Culture of Tajikistan

The culture of Tajikistan has developed over several thousand years. Historically, Tajiks and Persian have come from very similar stock with a mutual language, and are related as part of the larger group of Aryan peoples. Tajik culture can be divided into two areas, Metropolitan and Kuhiston (Highland). Ancient towns such as Bukhara, Samarkand, Herat, Balkh, and Nishopur Khiva are no longer part of the country. More modern centres include Dushanbe (the capital), Khudjand, Kulob, and Panjikent. Tajik culture was represented at Miss UN Pageant in 2010. The country’s representative and citizen Nilufar Sherzod won the Miss United Nations title.

Religion

Zoroaster, the prophet of Zoroastrianism, was born in the Balkh area (northern Afghanistan and Transoxania ), and was possibly Bactrian (the partial ancestors of the Tajiks ). Zoroastrianism had been adopted by Persian emperors as a state religion, and was practiced during the Samanid era in Central Asia, until being overrun by the Arabs. The Shahs of Somoni made Bukhara their residence and a focal point for art and science, as well as an administrative centre. The personal interest and support of the Shahs in the arts and sciences, along with international trade, and the relatively stable political situation in the Silk-Road region, all contributed to Tajik art and science at its zenith.

The largest celebration to come from the pre-Islamic period is Navruz, which means “New Day”. It is held on March 21 or 22, when the cultivation of the land starts. During Navruz, many families visit relatives, throw out old belongings, clean the house, and play field games. Special dishes are also served. Other pre-Islamic Tajik traditions like fire jumping, dancing round the fire, and fighting ‘devils’ with fire, still occur in the more remote regions.

Tajikistan’s government has shown intolerance of some religious faiths, such as Jehovah’s Witnesses, and has demolished religious buildings.

Cuisine

Tajik cuisine has much in common with Uzbek, Afghan, Russian, Iranian, and northern Pakistani cuisine, and is developed from Persian cuisine. It is known for dishes such as kabuli pulao, qabili palau, and samanu. The national food and drink are plov and green tea, respectively. Traditional Tajikistani meals begin with small dishes of dried fruit, nuts, and halva, followed by soup and meat, and finished with plov. Tea accompanies every meal, and is often served between meals as a gesture of hospitality. It is often drunk unsweetened. Tajik cuisine offers a large variety of fruit, meat, and soup dishes. It is also proposed that legal and physical persons Residence and non residents duly registered on the territory of FEZ will receive full or partial exemption from taxes and other contributions during their operating in FEZ, if they are directed into production on the territory of the RT. It is expected that this law will come into force soon.

Sports

Tajikistan’s mountains provide many opportunities for outdoor sports, such as hill climbing, mountain biking, rock climbing, skiing, snowboarding, hiking, and mountain climbing. The facilities are limited, however. Mountain climbing and hiking tours to the Fann and Pamir Mountains, including the 7,000 m peaks in the region, are seasonally organized by local and international alpine agencies. Football is the most popular sport in Tajikistan. The Tajikistan national football team competes in the FIFA and AFC leagues. It also hosts many football clubs. Pamir Stadium is a multi-purpose stadium in the capital, Dushanbe. It is currently used mostly for football matches. The stadium holds 24,000, and is currently the home ground of the national football team.

Cinema

Tajikistan’s film industry dates from 1929. The first official movie studio, called Tajikkino (later renamed to Tajik film), began operation in 1930. In 1935, Tajikkino started producing movies with voice-over.[3] Some experts believe 1970-80 to be the golden age for Tajik film. Subsidized by the government, the studio was able to produce about six feature films each year.[4] Examples of Tajik film’s success during the Soviet times are such movies as The Legend of Rustam, The Legend of Rustam and Siavoush, and The Legend of the Smith Kova, based on stories from Ferdowsi’s Shahnameh; First Morning of Adolescence, which tells the life story of people living in Badakhshan in the beginning of the Soviet Empire, when its army was still struggling with the Basmachi movement; a trilogy New tales from Shaherizada, based on Arabic tales One Thousand and One Nights. Among prominent Tajik producers are Valeriy Ahadov and Davlat Khudoynazarov. After the breakdown of Soviet Union and the civil war in Tajikistan (1992-1997), Tajik cinema went downwards. The studio mainly survived by taking small foreign orders,[3] and produced only a few of its own movies. Mohsen Makhmalbaf’s film Sex & Philosophy from 2005 was set and produced in Tajikistan, as was the film Angel on the Right by Jamshed Usmonov from 2002. Other Tajik movies produced in the past two decades include: Kosh ba Kosh (1993), Business trip (1998, documentary), and Luna Papa (1999, a joint project of Tajik film with some counterparts from Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Japan, and Russia).

Literature

Traditional centres of Tajik literature were Samarkand and Bukhara, however these cities are now in Uzbekistan. In recent history, Tajik literature has been predominantly social realist. Though Tajiks do not draw a line, between their own literature and general Persian literature, there have been a few notable Tajik writers and poets. The standardization of the Tajik language has shaped Tajik literature in recent decades as well.

Cultural revival

One thousand years after the Samanid period, another cultural revival occurred; this time due to the Soviet’s modern drama, opera, and ballet. Poets such as Mirzo Tursunzoda, Mirsaid Mirshakar, and Loik Sherali; novelist and historian Sadridin Aini, all figured prominently in this revival, as did professors M Ishoki and Osimi, scholar Sotim Ulughzoda, novelist Jalol Ikromi, and anthropologist and historian Bobojon Ghafurov. In 1969, Malika Sobirova won a gold medal in an international ballet competition. Since independence, there has been a pre-Soviet cultural revival in an attempt to foster a sense of national identity. Novelist Taimur Zulfikarov, and Professors Rahim Masov and Bozor Sobir being prominent.