-XX centuries”. Representatives of the French public were given detailed information about the culture, history and customs of the Karakalpaks, as well as about the Igor Savitsky Museum in Nukus and its exhibits.

Events of this kind indeed have a positive impact on the growth of tourism in our country, attracting more foreigners to visit Uzbekistan not only for the historical cities of the Great Silk Road, such as Samarkand, Bukhara and Khiva but also for its cultural sites such as Rishton / Rishtan, Margilan in Fergana Valley.

We would also like to remind you that the citizens of France, including all EU member states can now travel to Uzbekistan on a visa-free basis according to the simplified visa procedures introduced by the government. 

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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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