Saturday, 17 December 2011

Explore Central Asia

Today Central Asia comprises five independent republics of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Tajikistan. Since its founding in 1917, the Soviet state not included Kazakhstan in Muslim Central Asia, prefer a non-Asian identity by giving them closely with Russia and Siberia. Today, however, that the Kazakhs themselves and the world they are part of the region. Central Asia covers an area of ​​3.9943 million km ², which includes some of the most populous regions in the world. The population of only 51 million people includes over 100 ethnic groups, German and Austrians for the Tibetans and Koreans. The largest ethnic group is the Uzbeks. Uzbekistan has a population of 20.5 million and large Uzbek minority in the other four republics. There were some 10.6 million Russians living in Central Asia in 1992, but there was a mass exodus of Russians from Tajikistan and Uzbekistan for fear of ethnic violence and fundamentalism.

Tashkent and Ashkhabad, are capital of Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan having a history of the city, but the other three cities in the capital Dushanbe in Tajikistan, Alma-Ata, Kazakhstan and Bishkek in Kyrgyzstan, the Bolsheviks created a sense of ethnic identity for these nationalities. Uzbekistan contains the most famous historical cities of Central Asia: Samarkand, Bukhara, Khiva and Kokand. There were the seats of the imperial and kingdoms nomads settled in the past, as well as centers in the development of Islam in the region. For centuries, attracted hundreds of madrassas or Islamic schools in Bukhara and Samarkand students from as far away as Morocco and Indonesia. Bukhara is regarded by many Muslims as a place of pilgrimage and the largest city in Islam after Mecca, Medina and Jerusalem. Central Asia was the cradle of Sufism, the mystical branch of Islam that is spreading rapidly in Africa and Asia.

The Central Asian countries

The ancient cities of Uzbekistan were on the Silk Road trade route between China and the West. The road takes its name from silk, the most coveted commodity in Europe from China during the Roman period. Some of the most influential and savage conquerors came and ruled the area. Alexander the Great set at least 8 cities in Central Asia between 334-323 BC, are set before the first caravans on the Silk Road, after about 138 BC in China opened its borders for trade. Between 484 - 1150 Huns, Turks and Arabs from the West and later brought with them a new religion of Islam. Many mosques and madrasas were built in the cities of Samarkand in Uzbekistan, Bukhara and Khiva in this period, including remaining structures of the Samanids

Kazakhstan is geographically part of Central Asia, Kazakhstan is twice as big as the other four Central Asian republics together and is about half as large as the continental United States. The landscape of Kazakhstan is diverse. Northern forest steppe turns into steppe, deserts and semi deserts in the south. Kazakhstan is rich in minerals. Companies in the extraction and processing of coal, metals, oil, gas, ferrous and nonferrous metals involved play a role in the economy. The Republic is a multinational country with representatives from more than 120 nationalities inhabited. The main religions are Islam and Orthodox Christianity, but religious tolerance is the norm.

Kyrgyzstan in Central Asia is its neighbor to the north of Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan to the west, Tajikistan to the south and China on its eastern and southeastern Europe. The former Soviet republic became independent in 1991 and since then is a presidential democracy. Bishkek, formerly Frunze, the capital city with about 1 million inhabitants, the country has over 5 million inhabitants and an area of ​​198.5 thousand km?.

Tajiks are one of the oldest nations in the world. Were living in the area at the main crossroads of civilizations east them continued access to the achievements of other cultures. First settlement in the area of ​​present day Tajikistan began in the late Paleolithic period (15-20 thousand years ago). Archaeological finds, works of Herodotus and other evidence, to give information on trade, customs and rituals of the nation.

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