Sarmishsai: eternal echo of centuries
Under the guidance of President Islam Karimov a special attention is paid to renewal and preservation of centuries-old traditions and righteous values, communicating their essence to our people, especially the younger generation.
The main purpose of the traditional Asrlar sadosi festival, held since 2008 by the Forum of Culture and Arts of Uzbekistan Foundation and the representative office of the UNESCO in our country, is to introduce compatriots and foreign guests to the ancient customs and traditions of our people, different areas of the national culture and arts.
There is some merit in the fact that this year the festival is held in the Sarmishsay gorge in Navbahor district of Navoi region. This national park-museum with invaluable monuments of ancient culture attracts tourists and compatriots, interested in the history of our country. More than ten thousand petroglyphs on both sides of the gorge reflect the culture of our ancestors. In particular, these rock carvings depict the processes hunting, domestication of wild animals and livestock development. The artistically ingenious petroglyphs demonstrate that arts and culture had developed to a high level since ancient times and our ancestors had broad outlook towards the world.
Farming culture on both sides of the river had a developed nature and a system of efficient water usage.
This beautiful place has been prepared for the sixth Asrlar sadosi traditional festival of culture. In particular, on the gorge banks dozens of saplings of ornamental trees and flowers have been planted. An intensive organizational work in order to demonstrate the broad historical patterns of national culture to welcome local and foreign tourists and provide them with exemplary service have been carried out.
Navoi railway station and Navoi international airport have undergone a festive make-up and the highways and roads have been renovated. Navbahor, Nurota and Karmana districts have seen large construction boom with many shopping and service facilities available for the festival.
The resounding sounds and rhythms of Uzbek national music instruments have ushered in the annual cultural celebration: in keeping with the festival tradition, the event participants – folk music groups from across Uzbekistan – have made up a procession along the main “street” of the venue while demonstrating unique ethniс wealth: music, dances, costumes and customs...
Asrlar sadosi-2013 have been widely promoted in several international tourism fairs in various countries. This has been important in attracting ever more foreign guests willing to take part in the festival, to see our land, traditions, values, culture and hospitable and sincere people. In order to increase awareness among our compatriots a gala-concert at the Turkiston palace in Tashkent have been organized.
For two days lyrics and melodies continued non-stop. There was an immense interest in the fair of products of the masters of applied. The artisans and their students, who came from all corners of our country, offered their best creative works.
“ At this festival I have seen that Uzbek national traditions and values have been respectfully preserved over the centuries”, says a head of Oriental culture and arts department of the Musee du Louvre (France) Ronte Rocca. – There are lots of festivals and contests of traditional cultures. Asrlar sadosi shows high spirituality, creative and intellectual potential, vivid reflection of unique and rich historical heritage of the Uzbek nation.
As part of the festival, a conference “The Architectural Epigraphy of Uzbekistan in the Context of Cultural and Spiritual Legacy: Research, Discovery and Prospects” was held in Bukhara on 4 May 2013. It was attended by scientists on epigraphy of Uzbekistan, France, Italy, Canada, UNESCO specialists, representatives of diplomatic missions, NNO, grant receivers of Mehr Nuri Foundation, students of madresahs, etc. The presentation of six books, dedicated to the architectural epigraphy of Bukhara, Navoi, Andijan, Namangan, Khiva and Karakalpakstan was held at the event.
Many researches and scholars participated at creation of the books. Six regions of Uzbekistan presented six books, dedicated to inscription at ancient architectural monuments. Major part of the monuments belongs to Islamic period, but there are also ancient inscriptions.
On the same day hundreds of festival attendees flocked to the unveiling of Bibi Orifa Mausoleum (in Bukhara Region) which has been given a full facelift by Mehr Nuri Foundation. The opening was followed by a presentation of scholarships to a group of students from Uzbek madrasas.
– Your country enjoys peace and tranquility, pacing forwards in the development ladder and this festival is a vivid manifestion, says an Italian singer Massimo Galfano. I have been amazed by beautiful places, sincere people. On my return to Italy, I am planning to write a song on Uzbekistan.
On 5 May fairs, wrestling competitions, national games, performances by folk bands, the national cuisine competition and festival continued.
Another glowing event within the festival- the national costume show illustrated the history of national Uzbek costumes, traditions, present and future. The unique peculiriaties of costumes, pertinent to the Zarafshan valley have drawn attention in many festival participants.
