The Republican Interethnic Cultural Center turns 25
Today, representatives of more than 130 ethnic and sub-ethnic groups, and 16 religious confessions live in Uzbekistan in peace and harmony. All of them work in the name of country’s prosperity and people’s welfare.
After gaining independence, Uzbekistan established the Central Asia’s first Republican International Cultural Center on January 13, 1992. Adopted in the same year, the Basic Law stipulates that people of Uzbekistan comprise all its citizens regardless of their nationality, with equal rights and freedoms, who are equal before the law regardless of sex, race, nationality, language, religion, social origin, beliefs, personal and social status. The Constitution ensures respect for the language, customs and traditions of all nations and nationalities living in the country, creates all conditions for their development.
This was mentioned at a solemn meeting on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the Republican International Cultural Center on January 24 at the Palace of International Forums ‘O’zbekiston’.
Chairpersons and enthusiasts of national cultural centers, members of parliament and government, representatives of governmental and nongovernmental organizations, diplomatic corps, were invited for the event.
First, the participants visited the Independence Square and laid flowers to the Monument of Independence and Humanism, a symbol of freedom, bright future and noble aspirations.
 Peace, Friendship, Happiness
The big festive concert program, dedicated to the 25th anniversary of the Republican Interethnic Cultural Center, presented the performances of masters of arts and art crews of national cultural centers, songs about homeland, independence, peace and friendship.
Festive events on this occasion were also held in all regions of the country.
On the same day, the President Shavkat Mirziyoyev met with the activists of national cultural centers. The recording of the meeting was screened at the grand ceremony in the Palace of International Forums.
The head of state sincerely congratulated the participants and all the multinational people of Uzbekistan with the 25th anniversary of the Republican Interethnic Cultural Center.
As noted by the President, representatives of different ethnic groups, cultures and religions lived on our ancient and fertile land in peace and harmony for many centuries. Hospitality, kindness, generosity and genuine tolerance have always been inherent in our people, turning into a pillar of mentality.
The years of independence have opened a new stage in the inter-ethnic relations in the country. Development of a culture of tolerance and humanism, strengthening of interethnic and civil consent and mutual understanding, upbringing of the younger generation in the spirit of love and devotion to the Motherland, ranked among the top priorities of the state policy in Uzbekistan. The priorities were fully embodied in everyday life. The air of friendship and solidarity in our country is an essential factor of peace and stability, a guarantor of effective reforms and growing authority of Uzbekistan in the international arena.
137 ethnic cultural centers have been playing the central role in the development of ethnic identity and the further harmonization of interethnic relations in the country, the President said. By developing their own culture, language, arts and crafts, they contribute to the mutual enrichment of cultures, strengthening of a sense of a common multi-ethnic family in each of us. The Republican Interethnic Cultural Center coordinates their work, providing practical and methodological assistance.
Through colorful events in all regions of the country, it fills the cultural and social life of the republic with even more profound content, strengthens tolerance and good-neighborliness between representatives of various ethnic groups living in Uzbekistan. The President pointed out that such an institution exists only in Uzbekistan on the CIS space.
All this suggests that Uzbekistan has built a unique system of nongovernmental organizations dealing with interethnic relations. Their multifaceted activity helps to ensure a tranquil and happy life in the country, address important cultural and educational issues, as well as develop cooperation with foreign countries.
The sacred duty of everyone who considers Uzbekistan his or her homeland, comes to being more vigilant, and attentive to preservation and multiplication of our most important asset – a unique unity and solidarity of our multiethnic people, which we are justly proud of. This is the only way to effectively withstand all challenges and threats of our time, create a strong resistance in our society against various destructive ideas, and achieve even better results along the path of democracy and progress we have chosen.
The state’s leader proposed to hand over the decoration of our capital – a unique former building of O’zbekyengilsanoat joint stock company on the Babur Street – to the Republican Interethnic Cultural Center, and name it the Palace of Friendship. He also proposed to rename the neighbored park into the ‘Friendship Garden’, as the Republican Interethnic Cultural Center has been traditionally holding numerous festivities there in the years of independence.
