Uzbekistan is a landlocked country in Central Asia. Modern day Uzbekistan was in ancient times part of the Iranian-speaking region of Transoxiana and Turan. The first recorded settlers were Eastern Iranian nomads, known as Scythians. The Muslim conquest in the 7th century converted the majority of the population, as well as the local ruling classes, into adherents of Islam. During this period, cities such as Samarkand, Khiva and Bukhara wealth grew from the Silk Road. The local Khwarezmian dynasty, and Central Asia as a whole, were decimated by the Mongol invasion in the 13th century. After the Mongol Conquests, the area became increasingly dominated by Turkic peoples. The area was conquered by Uzbek Shaybanids in the 16th century, moving the centre of power from Samarkand to the city of Bukhara, perhaps Central Asia’s most complete example of a medieval city, long a center for Islamic theology and scholarship. Today it boasts a plethora of striking mosques, mausoleums, and madrasahs, the most magnificent at the Registan – a landmark of Islamic architecture in historic Samarkand.
April 17 2020
with Professor Craig Benjamin
Country Information - Uzbekistan
- Currency - The currency of Uzbekistan is the So’m
- How to Dress - Uzbek women themselves dress conservatively and wear traditional clothing that covers ankles and wrists. Tourists wear just normal clothes comfortable for them
- Cultural Differences - The culture of Uzbekistan is vibrant and unique—it was formed over thousands of years, incorporating the traditions and customs of the peoples who at various times inhabited the territory of modern Uzbekistan. The ancient Persians, Greeks, Arabs, Chinese, Russians, and nomadic Turkic tribes have all contributed to Uzbek culture, which is considered the epitome of Central Asian, crossroads cultures. The traditions reflecting the multinational nature of Uzbekistan are omnipresent in its music, dance, painting, applied arts, language, cuisine, and clothing. Each region of Uzbekistan has its own unique shades as well, which are most clearly manifested in national dress and local dialects. The music of Uzbekistan, with its close ties to folklore and Uzbek poetry, is a unique manifestation of the ancient culture of the Uzbek people. Shashmak, a special genre of music was included by UNESCO in the list of masterpieces of oral and intangible cultural heritage of mankind, is especially noteworthy. Classical and modern popular music have some similarities with generally accepted world music but maintain their own unique flavor due to the special sound of Uzbek musical instruments.
- Language - The languages of Uzbekistan is Uzbek
- Tipping - Though tipping is not expected, do tip for the services. Normal tipping is 3 to 5% of the value. For guides tipping varies depending on the group size. For small groups, less than 10 tourists, 5 to 10 dollars per day is expected. Archaeological Tours will take care of gratuities to restaurant staff, local guides and drivers