Wednesday, August 2, 2017

The Karakalpakstan State Museum of Art named after I.V.Savitsky


Language Ecology: Understanding Central Asian Multilingualism.

Understanding Central Asian Multilingualism:

Central Asia and its major ethnolinguistic groups map go to Central Asian Languages

Source:  University of Texas

The region of Central Asia is highly multilingual: each of the republics of the region is named for a titular nationality, each in turn with its own language, Kazakh in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz in Kyrgyzstan, Tajik in Tajikistan, Turkmen in Turkmenistan, and Uzbek in Uzbekistan. Speakers of these languages are found not only in their respective republics, but also in the neighbouring republics.  Kazakh, Kyrgyz, Turkmen Karakalpak and Uzbek are classified as members of the Turkic language family, while Tajik, an Iranian language, is considered to be a Central Asian variety of Persian. Each displays variation among regional dialects with transitional varieties that may share features with the above languages, leaving us with a complex Turkic and Iranian dialect continua with boundaries that may be fuzzier than the sharpness of political frontiers might suggest. This book explores several diachronic stages of Central Asia's language ecology focusing on multilingualism and languages of wider communication and the lenses of diglossia with or without bilingualism, ending with a sample of contemporary language ecology of Central Asia. It argues that an ecological approach to the question of language change in Central Asia gives a greater descriptive analysis, while a comparative diachronic and synchronic approach provides insight into the processes of change and sheds light on current language trends in the region.

Language Ecology: Understanding Central Asian Multilingualism. In E. S. Ahn & J. Smagulova (Eds.), Language Change in Central Asia (pp. 11-32). Berlin: DeGruyter Mouton.  Available from:


Monday, July 17, 2017

List of Birdlife sighted in Karakalpakstan

Go to bird list and has photos of over 260 different birds in karakalpakstan such as the endangered saker falcon (Falco cherrug) above. The saker are primarily desert and steppe falcons that prefer open country such as grasslands with few trees and cliffs. This species breeds from eastern Europe, and eastward across southern Russia, to as far as Manchuria. Northern populations are migratory. They winter in Ethiopia, as well as the Arabian peninsula and northern Pakistan. The largest decline of the Saker falcon in Asia is in Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan. 

Monday, May 8, 2017


Shashlik, or shashlyk, (Russian: шашлык) is a is a dish of shallow meat, usually lamb with a minimum of spices and is an essential street food in most of the countries of the former USSR. There are disputes about where the name shashlik comes from but most likely is that “Shash” in ancient Turkic means “piece”. And ”lik” means ”six”. As a result, shashlik - is six pieces of meat. Shish” in Turkic - means "peak", "bayonet", “lik” - "for" it also could just mean skewered meat. Shashlik (as opposed to other forms of shish Kabob) is usually presented in form of chunks of meat. There are many variants, in the shape, size and choice of meat portions.  The preparation is very important - the temperature of the coals, time marinating, and careful presentation of the meat.

Typically Shashlik is prepared using leg or side of lamb in a quantity that depends on how many people you’ll feed (recommendation use at least 500gm per adult).  Cut up the meat and the fat into bite-sized pieces.  Don’t forget the fat.  It’s delicious. Traditionally the meat and fat are marinated in mineral water (seltzer) add salt, pepper, coriander and chopped onion. It is important to turn the meat around every few hours to make sure it’s evenly marinated. Total marinating time varies but a minimum of 8 hours albeit 24 hours is better. The marinated meat is then strung on skewers (always six pieces) with tomato and/or onion and the last piece usually a piece of lard.
Postal stamp of Tajikistan "Oriental bazaar" displaying an old man grilling shashliks on a mangal.
A traditional grill called a mangal (mahn-gahl) is filled with burning coals which are .  Fry it over the hot coals, at first on the one side, then on another side to release the juice and a golden brown colour. For evenly frying the meat wave a hand fan from time to time to increase the heat. If the fat lard runs off and forms a flame, sprinkle coals with water mixed with white vinegar. Cook till it’s done. Before serving, put the shashlik into a lagan (large plate). Garnish with white onion rings. The Shashlik is sometimes also served with vegetables that have been cooked in a similar fashion on separate skewers. Another tradition is to take the finished meat and remove each chunk from its skewer by holding it between pieces of bread. The bread and the meat are put into a large bowl or pot and then covered, shaken and allowed to rest for a few minutes so the flavours and juices from the meat penetrate the bread.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Uzbekistan, UMMC sign memorandum to implement Tebinbulak titanium-magnetite project

Uzbekistan and the Ural Mining and Metallurgy Company signed a memorandum on implementation of the project on developing titanium-magnetite ore Tebinbulak field in Karakalpakstan with the construction of a steelmaking plant for US$1.5 billion. The Tebinbulak field has an forecasted resource base of 3.5 bn t of ore similar to the deposits of Kachkanar in the Urals. The field is located near Nukus and was opened in 1937.
The document was signed at the Embassy of Uzbekistan in Moscow on 3 April 2017 within the state visit of the President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev to Russia (4-5 April 2017).

The project on development of Tebinbulak field envisages the construction of a mining complex with a capacity of 14.7 million tonnes of ore a year with production of titanium and vanadium by 2021  Due to high investment expenses, the field has been slow to enter development. The field is being rehabilitated in order to create own resource base of Uzmetkombinat, which currently produces carbon steel flat and long products and also manufactures rolled copper and copper alloy products, as well as processing and recycling steel scrap. It is estimated that the field can provide long term raw materials for the future operation of the combine.