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name may originate from a few sources, but all seem to focus on the root meaning
leader. One possibility is that the name comes from the words uz and bey
or bek meaning "leader of the uz." Another possible origin states
that the name comes from o'z, meaning "self" and bek,
meaning "noble." The final possible origin is that the country it was
simply named after Uzbeg Khan, the ruler of the people in the early 1300s. What
is known is that the ending stan comes from the Persian meaning "country"
or "place of."
O‘zbekiston / Ўзбекистон
The way of life in Uzbekistan has changed a number
of times in recent history, but not in the same way as it has in some neighboring
countries. The Uzbek people have lived a very urbanized and settled lifestyle for
hundreds of years so with the Soviet takeover, many of the changes the Soviets demanded
were already a part of the way of life of the Uzbek people. Despite this, other
changes enacted by the Soviets have led to hostilities between the Uzbeks in Russians
in recent years.
The early people in the region of Uzbekistan lived
off the land as they farmed and raised animals, but they moved to cities early in
their history and soon began to dominate trade in the area. With trade, and later
the heart of the Silk Road passing through the region, the people gained new foods,
clothing, art, building techniques, and other technology. More than these though,
Islam was introduced to the people and this continues to be the largest religion
These early changes led to a very urbanized culture as the people became barterers
and traders; each person having a shop as most goods and services were traded or
sold as farming and living off of the land and animals became the responsibility
of the minority.
The Russians, and later the Soviets, took control over
the region in the late 1800s and early 1900s. While the Soviets were very aggressive
in urbanizing the people in order to work in factories and other industrial positions,
they wanted Uzbekistan as farmland to feed the people
in the Soviet Union as a whole. As there weren't enough Uzbeks to work in the
factories and on the farms the Soviets encouraged Russians to arrive to work as
Uzbek culture was slowly replaced by Soviet ideals.
With the fall of the Soviet Union, the people of Uzbekistan
have been striving to get back to their traditional way of life as city traders
and farmers. Unfortunately, a number of ecological disasters enacted by the Soviets
have hurt farming in the country as the people are trying to re-discover who they
are and get back to their traditional way of life. Unfortunately, this campaign
has been interpreted as expelling Russians and other foreigners from their country
as they slowly rediscover who they are. In the meantime, the people tend to be working
the same jobs brought by the Soviets as industrial workers and farmers with little
economic improvement in recent years.
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