Trivia about Uzbekistan

Facts and Trivia about Uzbekistan

Uzbekistan Facts

Uzbekistan FlagUzbekistan (officially known as The Republic of Uzbekistan) is a country in Central Asia, once a part of the Soviet Union. The nation is landlocked, bordered by Kazakhstan in the west and north, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan in the east, and Afghanistan and Turkmenistan in the south. The mountain ranges of Tien-Shan and Pamir-Alai cover the southern and eastern part of the country, and the rest is made up mostly of the Kyzylkum Desert.

People in the West don't know much about the countries in this part of the world, in part because they only recently gained independence from the Soviet Union, and in part because they are poor and don't have much impact on the world stage. Uzbekistan has a fascinating history, and has been settled since at least two thousand years BCE. Here is more trivia and info on this oft-ignored Central Asian nation.

Geography

Uzbekistan borders the Aral Sea, tucked in between Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan. The republic is a little larger than the state of California, and its capital city, Tashkent, is located in the extreme eastern part of the nation very near the border with Tajikistan.

The nation consists mainly of flat desert and sandy hilled dunes. The country's highest point is a small mountain known as Adelunga Toghi, at an elevation of 14,111 feet above sea level. To show some of the extremes found in the country's terrain, its lowest point is a valley called Sariqarnish Kuli, which is actually 39 feet below sea level. Part of the reason for the extremes in terrain is heavy seismic activity, since the entire nation is located on the Eurasian Tectonic Plate. Because of this, earthquakes are frequent, though the sparse population means they are not often disastrous in nature.

Most of the republic is covered by the Kyzylkum Desert, which is the largest desert in all of Central Asia, and the ninth-largest desert in the world.

Entertainment

Much of the entertainment among Uzbeki people comes in the form of various rural contests, folk dances and performances, and other activities typical of nomadic or nomadically-settled peoples.

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Uzbekistan tourist attractions are mostly religious " Muslims make pilgrimages to the cities of Samarkand, Bukhara, Khiva, and Kokand to see the various palaces, mosques, religious schools, and pre-Islamic remains and holy sites. The majority of visitors and tourists to this nation are Muslims from Pakistan, Iran, and the Middle East.

The republic's government has attempted to increase tourism by opening hotels and declaring significant sites as historical monuments. In the year 2003, the most recent year for which figures exist, over 230,000 tourists visited the country, making it one of the most-visited nations in Central Asia. The hotel occupancy rate of 31% would be anemic in Europe or the US, but is a boast-worthy figure for countries in this part of the world.

For entertainment, tourists can visit The Uzbeki Museum of Fine Arts, the Museum of History, the National Nature Museum, and the Sergey Yesenin Literary Museum in the capital of Tashkent. Beyond that, eco-tourism and religious pilgrimages are the main reasons for visits to Uzbekistan.

History

Anthropologists say that many areas of modern-day Uzbekistan have been inhabited since the Paleolithic era, though the first official settlements in the region appeared in the first millennium BCE. What settlements existed were conquered by Alexander the Great around 329"327 BCE. The Greeks ruled for a quarter-century, until local revolutions forced them out.

Regional rulers controlled Uzbekistan until Genghis Khan and the Mongols invaded in 1219, then conquering all of Central Asia by 1221. This rule basically remained consistent until Russian traders took over by default in the 18th century. Russian conquest was driven by concern that the British would eventually colonize the area, though Turkish rebels took over from the Russians in the 19th century.

The Uzbek Soviet Socialist Republic was re-formed after the Bolshevik revolution, and the country remained under Soviet control until 1990. Uzbekistan declared independence on the 1st of September in 1991, a day still celebrated as Independence Day across the country.

In 2005, civil unrest in Uzbekistan led to protestors storming a military garrison and prison, seizing weapons and ammunition and releasing thousands of government prisoners, though the republic eventually re-gained control and still rules today.

Arts & Literature

Because of centuries of Muslim control, it is rare to find examples of representative art in Uzbekistan. In fact, Uzbeki peoples have been taking part in Muslim education for centuries, and the country is a major center of education for Muslims. Muslim writers, poets, and artists were active in the country until the Soviets took over in 1920, and all Muslim schools and mosques were closed. That led to a secular state-funded educational system that emphasized native Uzbek literature, culture, and history, a tradition that continues in some part today.

Though all Uzbeki citizens go to school for nine years, students are limited to courses in "general studies," technical or work-related programs, and a handful of academic programs that mostly focus on Uzbeki history. The result is that very little Uzbeki literature or art exists " most of what you read or see in terms of art or books in the country are imported from other Muslim nations.

Science & Nature

Because most of the country is located in a desert, in which typical temperatures range from 80° to 90° Fahrenheit (but are typically much higher in the uninhabited portions), and thanks to the fact that very little rain falls in the country, there isn't much in the way of nature in Uzbekistan, unless you count miles and miles of rolling desert and scrub grass. The wettest parts of the country get about a foot of rain per year, though the majority of the republic gets almost no rainfall at all. That explains a near-complete lack of native mammals and vegetation.

Since most of the country is totally devoid of life, areas where bird species (warblers, eagles, owls, and larks) live are considered sacred to the republic's citizens. What animals do live in Uzbekistan are limited to those that can scrounge for survival - wolves, hedgehogs, squirrels, and weasels are the most common creatures crawling around Uzbekistan.

Sports & Leisure

Uzbek athletes have participated in every Olympic Games since 1994. Before that, control by the Soviet Union meant that Uzbek athletes competed for the Soviet Union. Unlike neighboring Central Asian countries, Uzbek athletics have produced some Olympic notoriety, including a total of twenty medals in wrestling sports. Uzbekistan's twelve Olympic gold medals make the republic a bright spot for sports in a part of the world not normally known for athletic acumen.

As for leisure activities, wrestling is probably the most common pursuit among natives, but is limited to local events. The country does have an Olympic Committee which recognizes and supports the top athletes within their borders, but there is not much in the way of organized leisure outside of extremely localized wrestling and other sporting events, including soccer, boxing, and skiing in the mountainous regions. while.

More Country Trivia Pages

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Kyrgyzstan

Turkmenistan