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INTANGIBLE HERITAGE OF THE TAJIK PEOPLE

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Tajiks are one of the oldest inhabitants of the Central Asian region owning many multifaceted cultural expressions and elements with a many centuries old of cultural interactions history with their nomadic and settled neighboring nations. The intangible heritage of the Tajik culture is rooted in the history of esoteric and folklore of the Arian people. Some of the grandeur examples of the intangible heritage of the Tajik people include the Avesta and many other written monuments in Pahlavi, Sogdian and other Iranian languages. The medieval examples are “Shahnameh” of Firdousi, “Osoral-boqiya” of Biruni, “Nawruznameh” of Khayyam, “Ta'rikhiBukhoro” of Narshakhi, “Badoe' ul-vaqoe” of Vasifi and many-many other writing. Of course one should name also the continuity of this intangible heritage in the writing of the 19th and 20th century Tajik writers such as Ayni.

However the academic study of the aspects of intangible cultural heritage in Tajikistan begun in the last decades of the 19th and early decades of the 20th centuries. In this period Russian scholars of Orintal Studies N.V. Khanikov, A.A. Semenov, M.S. Andreev, A.P. Bobrinskiy, D.N. Logofet, G. A. Arandarenko, A. Shishov and many others have made great contribution in the study of cultural heritage and gathering immense ethnographic material, including art, history and languages. The works of the aforementioned scholars and their other contemporary academic colleagues reflect the great wealth of customs, traditions, aspects of life and vocation relevant to mode of living, social structures and regional characteristics of Tajik people. From the establishment of the Soviet Rule in Tajikistan to the middle of the 20th century nearly all research expeditions and academic undertakings were directed by the famous research institutions based on Leningrad 9St. Petersburg) and Moscow.
In 1951 at the Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Tajikistan specialized research institute of history, archaeology and ethnography named after AhmadiDonish was set up and henceforth major ethnographic and historical expeditions and special researches were conducted employing local scholars.
The research members of staff of the Ethnographic Department launched large-scale expedition and research projects on various aspects of the Tajik culture encompassing, family life, customs, ceremonial and festive celebrations, traditions, folklore including dances and singing, languages, agriculture and horticultural production, etc., and since than many publications emerged featuring the results of these academic endeavors in form of monographs, individual academic pieces and photo albums.
The intangible cultural heritage of the Tajik people has seen a long history of formation and development and has grown in multiple ways and expressions and forms. These intangible cultural forms have always played significant functional role both in past and today. Indeed, in the course of history as society developed from ordinary ways to more complex some of the cultural forms and expressions being affected by different factors (for instance industrial development) have either ceased or transformed (for example, paper making, glass blowing, needle making, Hut festival, etc.). It was also the case that changes in social habitat has made it possible for the new cultural genres and expressions to be born and these new elements has either substituted the old ones or have added to the exiting baggage of intangible cultural elements. An example is emergence of Mavrigi singing cycle or emergence of teahouse culture. There were also cultural elements that were acquired and adopted from the other cultures with which Tajik people had close intercultural relations e.g. buzkashi game has entered Tajik culture from Turkic-Mongolian culture or chain-stitching embroidery making has been borrowed as well.
On August 17th in 2010 Majlisi Oli of the Republic of Tajikistan has ratified the protection of the country's intangible cultural heritage law and Tajikistan has officially become the UNESCO Convention member on the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage.

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Tajikistan has unique and rich culture of both tangible and intangible expressions. In 2012, the Program of Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Tajik People for 2013-2020 has been approved by the Government of Tajikistan with the purpose and focus on research, revitalize, protect and promote of the traditional intangible cultural expressions, including historical tangible heritage.

In the context of researching Tajikistan's cultural heritage in the framework of the «Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Tajik People for the 2013-2020» the State Institution «Tajik Encyclopedia» has taken an initiative to publish an «Encyclopedia of traditional Tajik culture» and to date the first volume of this work has been printed. In addition special volume of «Nowruz Encyclopedia» and «Encyclopedia of traditional Tajik cuisine» is being prepared to be published soon.




Distinguished members of Majlisi Milli and delegates of Majlisi Namoyandagon! Dear compatriots! Despite the unprecedented complexity of the modern world, as well as climate change and its negative impacts – such as droughts and water scarcity that have been occurring in the region in recent years—Tajikistan had another successful year in 2023, due to the hard work of the country’s proud people. There have been achieved a significant progress in every aspect of society’s life and the country’s GDP increased by 8.3 percent compare to the previous year and has reached over 130 billion somoni. In addition to providing 102,5% of the country’s income for the budget, the state and government have taken concrete steps to meet their social duties and resolve problems associated ....>>>

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