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simply means "place of the Tajiks" as the word stan comes from
the Persian meaning "country" or "place of." The word Tajik
doesn't refer to the Tajik people in this setting. Tajik in reference to the
people is a relatively new term; rather the name is in reference to the original
meaning of Tajik, which is a word to describe any Persian-speaking people; a term
that comes from the Turkic languages.
The lifestyle in Tajikistan begins with the geography
as this tiny mountain nation boasts some of the world's most impressive mountain
peaks, including the Pamir Mountains. There is also no water access, but numerous
rivers running down from the mountains giving the country plenty of river valleys,
which have proven to be ideal for life over time.
Although most of the country has conditions and weather patterns that prevent life,
the valleys are home to the bulk of the population as the earliest people settled
here to farm, scavenge, hunt, and later rise animals for food. As the seasons changed
so too did the people's ability to survive.
Tajikistan's flag includes red
for the sun, victory, and unity, white, which represents purity, cotton, and mountain
snows, and green, which symbolizes nature and is the color of Islam. The flag also
includes a crown, which represents the Tajik people; the seven stars over the crown
are present because seven is considered a magic number and reflects perfection and
the embodiment of happiness.
Name: Republic of Tajikistan
Independence: September 9, 1991
Currency: Tajik Somoni
Population: 7,910,041 (2013 estimate)
Ethnicity: Tajik & Uzbek
Religion: Sunni Muslim
As people came and went through the region that today makes up
Tajikistan, the ethnic Persian eventually arrived and settled the region.
Like the people from the past, these people settled in the valleys as it was the
only hospitable place to live. They changed over time and intermarried other people,
they remained tied to the Persian people through language, culture, food, and lifestyle
and as changes occurred in Persia they usually also influenced the way of life for
Among the most important introductions from Persia was Islam as most of the people
converted to this religion and even today nearly every Tajik is Muslim. The influences
from the north had a greater impact on daily life after the
Mongols arrived. The Tajiks, in many ways,
inherited this power, centered in the cities of Bukhara and Samarkand (both in modern
day Uzbekistan) as the Silk Trade routes rose in importance.
The Silk Trade Route brought new people to Tajikistan
and daily life shifted to focus on economic progress as people urbanized and began
to open and run small shops; a shift from the majority of people farming and raising
animals. But when the Silk Trade Route fell so did much of the economy in Tajikistan.
The Russians and the Soviets arrived, first in the late
1800s, but fully taking control in the early 1900s. The Soviets pushed the
Tajik people further east, removing the cities of Samarkand and Bukhara
from their rule as they suppressed religion. In some ways this actually encouraged
stronger feelings of pride in being Tajik, but it also vastly altered the way of
life for the people as people were forced onto farms or factories.
Since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 Tajikistan
has made a return to its roots, but numerous Soviet introductions have remained
as well. The people remain a very humble people who continue to work on farms and
in factories as the economy is domestically focused. Religion has returned and there
is a clear expression of their Persian past as their foods reflect that of
Iran, although Russian Foods are now available
as well. As the country remains very economically starved, the people continue to
focus on family and survival with few funds to purchase modern day luxuries or even
cars as the remnants of the Soviet public transportation system dominate the country.
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