According to the President, the organization of scientific research on the further development and harmonization of interethnic relations in our country in cooperation with the institutes of the Academy of Sciences is a relevant objective of the Republican Interethnic Cultural Center. It is also desirable that each of the activists of national cultural centers in Uzbekistan would intensify the development of cultural relations with their historical homeland. The Republican Interethnic Cultural Center is called to play a major role in this very important issue for us.
The Republican Interethnic Cultural Center, in cooperation with the Ministry of Culture and Sports and creative organizations of the country, should develop and implement annual programs on system-based and regular introduction of the general public to the unique culture, arts and crafts, traditions and customs of representatives of different nations and nationalities that live in Uzbekistan, the President stressed. For this purpose, they should be provided with the best concert halls, theater stages and exhibition halls of the country, thereby contributing to a mutual enrichment of cultures of different nations, and brightening the palette of spiritual and cultural life of our multinational Uzbekistan.
At the meeting, Shavkat Mirziyoyev presented high awards of the Motherland to more than 20 initiative, self-sacrificing and exemplary workers, who make a worthy contribution to strengthening the unity and cohesion of our people. An activist of the Karakalpak national cultural center of Kanimekh district of Navoi region Nurkul Bazarbaeva, Chair of National Tatar Center of Yangiyul district of Tashkent region Anisya Gataullina, National Russian Center of Syrdarya region Faina Golubtsova, National Kazakh Center of Khorezm region Pulatbek Izyumov, National Korean Center of Jizzakh region Oleg Kim, National Jewish Center of Ferghana region Semyon Abdurakhmanov, and others ranked among the awardees.
The Academy of Sciences held a scientific and practical conference ‘Independence of Uzbekistan as a New Period in the Development of Interethnic Relations’. As noted at its opening, the traditions of generosity and tolerance of our people have been enriched with new content and are consistently developing in the years of independence. Ethnic cultural centers function in all regions of the country. Over the past twenty-five years, their activity on preservation of national culture, language, traditions and customs has been constantly streamlined, thereby increasing their contribution to strengthening the unity, peace and stability in Uzbekistan.
The speakers dedicated their reports to the huge value of interethnic consent, friendship and unity in ensuring peace and stability in the country, a high effectiveness of the policy on interethnic harmony.
The guests were demonstrated a documentary on ‘Culture of Tolerance in Uzbekistan’, and presented a book-album ‘Uzbekistan Is Our Common Home’ on the present day life of representatives of different nationalities in our country.
The atmosphere of friendship and harmony in our country was created by a humanism policy that has been pursued since the early days of independence. It is also important that since ancient times, our country has been located at the intersection of Eastern and Western cultures, in the heart of the Great Silk Road, owing to which our nation has absorbed the best achievements of culture and spirituality of various nations and nationalities, remaining committed to the ideas of generosity, hospitality and humanity.
President Shavkat Mirziyoyev has initiated a new phase of reforms to set up a dialogue with our multinational people, and address their problems. In his speech at the joint session of the Oliy Majlis in late 2016, the President said that he considers it a priority to treasure and strengthen the atmosphere of interethnic and civil consent, mutual understanding and friendship, which prevails in our society.
Inter-ethnic accord and friendship is seen as the greatest wealth of our nation, the foundation of stability. Representatives of various nations and nationalities are good neighbors and close friends in our country. All we respectfully treat the traditions and customs of each other and share the joys and sorrows. The fact that representatives of all nationalities celebrate Navruz, Independence Day and other holidays together is a prime example of that.
It is important that study in educational institutions of Uzbekistan is provided in seven languages. Newspapers and magazines are published in dozens of languages, as well as television and radio broadcasting.
The Public Council under the Republican Interethnic Cultural Center, the coordination councils that are headed by deputy regional governors, carry out an important mission on the development of national cultural centers, and ensuring the atmosphere of friendship and concord in the society.
The German Cultural Center Wiedergeburt ranks among them. Founded in 1990, it plays an important role in the preservation and development of language, traditions and customs of the Germans who live in Uzbekistan. The Center successfully runs German language courses, arranges events and festivals, various cultural and educational programs. Every year, the Center organizes the Days of German Culture in Uzbekistan. Other national cultural centers of the republic undertake similar activities.
