Uzbekistan is a country which is rich in traditions, national holidays and cultural heritage. There are a great many national holidays and each represents our mentality, spirit, attitudes towards peace, friendship, kindness and above all else, humanity. Therefore, I would like to introduce the most popular and widely commemorated Uzbek national holiday and lead into the experience of celebrating it in South Korea.
With the obtaining of independence, many national and traditional holidays of the Uzbek people have been revived, so has the celebration of Navruz. Navruz, also called “Nawruz” and “Noruz” is the most ancient holiday which is annually marked on March 21st. Originating from the Persian language, the word “Navruz” designates “nau” –new and “ruz” –day, which gives us “a new day”. Navruz is the favorite Uzbek holiday and it is full-heartedly celebrated by both old and young generations. What kind of holiday is it? Why is it so popular? Well, this must be due to the wisdom lying behind this holiday which has come to our modern times from the depths of the centuries. On this very day the daytime and night becomes equal, nature awakens bestowing its bounty and generosity on us.
The most interesting thing about Navruz is a miracle taking place on the night of March 21st. It is the time when Uzbek people prepare the most delicious and healthiest dish “Sumalak” cooked in a huge cauldron from germinated wheat. Everybody, primarily women, gather around the huge cauldron and sit in a circle to stir the Sumalak accompanying it with Uzbek traditional songs and dances. The next morning once the warm and tasty Sumalak is ready, people hand it out to neighbors, relatives and friends. There is a very interesting tradition holding that if one makes a wish before tasting the Sumalak, their dreams will definitely come true. In fact, my wish to study abroad has come true. Thus, it is necessary that you make your wish.
Celebrating your national holidays in a foreign country is an exciting, and unforgettable experience. With a group of Uzbek students studying at Chonnam National University we could not miss the celebration of Navruz in March of this year. We had so much fun: played games, sang songs and most importantly we managed to cook the Sumalak.
Navruz is famous for such tasty dishes as “pilaf”, patties with greenery, and “nishalda”, a sweet dessert made of egg whites with whipped sugar. In the hope of making this celebration more vivid, we invited our Korean friends who liked the “Sumalak” so much that they still keep saying to us that they really like Sumalak and want to have it more.
What is more, in Uzbekistan it is really difficult to stay at home during Navruz because there are a great number of interesting activities, folk festivals and fairs attracting people. Especially, the organization of sports and equestrian competitions such as “kupkari”, (wrestling) cannot fail to win people’s admiration as well as their interest.
In conclusion, Navruz is the holiday of new hopes and expectations. Therefore, on this day it is necessary to forgive and forget all the bad things, help and pay visits to old and sick people. Therefore, Uzbek people think that Navruz brings only love, success and peace into the house.
ByAnvarjonov Nodirbek, Sophomore, Faculty of Business Administration