|STATE STRUCTURE||Presidential republic|
|INTERNAL DIVISION||The Republic of Uzbekistan consists of the Republic of Karakalpakstan, regions (uzb. viloyat), rural-type districts (uzb. tuman), urban-type districts, cities of regional subordination, cities of regional subordination, villages (kishlaks and auls). The capital of Uzbekistan – the city of Tashkent has the status of a city of central subordination.|
|OFFICIAL LANGUAGE||Uzbek language|
|NATIONAL COMPOSITION||The main part of the population – 82% – are Uzbeks. Tajiks, Kazakhs, Karakalpaks, Kyrgyz, Turkmens, Crimean Tatars and Germans also live in the country.|
|TIMEZONE||UTC +5 / MSK +2|
The flag of Uzbekistan was approved on November 18, 1991, two months after the country’s independence.
The sky blue color on the flag is a symbol of blue skies and clear water. The azure color is revered in the East, it was once chosen for its flag by the great Amir Timur.
White is a symbol of peace and purity. The young independent state must overcome high passes on its way. The white color on the flag also means a good wish that the path be clear and bright.
Green color is the personification of the fertile nature of the country. At present, the environmental protection movement is expanding all over the world, the symbol of which is also green.
The red stripes are the life forces pulsing in every living being, a symbol of life.
The crescent corresponds to the centuries-old tradition of the people of Uzbekistan. The crescent and stars are a symbol of the cloudless sky of the world.
The flag of Uzbekistan has 12 stars. The number 12 means 12 regions that are part of the Republic.
The coat of arms of Uzbekistan was approved on July 2, 1992.
In the center of the coat of arms is depicted Humo (the bird of happiness in Uzbekistan) with outstretched wings – in Uzbek mythology, a symbol of happiness and love of freedom. The Uzbek poet Alisher Navoi characterized the Humo bird as the kindest of all living creatures.
In the upper part of the coat of arms there is an octahedron symbolizing the establishment of the republic, inside there is a crescent with a star.
The image of the sun symbolizes the light that illuminates the path of the Uzbek state, and also emphasizes the unique natural and climatic conditions of the republic.
The two rivers depicted under the bird are the Amu Darya and the Syr Darya, which flow on the territory of Uzbekistan.
Ears are a symbol of bread, stems with open cotton bolls characterize the main wealth of Uzbekistan. Together, the ears and bolls of cotton, intertwined with the ribbon of the State Flag, symbolize the consolidation of the peoples living in the republic.
Uzbekistan – The Pearl of Central Asia
Once upon a time, trade caravans of the Silk Road passed through the territory of this state, located in the very heart of Central Asia. “Noted” on these lands and the army of the great conquerors of the past – for example, Alexander the Great and Timur (Tamerlane). It is believed that it was Timur who turned Samarkand into the largest cultural center of the region, where many scientists of that time lived, worked and worked.
According to Franciscogardening.com, modern Uzbekistan borders on Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Afghanistan and Tajikistan.
The landscape structure of the country is diverse: here the steppes gradually turn into deserts, and flowering valleys full of life are hidden behind the mountain ranges. The peak of Khazret-Sultan (4643 meters), which is part of the Gissar Range, is the highest point in Uzbekistan. The main waterways of the country and all of Central Asia as a whole are the Amudarya and Syrdarya rivers. Also, Uzbekistan, like Kazakhstan bordering on it, has access to the Aral Sea.
Uzbekistan is considered a country of increased seismic activity, since earthquakes quite often occur on its territory, and the amplitude of oscillations sometimes reaches even 10 points.
The climate in this country is sharply continental: in some areas the average winter temperature is around -4C, while in others the thermometer can drop to -38C; in summer it is quite hot – from +27C to +40 degrees Celsius and even higher.
Fauna and flora of Uzbekistan are diverse. Several thousand species of plants grow here. The most common are saxaul, wild poppies and tulips, pistachio and juniper trees, sea buckthorn and many others. The fauna of the country is no less diverse – in its open spaces there are numerous herds of wild boars, saigas and deer. Here you can often see flocks of jackals and many other representatives of the Central Asian fauna. But goitered gazelles began to come across less often. These animals, as well as the markhor goat, have long been in the Red Book, along with the mountain sheep and snow leopard.
There are ten nature reserves and nine nature reserves on the territory of Uzbekistan. The largest reserves are Chatkal, Zeravshan, Zaamin and Kyzylkum.
The history of Uzbekistan goes back thousands of years. Archaeological finds found in the place of Obi-Rahmat, as well as in the Teshik-Tash cave, allowed scientists to conclude that people on the territory of modern Uzbekistan lived already in the Paleolithic era. During the late Paleolithic period, Neanderthals lived on the territory of Uzbekistan, whose burials were found in the Teshik-Tash grotto.