At the closing ceremony of the festival, chairwoman of the board of trustees of the Forum of culture and arts of Uzbekistan Foundation G.Karimova underlined that the Asrlar sadosi festival, taking place in a country where science, arts, culture and education are rapidly developing, serves to implement new projects, preserve the rich spiritual heritage of our people, to raise the status of our Motherland in the world community, to increase the younger generation’s spirituality.
The festival finished with a concert of young artists, foreign performers, and musicians. The most active participants were awarded diplomas and presents.
Discovering ancient treasures of Great Silk Road: Samarkand, Bukhara, Khiva
April 19, 2011
"Discovering Ancient Treasures of the Great Silk Road: Samarkand, Bukhara, Khiva" presentation held at UN Plaza in New York City was organized by the Fund Forum with assistance from the Permanent Mission of Uzbekistan to the UN.
The presentation, which was attended by over 100 officials of missions at UN along with experts from the US, Russia and China, included a celebration of Navruz as an international UN holiday.
During the presentation at UN Plaza those gathered had the opportunity to watch a video about Uzbekistan's ancient cities of Samarkand, Bukhara and Khiva that were among the historical Silk Road's major spots, as well as the architectural monuments in those cities. Also organized was a reception which enabled the guests to sample Uzbek culinary delights.
Professor Parviz Morwedge, Director, Global Scholarly Publications (New York): "I have visited Uzbekistan many times and I have often been invited to Uzbek events organized in New York, and each time I discover something new. There have been more Uzbek culture and art events in New York since the Fund Forum representative office was opened here. Cultural interaction plays an essential role in strengthening diplomatic links and international relations. In this regard, the Fund Forum sets a good example to many countries worldwide."
The attendees highly appreciated the ancient traditions and customs of the Uzbek nations as well as the ways that Navruz is celebrated and the main dish sumalak is prepared.
A. Corbitt, head of an NGO (New York): "I have traveled extensively around the world as a tourist. This event demonstrates the rich historical, cultural and spiritual legacy of the Uzbek nation and it has made me review my vacation plans. I was amazed by what I saw at the presentation. And I think Samarkand is a must-visit destination. From the historical viewpoint, it is there that most of global culture originated".
"This land was the center of many empires that propagated tolerance in international relations and economy while each region was entitled to speak its own language, and observe its religious rites. Therefore I think that the tolerance we need so much today globally may be borrowed from the history of Uzbekistan."
As is known, in antiquity people who lived in the Orient, in Central Asia, celebrated a new year on 21 March, the day of spring equinox, now known as Navruz. In Uzbekistan, it has been enriched based on the local traditions and customs. Navruz is an invaluable part of the intangible heritage left by our forefathers whose lives were inextricably linked with earth, water, the sun and trees and for whom the advent of the spring signified the beginning of the eternal cycle of plowing land, dewing crops, growing and harvesting.
In 2009, UNESCO included Navruz in its Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. On 21 March that year, Navruz was proclaimed an international holiday. In 2010, the UN General Assembly recognized Navruz as an international holiday. According to the preamble of the resolution on the International Day (document A/64/L.30/Rev.2), Navruz, which means new day, is celebrated on 21 March, the day of the vernal equinox, by more than 300 million people worldwide as the beginning of the new year.
It has been celebrated for over 3,000 years in the Balkans, the Black Sea Basin, the Caucasus, Central Asia, the Middle East and other regions. The Assembly called on Member States that celebrate the festival to study its history and traditions with a view to disseminating that knowledge among the international community and organizing annual commemoration events.
Vintage photos of Tashkent exhibited in Manhattan
April 6, 2011
New York City’s Nailya Alexander Gallery opened its doors on April 5 to welcome the public to the vernissage for the exhibition of a renowned photo artist, Max Penson, one of the most prominent representatives of Uzbek photography. The art show features around 50 vintage gelatin silver prints from the artist’s family estate and several private collections. Organized by the Fund Forum and Nailya Alexander Gallery, the exhibition will run through May 13, 2011.
Max Penson was born in 1893 in a family of bookbinders in the small town of Veliszh near Vitebsk (Russia). In 1915, his family moved to Kokand (Uzbekistan) where he helped found an art-production school. In addition to being the principal of the school, Penson taught draftsmanship and painting. In appreciation of his work in Kokand, the district of Ferghana honored him with a camera, a gift that led to his giving up a career in education to follow his new passion for photography. He moved to Tashkent in 1923 and was hired by Central Asia’s largest newspaper Pravda Vostoka (Truth of the East) in 1925.
