Uzbekistan’s culture, just like its people is vibrant and unique. Also referred as the heart of Central Asia, Uzbekistan is located between the Amu-Darya and Syr-Darya rivers. In this region and known for centuries, hospitality is ranked higher than courage.
The culture of Uzbekistan takes in tradition and cultures of various nationalities that had settled in this region over a period of time. There are influences from Turkey, Iran, Russia, China and also Arab communities. Its culture reflects in their music, dances, cuisine, arts and language even today. Thanks to the Great Silk Road, Buddhism has found its way into Uzbekistan. Uzbekistan’s hospitality comes through when you look at its history. They opened up for tired tradesmen who sought refuge from the desert in this beautiful place. Their vehicles stayed in Uzbekistan for days before they continued their journey. A variety of musical instruments were also introduced to the Uzbek’s by these passers-by.
The tea ceremony, one of their traditions is an epitome of Uzbekistan’s hospitality. This ceremony is a ritual filled with grace and shows utmost respect to its guests. A hostess serves tea with a traditional Uzbekistan snack. The tea is poured into a beautiful ceramic cup and then back to the teapot three times. This helps the tea to retain its flavor and build aroma. Only three times, the tea is poured into a cup and served to the guests. Not just that – the cup is only half filled. The reason is to retain a perfect temperature for the guest to enjoy their drink.
Uzbekistan has some traditional craft techniques that the local craftsmen practice till today. Be it silk, ceramics, wood and carvings, housewares, metal carvings, carpets or more – each region of Uzbekistan brings in a different flavor to the craft. The craft business relies on tourism for income, providing economic growth in this country. You will get ceramic art, jewelry, embroidered clothes, paintings, wood carvings, local Uzbek dolls and other decorative fabrics in this country.
Music is part and parcel of everyone’s life in Uzbekistan. The Doira is a traditional percussion instrument made of wood. The Rubab is a stringed bow instrument. The Nay is a wind instrument, its sound similar to a flute. The Sunray is Uzbek’s national wind instrument> its shape is in the form of a tube that goes broad at the base and more. However, Makom, the Classical Uzbek music forms a special musical genre and is illustrated by a touching performance.
The beauty of this nation comes out in its dance form. Expressive, graceful, original, soft and smooth, Uzbek dance can be of two forms. The classic one or the folklore. The classic dance form is an art that is being taught in various art schools in Uzbekistan. The folklore is the common dance form that can be found at weddings, events, and holidays and even amongst family times to celebrate the good moments. These dance forms have been passed down from generations and retain ancient touch with a twist to cater to the modern world.
The food here is delicious, ample, flavourful and some, even unique. Women take the lead in preparing the food. Men, however, are known to be the best for preparing Pilaf, an intricate dish made out of rice, mutton, and vegetables. This nation is also known for the variety of flatbread, made in hot clay oven along with unique stuff pastries. They say lasting friendships happen over a food table and we think it is true!
My favorite quote:
“Doing the best at this moment puts you in the best place for the next moment.” – Oprah Winfrey
Traveler, lover of nature, culture, religion and history and a sucker for ceramics, silk and anything handmade. I love traveling and seeing the world from a different view. In love with Uzbekistan and keen to show the world what a beautiful place it is. Come, fly with me on my adventure and escapades to see this hidden gem upclose and personal.