By the VI century BC. Quite developed agricultural oases were formed on the territory of Uzbekistan, which were conquered by the founder of the Achaemenid Empire – King Cyrus. For two hundred years, the entire south of Central Asia was part of it, and three of the Central Asian satrapies – Bactria, Sogdiana, Khorezm – became the first ancient states, wholly or partially located on the territory of modern Uzbekistan.
An interesting fact: Most of the modern cities of Uzbekistan can be safely called real open-air museums, since their age is many hundreds of years old. For example, the mention of the city of Samarkand is found in the most ancient written sources of 742 BC. Yes, and Bukhara, Khiva, Karshi, Termez, Tashkent – all these Uzbek cities are more than 2 thousand years old.
In the first quarter of the 8th century, Turkic-speaking tribes appeared on these lands, which brought Islam here. The process of Islamization of the region, it should be noted, was not painless, as the locals professed other religions (for example, Zoroastrianism). And at first they met Islamic culture not very friendly. Religious uprisings were not uncommon. However, each time they were brutally suppressed.
A great contribution to the Islamization of the region was made by the outstanding Central Asian politician and commander Timur (Tamerlane), who around 1370 founded the Timurid Empire with its capital in Samarkand. No wonder the “Great Lame” was called the “Sword of Allah” and “Shadow of the prophet on earth.” He devoted his whole life to the construction of majestic mosques, including the largest in Samarkand, Bibi-Khanym. Today Uzbeks regard Timur as their national hero.
It is safe to say that the XIV century – the beginning of the XV century, the reign of Tamerlane and his descendants, became the period of the Golden Age of Uzbekistan. This is a time of active development of crafts, science and culture in general.
An interesting fact: An interesting fact that unites Uzbek and Russian history: the Khan of the Khorezm state (Khanate of Khiva) Muhammad Amin Khan asked the Russian Tsar Peter I to help repel the raids of the conquerors – Turkmen and Kazakhs. But by the time a small Russian expeditionary force sent by Peter I arrived to help in 1717, the khan had already been killed and his army completely defeated. Russian soldiers fulfilled their duty and also laid down their heads, following the order of the emperor.
Another larger Russian campaign in these parts took place many years later – in 1839 during the reign of Emperor Nicholas I. Its main strategic objectives were: firstly, to prevent the strengthening of British influence on the Russian borders; secondly, to secure trade routes on which Russian trade missions were constantly attacked. But this campaign was not particularly successful.
Finally, in 1873, the Russian Emperor Alexander II organized the famous Khiva military campaign. It was headed by the Governor-General of Turkestan Konstantin Petrovich von Kaufman. The result of this military mission is known: three years later, the entire territory of modern Uzbekistan became part of the Russian Empire.
An interesting fact: Before joining the Russian Empire on the lands of modern Uzbekistan, there were three independent state formations – the Emirate of Bukhara, the Kokand and Khiva khanates.
In October 1927, according to the national-state delimitation of the Soviet republics of Central Asia, the Uzbek SSR became part of the Land of Soviets, and Samarkand became its capital. However, six years later it was transferred to Tashkent – this city is still the capital of post-Soviet Uzbekistan today.
On August 31, 1991, the Supreme Council of Uzbekistan adopted a resolution “On the proclamation of the state independence of the Republic of Uzbekistan.”
Uzbekistan is a multinational state in which approximately 82% of the population are ethnic Uzbeks. But other nationalities also live in the country – Russians, Tajiks, Kazakhs, Karakalpaks, Kyrgyz, Turkmens, Crimean Tatars and even Germans who came here after the end of World War II. Captured Germans were brought by echelons to Uzbekistan to serve their sentences after the war. Subsequently, entire German settlements were formed in the country. In the late 1950s, many of the surviving Germans returned to their homeland. Others preferred to stay on the Uzbek land that had already become their native land.
Today, the largest ethnic minority in Uzbekistan (about 2 million people) are Russians, who, for one reason or another, after the collapse of the USSR, never left for Russia.
In modern Uzbekistan, the majority of the population, almost 93%, professes Islam.
The treasury of Uzbek literature includes many famous writers and poets of the past – Agakhi, Alisher Navoi, Munis Khorezmi and others.
It is also worth noting that the country has several objects included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. In particular, one can cite the Chatkal Nature Reserve located in the Western Tien Shan. In the same list is the inner city of Khiva – Ichan-Kala. The whole Samarkand is listed in the cultural heritage of mankind. And several dozens of historical sites of Uzbekistan are included in the so-called “preliminary list” by UNESCO.
The modern education system in Uzbekistan includes three levels: basic education (up to grade 9), secondary or specialized secondary education, and higher education. In general, this system is quite close to the traditional Soviet one. There are more than 9 thousand schools in the country. The main language of instruction is Uzbek. There are also Russian, Kazakh, Turkmen schools here. Education is free – only the rent of textbooks is charged.