Penson’s most famous work, “Uzbek Madonna”, a portrait of a young woman nursing her child, won the Grand Prix at the World Fair in Paris in 1937. All told, he created roughly 30,000 photos dedicated to Uzbekistan. His images show men digging vast irrigation canals, attending literacy classes as well as telephone operators and tractor drivers. He created a unique visual chronicle, an epic poem in photographic form of the radical transformation of life and colossal engineering projects in the region.
Nailya Alexander, Director of the Gallery (USA):
“We have done a great deal of work in an effort to bring the idea for organizing this show into reality. Serious work and attention went into selecting works by the master among collectors’ and his family’s archives. And we are happy to present them to the New York public in collaboration with the Fund Forum.”
Notably, despite limitations Penson faced in his career, his artistic endeavors were aimed at capturing moments from the lives of grassroots Uzbek people such as builders involved in the construction of the Grand Ferghana Canal as well as elderly people, laboring peasants, and laughing children in villages in Uzbekistan.
Uzbekistan has given the world many talents and is home to unrivaled landscapes and vast natural endowments and is famed for its people’s hospitality and generosity. It is these riches, eternal values and human qualities that the great artist tried to capture and convey through his creations.
Miron Penson, photographer, cameraman, Max Penson’s son (USA):
“The very fact that downtown Manhattan is playing host to this exhibition is filling me with so much pride and joy, and it’s hard to express my feelings through words. My father couldn’t have seen himself exhibiting his art here even in his dreams. Documentation is an invaluable genre. Besides, the esthetics of the 20-30s is very attractive, it is very educational and informative. For some visitors this is an opportunity to immerse themselves in the past while for others it may be a pleasant introduction to something new.”
Those attending the April 5 opening reception included Susan Goodman, Curator at large of the Jewish Museum of Art; Jon Mason of Pace Gallery, N. Zaretskaya of TV Gallery; Grace Kennan Warnecke, Trustee of National Committee on American Foreign Policy as well as private collectors of artworks, heads of diplomatic missions of Japan, Australia, Lichtenstein, San Marino, Hungary, Slovakia, Macedonia, Russia, Israel, New Zealand, Croatia, Turkey, Pakistan and other countries.
Visitors to the opening reception said the art show that has given them impressions of a land an ocean away enriches the art palette of cultural life in New York City.
Uzbekistan inspires California
December 3, 2010
A series of events about Uzbekistan were held in Monterey, California.
Monterey Institute of International Studies (MIIS) hosted a workshop, a cultural presentation and a reception during which the attendees could sample Uzbek national meal pilaf. Organized by the Fund Forum and the Permanent Mission of Uzbekistan to the UN, the event was attended by around 100 people, including MIIS staff, students, scholars as well as members of Monterey City Council.
The workshop focusing on Uzbekistan’s contemporary development was organized for young specialists studying international relations and provided information about Uzbekistan’s role in maintaining security and stability in Central Asia as well as the country’s achievements over independence years. The information provided piqued the participants’ interest, which was seen in the many questions they asked toward the end of the event.
The workshop was given the goal of providing detailed information about Uzbekistan’s unique cultural legacy and modern trends in Uzbek arts. Several video were shown during the presentation about Uzbekistan’s contribution to world civilization as well as its ancient cities and architectural monuments. Those gathered also had the opportunity to watch a film about the Fund Forum’s broad activities, its major projects and initiatives to support culture and art, children’s artistic endeavors, talented youngsters, education, sports, science and charity. They also showed a keen interest in the Foundation’s activities in promoting Uzbek culture and art abroad.
Uzbek Culture Evening in Manhattan
June 10, 2010
Permanent Mission of Uzbekistan to the UN and the Fund Forum presents its first major cultural project in New York City (USA). The presentation of Uzbekistan’s culture and tourism potential will be held on June 10 at Ana Tzarev Gallery in Manhattan.
The event has been organized in collaboration with IJOD Association of Artists, Art Historians and Craftsmen of Uzbekistan, Uzbek Initiative public organization, Silk Road Treasure Tours, with support from the General Consulate of Uzbekistan in New York City.
The event is expected to be attended by prominent culture and art professionals, officials, businessmen and academic circles from the USA as well as public and international organizations and the UN diplomatic corps.
The event will include an exhibition “Uzbek Land” which will present works by Alisher Mirzo, a People’s Artist of Uzbekistan, academic and member of IJOD Association as well as folk traditions and customs, national cuisine, national music and dances which will be performed by leading artists from Uzbekistan.