“The local Koreans treat Uzbekistan as their homeland. The Uzbek and Korean peoples are close in culture, mentality, they revere such features as patriotism, diligence, generosity, respect for elders, care for the younger,” says the Chairman of the Association of Korean Ethnic Cultural Centers in Uzbekistan, member of the Legislative Chamber of Oliy Majlis Viktor Pak. – The interest in studying the Uzbek language has markedly grown among the Korean youth of late, just like the interest in the Korean language among the Uzbek young men and women.”
Exhibitions of works of applied and fine arts, the photos depicting the traditions of different nations, the expertise in maintaining inter-ethnic harmony, friendship and unity of the people are held these days as part of anniversary events.
For example, an exhibition of works of fine arts, photography and folk-applied art ‘Uzbekistan Is Our Common Home’ has opened in the Central Exhibition Hall of the Academy of Arts of Uzbekistan on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the Republican International Cultural Center.
Along with fine art and photography works on the life and work of national cultural centers in Uzbekistan, the exhibition presented articles of folk applied art and national dress.
“The role of culture and arts in strengthening international friendship and harmony is just invaluable,” said the Chair of the Kyrgyz National Cultural Center of Syrdarya region Nodira Zhonibekova. “The current event is another prime example of that. At the exhibition, we present the photographs that show the activities of our center, we talk with representatives of other centers, get acquainted with their work.”
The air of consent, friendship and tolerance in Uzbekistan proves the priority of humanism, human rights and interests in the state policy.
I Am Proud of My Homeland
Member of the Senate of Oliy Majlis, Honored Mentor of Youth of Uzbekistan:
I was born in Uzbekistan, I was educated, and I have found a family happiness here. I am proud of being a citizen of this great country. National and cultural diversity has not just become an integral part of our lives, but it plays an important role in ensuring the stability and the further enhancement of democratic reforms in the society. The experience of Uzbekistan in strengthening inter-ethnic relations is widely recognized around the world, serving as a model for many countries.
Inter-Ethnic Harmony and Unity
Director, Republican Interethnic Cultural Center:
Uzbekistan has ensured strong guarantees of ethnic harmony and unity. 10 national cultural centers operated in Uzbekistan in 1992, while to date, their number has reached 137. Altogether, we conducted more than 700 scientific-practical, cultural and enlightenment activities in 2016. The sixth festival of friendship and culture under the motto ‘Uzbekistan is Our Common Home’, brought together more than 40,000 representatives of various nations and nationalities..
Sabantuy with Everybody
Chief of the Tatar-Bashkir Ethnic Cultural Center of Kashkadarya region:
I have tears of joy when I talk about Uzbekistan. I have visited many countries, but I have never met such hospitable, generous and kind people. Along with all the representatives of various nations and nationalities living in Uzbekistan, we enjoy the conditions and opportunities for a peaceful life, productive labor. At the Center, we have a song and dance ensemble ‘Koyash’, and take an active part in the traditional festival ‘Uzbekistan Is Our Common Home’. Altogether, we always celebrate Navruz, Independence Day, Memorial Day, so many our friends of different nationalities have joined us in celebration of Sabantuy.
The Merriest Day
Deputy Chair of the Belarusian Ethnic Cultural Center Svitanak, Tashkent:
It was the happiest day of my life, when President Shavkat Mirziyoyev awarded me ‘Shuhrat’ medal at the meeting with activists of cultural centers of the country. Uzbekistan is a country of peace and harmony, it is our common dear homeland. Every person, regardless of nationality, religion and language, gains recognition and respect for his diligence on this sacred land.
Keeping Ethnic Traditions
Head of Samarkand Regional Russian Cultural Center:
Today, over a hundred nations and nationalities live in peace and harmony in the region, making a worthy contribution to the development of our country. Ten national cultural centers in the region work effectively on ensuring respect for the language, customs and traditions of different nations, strengthening inter-ethnic harmony.
Our beloved Motherland – Uzbekistan – is a multinational country, a home to many nationalities, including Russians, who live in peace and harmony as one family. There are all the conditions and opportunities for them to preserve and develop their national traditions and values.