Revival of Cultural Values
Revival of Cultural and Spiritual Values
The period of Soviet colonialism undermined the socio-cultural and national integrity of the Uzbek people. The spiritual values and traditions of the Uzbeks were subjected to distortion to a degree exceeding that of other peoples of the world. This destroyed the spiritual bases, values, ideals, traditions, and social orientations of the individual person and the whole nation.
All this intensified the degradation of the person and nation by the genocide of the native language, the ecological catastrophe of the Aral Sea, the monoculture of cotton, child mortality, and the self-immolation of women. In the years of post-perestroika, a deep anger and protest by the people gradually ripened and expressed itself in a struggle for the national independence of Uzbekistan.
To restore spiritual and cultural values as a basis of sustainable development and powerful impetus to the national identity, the government of the Republic of Uzbekistan began widely advocating customs, traditions, and the national values of the Uzbek people.
Among our fundamental spiritual values and traditions are the following qualities of our people: practical, pragmatic, freedom-loving, adaptability in ideas and operations, independence, consistency, patience, humanity, diligence, a well-developed sense of one’s own dignity, honor, and adherence to common values, friendliness, charity, collective forms of life, and creativity.
All national and religious holidays – Navruz, Eid al-Fitr, Eid al-Adha – have been reinstated. The holy religion of our ancestors, Islam, has been resurrected. Embodying highly moral and humane principles, Islam has always played a uniting role and synthesized millennial experience in the spiritual development of our people.
Old mosques have been reconstructed, and new ones have been built. A number of religious institutions, including Tashkent Islamic University, have been established. Numerous monuments of culture and history, masterpieces and pride of the Uzbek nation, were restored with construction of new memorial complexes, such as the Remembrance and Tribute Memorial, Imam al-Bukhari, Al-Ferghani, Amir Temur, Temurids Museums, and many others.
The Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO) made a decision to nominate Tashkent a Capital of Islamic culture and civilization in 2007, which was an acknowledgment by the international community of the great contributions of Uzbekistan to both Muslim and world civilizations.
An important constituent of the restoration of historical and cultural heritage is the continuation of an effective activity on identification and protection of monuments of material culture, adopted by the Legislative Chamber of Uzbekistan on June 16, 2009. Thanks to the Archaeological Heritage Protection Act, today there are about 4,000 archaeological sites, including unknown cultural monuments, which are now under state protection.
Work has continued on drafting a Code of Monuments in the regions of Uzbekistan, conducted according to international standards of UNESCO bodies to protect heritage, as well as their preparation for inclusion in a protective inventory. This work is carried out by archaeologists with the authorities for protection and use of objects of historical heritage by the Ministry of Culture and Sports of the Republic of Uzbekistan.
In the independence years, along with restoration of structures of architectural significance, the conservation of unique archaeological monuments of different eras – Buddhist temples in the Surkhandarya region, fortifications of Bukhara and Samarkand, the palace complex of ancient Khorezm, the ancient city centre of Tashkent, Mingurik town – is being carried out using modern methods. In total, over 1,000 ancient monuments of architecture and archeology have been restored. All this contributes to both preservation of cultural heritage of the country and studying the ancient monuments, although problems in this sphere still persist.
Over the span of many centuries, the ancient land of Uzbekistan has remained a seat of enlightenment and science, one of the centers of world civilization, and aspiration to knowledge has always been an inalienable right in our nation’s mentality.
Our great ancestors like Muhammad Al-Khorezmi, Abu Rayhon Beruni, Abu Ali Ibn Sino - Avicenna, Mirzo Ulughbek, and many others are well-known all over the world for their outstanding discoveries in mathematics, astronomy, geodesy, mineralogy, pharmacology, and medicine. Uzbekistan contributed numerous remarkable achievements to world civilization; the invention of the notion of “algorithm,” the decimal system, and the concept of zero are associated with the name of Khorezmi. It was Abu Rayhon Beruni who had predicted the existence of a continent in the Western Hemisphere 500 years prior to the discovery of America. Abu Ali Ibn Sino - Avicenna is renowned for his first surgeries as early as 11th century. Crucially, his work, “Canon of the Medical Science,” was studied as a basic text for 500 years in the most advanced European universities. Astronomer Mirzo Ulughbek built an observatory in Samarkand in the 15th century and created a star chart.
One of the most important directions of spiritual revival of Uzbekistan is the rebirth of true history, especially of the epoch of Amir Temur, end of XIX - beginning of XX century, Jadids’ movement, national liberation movements, and the period of the Soviet totalitarian system, which has allowed objective reporting on historical events and processes, and reveal the classified pages of history of Uzbekistan.
The great ancestors of the Uzbek people whose names had been unfairly forgotten during the years of colonial regime, such as Imam al-Bukhari, Imam at-Termizi, Bakhauddin Nakshband, Khoja Akhmad Yassavi, Amir Temur, Boborakhim Mashrab, Burkhoniddin Marghiloni, and others have been restored. These and other great ancestors made enormous contributions not only to Uzbek national culture, but to civilization.
In the process of revival and growth of national self-consciousness, the historical memory, and the restoration of an unprejudiced and true history of the Uzbek people secures an important place. The rich historical heritage of Uzbekistan, its spiritual and moral traditions, and its invaluable contributions to world culture have become a basis and a calling card, with Uzbekistan engaging in international relations, and broad foreign political and economic activity.
The Forum of Culture and Arts of Uzbekistan Foundation was established in February 2004 as a nongovernmental association of citizens and public organizations pursuing the goal of reviving the spiritual legacy and the national traditions of the Uzbek nation, boosting the creative potential of prominent public figures and culture professionals, and providing support for young talents and crafts dynasties.
The Fund Forum’s goal is to disseminate objective information about Uzbekistan’s unique culture, rich historical legacy, and diversity of its contemporary life throughout the world. Similarly, it informs the Uzbek public of trends in world culture. The Fund accords significant attention to the uniting of efforts by diplomatic and public bodies to set up socio-humanitarian and universal ties among countries and diverse national entities.