More than 60 higher educational institutions operate in the country, including seven branches of foreign universities, including Moscow State University named after M.V. Lomonosov, Westminster International University, Singapore Institute for Management Development and Inha University (South Korea).
The healthcare system in Uzbekistan is represented by public and private medical institutions, however, according to the law, all citizens of the country have the right to free medical care. But in fact, free service is becoming less and less. Now residents of the country have to apply more often to paid medical institutions of the country in order to receive certain services.
Since 1994, athletes of Uzbekistan have taken part in all the Olympic Games. During this time they have won 33 Olympic medals, of which 9 are gold, 7 are silver and 17 are bronze. Most luck accompanies Uzbek athletes in such Olympic disciplines as wrestling, boxing and weightlifting.
The national Uzbek cuisine is distinguished by a peculiar technology of cooking dishes. It uses a wide range of products. The usual set of products for Uzbeks when cooking is wheat, barley, rice, peas, mung beans, carrots, onions, turnips, flax, sesame, pumpkin, melon, watermelon, etc. Uzbeks also love meat and dairy and meat and vegetable food. Lamb, goat meat, beef and chicken meat are the favorite types of meat on the Uzbek table, although at least one family can hardly do without milk – cow, goat, sheep and camel – and dairy products. Koumiss and chal are very refreshing in the heat. Katyk (a drink reminiscent of kefir), suzma (katyk strained from whey), kaymak and other drinks remain a constant component of Uzbek families’ treats. If the host serves the guest a bowl with this drink, then this indicates that his soul is open to the guest.
Until recently, the Uzbek national cuisine did not have the terms “appetizer”, “first”, “second”, “garnish”, “sauce”, since many dishes in their consistency are, as it were, in an intermediate position – between liquid and thick. The most common method of heat treatment of meat is roasting. Moreover, it is certainly produced in a large amount of fat with the addition of a large amount of onion. Portions here are usually served large. Necessarily meat and other dense dishes are accompanied by suzma and fresh vegetables, which are served whole, without cutting. Originally national kitchen equipment for cooking – tandyrs, cauldrons and kaskans.
Culinary works are served at the table in porcelain and earthenware, both flat and deep dishes.
Tea drinking in Uzbekistan is not only thirst quenching, but also a whole ritual. Usually tea is brewed in teapots and then poured into bowls. Tea drinking completes any meal, but before the meal itself, it is customary to eat sweets, fruits, vegetables and melons. Pilaf and manti are the most common dishes of national Uzbek cuisine.
Tourists visiting Uzbekistan like to bring national clothes with handmade embroidery from the country as a gift – for example, dressing gowns – men’s zarchalan and women’s camisole. Someone will like the Uzbek skullcap and wonderful local ceramics. Bukhara hand-forged knives will not leave any man indifferent.
In fact, the whole of Uzbekistan is one large architectural and archaeological monument in the open air. The Gur-Emir Mausoleum, the tomb of Amir Timur and his family, is one of the most famous sights. The construction was erected in Samarkand in 1404 – a year before the death of the Great Tamerlane.
Interesting fact: Two legends are associated with the name of the founder of the Timurid dynasty.
In 1740, the Persian Shah Nadir took out of the country the gravestone of Tamerlane, carved from a single piece of jade. Nadir Shah decided to make it a stepping stone to his throne. Apparently, he made such a decision in vain, since the shah did not see any more luck in life. He had to subdue his pride: by his order, the jade tombstone was returned to its place.
Another legend says that just before the beginning of the Great Patriotic War, archaeologists opened the tomb of Tamerlane. According to legend, the violation of the peace of the ruler should lead to the start of a big war. And so it happened – with the attack of Germany, the USSR entered the most bloody war in the history of mankind.
Outdoor enthusiasts love Uzbekistan, because this country is able to satisfy the most demanding tourist. Mountainous areas attract climbers from all over the world: at least the routes to Pobeda Peak (7439 meters), Korzhenevskaya Peak (7105 meters) and Khan Tengri Peak (6995 meters) are worth at least.
Uzbekistan also has one of the deepest caves in Asia – Boy-Bulok (1415 meters). For speleologists, there is generally expanse here, since the most beautiful underground rivers and lakes are located on the territory of the Western Tien Shan.
As elsewhere in the world, people in Uzbekistan like to celebrate holidays, whether they are secular or religious. The Uzbek New Year falls on January 1st. The Defender of the Fatherland is celebrated on January 14, and International Women’s Day, as in Soviet times, on March 8. Day of Memory and Honor – May 9, Independence Day – September 1. Religious holidays in the Islamic world are celebrated everywhere according to the Muslim lunar calendar. Uzbekistan is no exception in this regard.