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Uzbekistan Culture
Get to know the ancient Uzbekistan

Hospitality - Essential Part of Uzbek Culture
Hospitality is the essential part of Uzbek culture. People lived on the crossroads of the ancient Silk Road and their lives highly depended on the business they conducted with foreigners that traveled from east to west and back, carrying silk, pottery and other goods. Anyone, irregardless of his or her nationality, is always treated as if he was sent by God. Besides, Uzbeks are a curious nation who like meeting people and they are always happy to guests of different nationalities.

Uzbekistan is well known for its chaikhanas (teahouses), where men get together and spend time chatting and joking over a cup of tea. It is part of the culture that women take care of the house, including cooking. Uzbek men have good cooking skills and chaikhana is the place where they get together and cook pilaw (rice with meat and vegetables) or kazan kabob (fried meat with potatoes).

The Bazaar is a place of interaction apart from its primary purpose of buying and selling. The best part of the bazaar is the bargaining. People just love to bargain. If you visit Uzbekistan you should surely go to a bazaar and try your self to bargain. Its noisiness, variety, bright colors, hustle and bustle will leave unforgettable memories for good.

cuisine_1 Cuisine
Uzbek cuisine is one of the most colourful of Oriental Cuisines. You will get astounded to find some of Uzbek recipes to be centuries-old. They even have different traditional rituals and ways of cooking. There are about 1,000 different dishes including national drinks, cakes and confectionary products.

Uzbek "Pilaf" is a very solemn food. It can be considered as an everyday dish as well as a dish for solemn and great events like weddings, parties and holidays.

Rice is the most important ingredient of pilaf and special spices, raisins, or peas will be added to give it extra flavour. However, locals believe that the best pilaf is always prepared by a man! Salads are also served along with pilaf.

Bread is holy for Uzbek people. This traditional belief started with a legend. As it goes, each new Governor would mint his own coins but the payment for local people who minted new coins were not the coins that were minted but…bread!

Traditionally Uzbek breads are baked inside the stoves made of clay called "Tandyr". These fragrant breads are known to be crispy and tasty. Even the greatest scientist of medicine, Avicenna used Uzbek bread to cure people of diseases.

A special importance is placed on soups. Uzbek soup is rich in vegetables and seasonings and contains lots of carrots, turnips, onions and greens. Two popular soups are Mastava and Shurpa.

The Applied Art - Uzbek Traditions
The applied art of Uzbekistan is a real cultural and historical phenomenon. It is well known because of Uzbek traditions. The beautiful architectural ensembles of Bukhara, Samarkand, Khiva, Tashkent and Ferghana are famous for their pieces of applied arts. The attractive pieces are created by masters of wood-carving, chasing, lacquered miniatures, embroidery and jewelry plus all arts of Uzbekistan.

Now the applied arts are not only the ancient art introduced by museums. The local population admired superb production as in the 20th century many walls of the houses were decorated with embroideries, carpets, ceramics and carvings. Traditionally, embroidered carpets were of dark color.

In wood-carving Tashkent and Ferghana valley craftsmen are popular with their products of small tables, chairs, boxes, doors, and different souvenirs. Therefore, while in Uzbekistan, you will have a choice not only to buy souvenirs and gifts but also to savor the wonderment of Uzbek culture and heritage.

Folk decorative Applied-Arts
The origins of Uzbek folk art are hidden in the depths of history. Numerous archeological excavations in rural areas have revealed new aspects of this ancient land and its culture. Uzbek applied arts have a large diversity when it comes to style, materials and ornamentation. Ceramic, silk and cotton weaving, stone and wood carving, metal engraving, leather stamping, calligraphy and miniature painting are a few genres passed down from old times. In the past, each religion had its own cultural and ethnic traditions; these unique features were established by local craftsmen who consolidated these characteristics through their arts.

Uzbek Ceramics
Uzbek Ceramics is very diverse in its color and design. It is also original in terms of shape. The most famous centers for ceramics are Rishtan and Gurumsay in Ferghana valley and Khorezm. They are renowned for their glazed white and blue ceramics. Another type of Uzbek craft typical for Samarkand is the art of making crockery, smoking pipes (chilim) and snuffboxes (noskadi).

Uzbek craftsmen of today still practice ancient jewelry making techniques for cutting gemstones, grain filigree, granular work, engraving, embossing, chasing and enameling. Modern jewelers not only uphold traditions, but also they take fashion demands and styles into account.

Metal Chasing and Engraving
Since ancient times, the largest cities in Uzbekistan - Bukhara, Tashkent, Samarkand and Khiva, have been the centers for copper engraving based on traditional methods. Each region has specific shapes and designs. The most popular items of this art are jugs, teapots, and trays, and lately, washstands, band basins, buckets and large bowls. Copper embossed items were highly valued formerly and they are very popular today too.

Art Embroidery, Weaving
One of the most popular trends of applied arts in Uzbekistan is embroidery. Several places in Uzbekistan recognized for their embroidery are Nurata, Samarkand, Bukhara, Shakhrisabz, Surkhandarya, Tashkent, Jizzakh, and Ferghana. Each school is distinguished by its unique aspects such as ornamentation, composition, and color range and stitching. The traditional art of embroidery is still alive among Uzbek people. Embroidered cloths are widely produced in Bukhara, Shakhrisabz and Tashkent plants. Gold embroidery is the finest kind of embroidery. This craft has always been applied in Bukhara. The other ancient craft in Uzbekistan is weaving. Its richest historical traditions have stayed with us hitherto. Cotton fabrics and silks were in high demand everywhere all over Central Asia.
The mystery of making these invaluable cloths was unraveled here long before the Great Silk Road was established. The art of weaving still exists in Ferghana valley and, doubtlessly, handcrafted cloth is still preferred to factory woven fabric.




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