Nadezhda Dukhovny
Nadezhda Dukhovny

Ancient and unique Uzbekistan: Khorezm II

What amazes visitors the most, who are eager to taste everything new? Of course, souvenirs that folk craftsmen make in front of your eyes, inviting you to look at how art is born.

Unique products of artistic craft

Unique products of artistic craft and manuscripts of Khorezm scholars were distributed throughout the world along the route of the Great Silk Road, at one of the main crossroads of which the city stands.

In Khiva, as well as in other cities of Uzbekistan, you can buy a wide variety of souvenirs. Among them, there are several particularly interesting things that can be bought only in the Khorezm region. The first is handmade dolls. There is a puppet theater on the territory of Khiva. Making puppets for performances goes back centuries, but the love for puppet shows has not faded away to this day.

This photo is courtesy of the Department of Tourism Development of the Khorezm Region

Also, one of the main attractions of the Khorezmians is the Chugurma caps, which have been made since ancient times. It looks quite bulky and heavy, but in fact, it is quite light and comfortable. The hat is made in such a way that it creates a special microclimate and thereby saves from overheating in summer and protects from the cold in winter. In ancient times, such hats were very expensive. Their cost was equal to the cost of a camel, and therefore only wealthy people could afford it. Now the price for it is much lower and hat lovers will like them very much!

This photo is courtesy of the Department of Tourism Development of the Khorezm Region

Also, on the territory of Khiva, you can buy a variety of wood crafts. Local craftsmen create everything from tiny chess pieces to staffs and even carved doors!

This photo is courtesy of the Department of Tourism Development of the Horezm Region

Cultivated from time immemorial by hardworking farmers of Khorezm, considered a golden oasis, melons of different varieties, striking in their taste, equally delight guests and local residents visiting Khiva, which is the pearl of the East.

The trade exhibition “Gurvak – a symbol of Khorezm melon growing”

The trade exhibition “Gurvak – a symbol of Khorezm melon growing” is a demonstration of the original school of agriculture of our people, our world-famous melons, as well as the delicate taste, skill, and hospitality of the inhabitants of the Khorezm region as a whole.

This photo is courtesy of the Department of Tourism Development of the Khorezm Region

In the city of Khiva, a festival of melons and gourds is traditionally held annually at the same melon fair. This festival promotes the ancient oasis melon experience, unique species, and varieties of sugar-sweet melon and horticultural products. Within the framework of this event, an exhibition of products of melons and various horticultural crops in fresh, dried, and processed form is held.

This photo is courtesy of the Department of Tourism Development of the Khorezm Region

Farmers and practical scientists are working to restore forgotten melon varieties, as well as to create and develop new export-oriented varieties. A striking example of research in this area is the creation by breeders of high-yielding varieties resistant to adverse weather conditions “Gurlan”, “Amu Darya”, “Gulobi Khorezmi”, “Sakhovat” and “Zargulobi”.

This photo is courtesy of the Department of Tourism Development of the Khorezm Region

There are currently 125 types of melons in the region. The festival also organizes performances by folklore and ethnographic groups of the region, young pop performers, theatrical performances, demonstrations of flowers, and handicrafts.

This photo is courtesy of the Department of Tourism Development of the Khorezm Region

Amazing Dance Lazgi

Dance is an ancient ritual to express feelings, emotions, fears common to all the nations on our planet. You can tell a lot about a culture by seeing a dance.

The Khorezm dance school originated in antiquity and developed for centuries in the Khorezm oasis. This type of dance is distinguished by expressive movements of the arms and legs. Both male and female dances are characterized by snapping fingers, an elevated stance, shaking hands, and other body movements, including lowering the knees, and also increasing the pace with sharpening stones called kairok tosh (finger plates).

The most popular dance is called Lazgi. This is one of the types of Khorezm dance that is full of energy and passion. It is performed in the same way by both dancers and dancers. The Lazgi dance was usually accompanied by instrumental and danceable melodies. Although song versions of Lazgi, in which various poetic texts were used, later became widespread, the character and character of the melody remained the same.

This photo is courtesy of the Department of Tourism Development of the Khorezm Region

There are several types of Lazgi dance. These are dance on a tray, and dance on brick, as well as solo and group dance. In them, exquisite dance moves are replaced by a passionate and accelerated rhythm. The dance begins with smooth movements of the fingers of one hand, then the other. Then, simultaneously and slowly, engages the entire torso. The pace accelerates, the dancers snap their fingers in time to the dance with the help of stone castanets.

This photo is courtesy of the Department of Tourism Development of the Khorezm Region

Some experts believe that this dance originated at the time when the first man, Adam, appeared on earth. They think that God, creating the first man, could not bring him back to life, because the spirit did not want to penetrate into the human body. As a result, God managed to force him to enter the human body through music. The Lazgi dance is said to demonstrate this very process of enlivening a person. On December 12, 2019, in Bogota (Colombia) during the XIV session of the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of UNESCO Khorezm dance Lazgi was included in the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity as an element of the cultural heritage of Uzbekistan.

This photo is courtesy of the Department of Tourism Development of the Khorezm Region

Every September in the city of Khiva the festival “Magic of Dance” is held, the participants of which come from more than 20 countries of the world, such as Great Britain, Poland, Azerbaijan, Russian Federation, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, and others.

This photo is courtesy of the Department of Tourism Development of the Khorezm Region
About the Author
Nadezhda Dukhovny was born and raised in Uzbekistan and made aliya in 2005. She holds an MA in Linguistics from Tel Aviv University and works in translation. She has a true interest about her motherland and would like to tell more about that fascinating country to make Israeli readers familiar with another culture from other part of the globe.
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