Uzbekistan. The Present Illuminated with the Light of Centuries
The history of each country and people dates back to the past for hundreds and thousands of years, intertwining in complex tangles with the fates of neighboring and distant countries and peoples. So the disputes that some ethnos is more ancient than another not are not right. This is especially strange in the modern world, where the largest project of compilation of genetic atlas of peoples and maps of ancient migrations of humankind has been implementing since 2005. For example, certain studies showed that around three thousand years BC, the nomads from the Eurasian steppes had domesticated a horse and thus spread their genetic marker M17 throughout the whole territory from Iceland to West Bengal. It turns out that about 40 percent (!) of men living in the vast territory of the Czech Republic to the Siberian plains and including Central Asia are the closest genetic cousins. That is, where a Pole or Czech starts and an Uzbek or Tajik ends is genetically hard to determine.
It is much more logical to be proud of how well the countries and peoples managed to preserve the architectural and cultural historical memory for the descendant. And there, Uzbekistan, whose main tourist centers such as Samarkand, Bukhara and Khiva, entered to the UNESCO World Heritage List, has much to show to the world.
Besides, it gives us pleasure to say that the peoples of Uzbekistan have enriched the heritage of humanity not only with the architectural monuments. The List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, compiled under the UNESCO program “Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Cultural Heritage” includes:
- Traditional complicated chant “Katta ashula” (“Big Singing”);
- A bright festival of the vernal equinox “Navruz”;
- Ancient beautiful music “Shashmaqom”;
- Cultural unique ethnographic Boysun region, Surkhandarya.
By a twist of fate, Uzbekistan, isolated by mountains and deserts from seas and oceans, was located at the very crossroads of world civilizations, world religions, cultural traditions and culinary preferences. Absorbing the best, enriching the spiritual world, every citizen of the country easily speaks two, three or more languages (Uzbek, Karakalpak, Farsi, Kazakh, Russian) and read Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam in the original. Everyone considers himself a connoisseur of Uzbek, Uighur, Korean and Russian cuisine. Any man can easily cook pilaf for thousand guests. OK, every man can cook pilaf for ten people, that’s for sure. Each local builder knows how to build an earthquake-proof house of clay of particular mix.
Over a thousand years, until the discovery of the sea route to India, the goods from East to West were transported along the Great Silk Road.
So the people of Uzbekistan are so much genetically gifted as merchants and traders: they absorbed the skills of the Greeks and the Jews, Moors and Chinese. Uzbekistan absorbed much in all fields of industry. It gave much to the world too: thinkers and mathematicians, theologians and astronomers, generals and rulers, poets and healers, Grand Masters and football referee.
Many actions and habits of the locals, committed on the level of instincts were developed not even in childhood; they are in the genetic memory. To take a piece of bread fallen on the ground and put it aside. The first bowl of nosey tea is served to guests. The first sip of water in the heat to be given to the youngest. Seat the guest on the place of honor in the house, at a maximum distance from the front door, for the host could protect him from the enemy suddenly bursting in. A manner of cut melon or make a “scoop” of watermelon. A sprig of sweet basil behind the ear of a dignified man and a young beautiful girl in the summer heat. All this is thousands of beads that make up a mosaic of the amazingly beautiful ancient and eternally young country - Uzbekistan, which while preserving its uniqueness, is updating its look, building roads and bridges, factories and houses, laying pipes and melting metal.