Did you know? Uzbekistan Edition
Admittedly, I am a huge political/geographical nerd. One region that really intrigues me is the ‘Stans.’ The people of the ‘Stans’ are ethnically mixed from Eastern European, Asian, Turkish and Persian decent. The suffix ‘stan’ is a Persian word which means ‘place of’ and includes the countries of Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and the country we will focus on today: Uzbekistan.
While most of these countries were a part of the U.S.S.R., Uzbekistan continues to have strong communist ties. According to the U.S. State Department’s Country Human Rights Report authorities reportedly force medical workers, government personnel and others to pick cotton for the state during the harvest. Did you also know that:
Uzbek is the official language, though Tajik and Russian are also very prominent.
Soccer, ice hockey, handball and rugby are all popular sports in Uzbekistan.
Green tea is the national hot beverage and is served with every meal (even during the summer). Tea is a sign of hospitality and is offered to every guest when they arrive to one’s home.
Palov is the main dish of Uzbekistan and is a blend of rice, meat, onions and grated carrots.
Uzbekistan has a high literacy rate among its adult population (88% percent) and approximately 76% of children 15 and younger are enrolled in an educational institution.
The strict monitoring of all Christian activities has intensified, even in the Orthodox Church. Outreach, training and youth activities are forbidden in unregistered churches – and in the last ten years only one new church was granted registration. Private Bible study meetings are always in danger of being closed down. Churches are raided and literature and other materials confiscated. Printing or importing Christian literature is prohibited. Christians are fined or given short-term prison sentences. When brought to court, fair treatment is not ensured.