Geographical Location of Uzbekistan

Uzbekistan is a landlocked country in Asia. About four-fifths of Uzbekistan's territory is made up of flat and dry lowlands. In the south, the landscape is characterized by desert, while in the east, the landscape is characterized by more rolling hills and lush nature. Closer to the border with Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, the landscape is dominated by the Tien Shan mountain range. Several large rivers flow from the highlands to the southeast through the country to the northwest, and the Aral Sea lies on the border with Kazakhstan. The climate is continental, dry, with long hot summers and short cold winters. Most of the precipitation falls in winter and spring.

Uzbekistan has several serious environmental problems. Water from the country's major rivers was drained for use in large agricultural irrigation systems. The drainage of rivers has led to the fact that the Aral Sea has almost dried up. Until the 1990s, the lake was the fourth largest lake in the world, and today it is in danger of disappearing completely. The widespread use of artificial fertilizers in agriculture has also led to the pollution of groundwater, rivers and lakes. Emissions from heavy industry further pollute the air and soil.

Brief History of Uzbekistan

In prehistoric times, nomads lived on the territory of modern Uzbekistan. The first known kingdom in the area was the Saka dynasty, which ruled all of Central Asia around 800 BC. This region has a long history of control, occupation and conquest by various kingdoms and peoples. In 329 BC. the area was conquered by Alexander the Great and introduced into the Hellenistic world. After the 100s, the area was important for the passage of people and goods on the trade route between Europe and China, also known as the Silk Road. From the 6th century, the Arabs took control of all of Central Asia, bringing Islam to the region. Genghis Khan occupied the area in the 13th century, before Turkish conquerors created a powerful empire in what is now Uzbekistan in the 14th century. After the 19th century, the entire territory of Central Asia came under Russian control.

As a result of the Russian revolutions of 1917, conflict broke out between Uzbek nationalists and Russian Bolsheviks. The national movement was brutally suppressed, and in 1924 the Soviet Republic of Uzbekistan was formed. When the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, Uzbekistan became an independent state for the first time.

Society and politics of Uzbekistan

Uzbekistan is an authoritarian republic in which the president has great power. The President is the head of state, commander-in-chief of the armed forces and represents the executive branch. The president is elected for five years, but the elections are not democratic. Legislative power formally belongs to parliament, which in practice reports to the president. The country's prime minister and government are also chosen by the president. The country's authoritarian policies have contributed to stability, but are heavily criticized internationally for serious violations of citizens' rights. Several thousand are imprisoned for criticizing the regime, and the regime is accused of religious, political and ethnic persecution of the population.

Since independence in 1991, some of the country's borders are still unclear. On several occasions, border disputes have led to unrest between Central Asian countries. In rural areas, health care and infrastructure are very weak, and poor sanitation and waste management lead to the rapid spread of disease. In cities, more than 50 percent of the population lives in slums. Old norms and traditions mean that women and sexual minorities occupy weak positions in society, and women very rarely occupy high positions in the labor market.

Economy and trade of Uzbekistan

The economic foundations and business life of Uzbekistan were inherited from the Soviet Union. State-owned companies dominate the economy, and government planning and market intervention are common. During Soviet times, the country's economic basis was based on government-subsidized cotton production. When the Soviet Union collapsed and subsidies ran out, the country's economy collapsed. Cotton is still an important industry in the country, but water shortages and old irrigation systems make the industry unsustainable. The industry has been criticized internationally for years for its use of forced and child labor, but forced labor has recently been abolished. In addition to cotton, jute, wheat, fruits and vegetables are grown. However, the government controls what to grow and at what price goods are sold, which is a form of planned economy.

Since the 1990s, the export of natural gas and oil has become an important sector of the country's economy. Uzbekistan is also among the world's largest producers of gold and uranium. However, despite large reserves of minerals and other natural resources, the country struggles with widespread poverty. More than 60 percent of the population lives in absolute poverty, and the country's economy is completely dependent on international aid. Uzbekistan is also considered one of the most corrupt countries in the world, making it difficult to attract foreign investment.

Uzbek Cuisine and Culinary Traditions of Uzbekistan

Uzbek cuisine includes many traditional Uzbek food recipes, as well as a large number of recipes borrowed from neighboring peoples and modified in the traditional Uzbek cooking style. One of the main features of Uzbek cuisine is the widespread use of meat - beef, lamb and horse meat predominate. But poultry meat is used in Uzbek cuisine, but quite rarely. The world-famous traditional dish of Uzbek cuisine is Uzbek pilaf; kebabs, which are prepared according to traditional Uzbek recipes, are no less famous. Traditional Uzbek dishes also include shurpa, manti, chuchvara and many others. Uzbek cuisine is also distinguished by a large number of baked goods, which are cooked in the tandoor, an Uzbek clay oven. Traditional drinks of Uzbek cuisine are ayran and katyk made from sour milk, and, naturally, aromatic green tea, which is prepared in Uzbekistan according to many recipes.

Flag of Uzbekistan
Coat of Arms of Uzbekistan

Basic Information About Uzbekistan

  • Full name - Republic of Uzbekistan
  • Capital - Tashkent
  • Language - Uzbek
  • Population - 34,382,077
  • Form of government - republic
  • Area - 447,400 km2
  • Currency - Uzbek som
  • National Day - September 1st