Friday, October 24, 2008

A Look at Uzbekistan

Since the early 1990's , the former Soviet Union has broken up into separate republics. Uzbekistan used to be a Republic of the Soviet Union. Its alphabet switched from Latin to Cyrillic when it was taken over by the USSR in the early 1920's. Their language is actually Turkic rather than Slavic, with Persian, Arabic and Russian contributing to its vocabulary as well. In one of its provinces , Bukhara is one of its provinces in which a dialect of Farsi is spoken.

Under Soviet rule, ethnic differences were suppressed and to some degree sublimated. Jews and Muslims collaborated to assist each other in preserving their respective faiths under communism. Since independence, the proximity and influence of Iran have been an increasing factor in the politics of the region. Some of the material support given to those wishing to return to their ancestral faith is tainted with anti democratic and chauvinistic sentiments. As a result, the quality of Jewish life has deteriorated in that country.

Many Jews who had to flee the Nazis took refuge in Uzbekistan during World War Two. The indigenous Uzbek Jews opened their hearts and homes to their Ashkenazic fellow Jews. At a dark time in our history, this extended display of comradeship should never be forgotten.

Each region of the former USSR has its own music. I am posting today a video of Uzbek rock music. I hope my readers enjoy it as much as I do. The name of the group is Sahar

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