RUSSIA AND CENTRAL ASIAN REPUBLIC
Culture represents important part in the contemporary world, from shaping the views of individuals in the society to the building of peaceful and harmonious environment in the states for the benefit of humankind. In case of Russia and Central Asian states culture plays crucial role in building societies and shaping their views on their distinct identity. In Russia the culture is full of literature, ballet, painting and classical music and has huge rich cultural history. The country has a unique cultural epoch, from beautiful national costumes to ornamental religious symbols. Hitherto there are 190 ethnic groups live in Russia which shows the amount of diversity in the country. The culture plays an important role in binding the people of Russian society in diversity as one country. While the Central Asian republics which become independent after 1991 also represents rich cultural variety in their country. These countries have enormous ethnic groups and societies which live together and use culture as a way to live life peacefully. However there are certain challenges and debates which needs to be focused in the cultural aspect of these countries. Such as in case of Russia the continuous cultural identity debate on Russia whether it belongs to east or west creates many views regarding perceptions on Russia. There are variety of views and debates which began from tsarist era continue till today in Russia such as some find it close to west, some claim it eurasian and others call it close to Asia. In the present time the revival of ‘superiority of Russians’ in Russia also challenges the influence western values and culture on Russia. While on the other hand, the central asian republics which are hub of different ethnic societies also face ethnic clashes between different ethnic groups such as Tajiks, Uzbeks and Kyrgyz. Nevertheless, Culture plays an important role in harmonising the relationship between different views and groups in the societies of these countries. It teaches the art of living in diversity , accepting different traditions, religion and customs of various ethnic groups and increasing mutual respect for each other.
The Russian Federation is the largest country in Europe and Asia. It is the largest country in the world and has the eighth largest population in the world. Russia shares its borders withthe Norway, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Belarus, Ukraine, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, China, Mongolia and North Korea. The country is not only famous for its strong military and political presence in the world but also for its strong cultural hold which it has preserved for centuries. Russia is known for its distinct identity and culture. It has made valuable contributions to world culture. They gave the world not only classics and beautiful masterpieces but also the entire schools. The Stanislavsky Dramatic Art School and the Russian Ballet School are world famous. Russian literature is world famous and popular among people. The writings of Leo Tolstoy and Fyodor Dostoyevsky are the same as those of Shakespeare and Dumas. The Russian works like “War and Peace”, Anna Karenina, “Crime and Punishment,” translates almost to all the languages. The famous Russian poet Pushkin’s Eugene Onegin was included in the list of 19th century world art masterpieces (Diplomacy online, 2018).
1. Russian culture: facts and traditions
Russia considers family as the most prominent aspect of the society. Russians are famous for valuing its homeland and native cultural values. It has also known for wide Ethnic diversities such as there are more than 190 ethnic groups in the country. More than 70percent of population consist of native Russians (slavophiles) and rest are Ukrainians, tatars, Chechens, Bashkir etc. In case of language Russian is the official language and English is the second most popular language in Russia. Due to presence of various ethnic groups, more than hundred languages have been spoked by people in Russia. Religion has been known for being one of the important pillar of Russian culture and society from ancient time. The country has four major religions: Russian orthodox Christianity, Islam, Judaism and Buddhism. While orthodox Christianity is the most practiced religion and islam comes in second.
The Russians believe in traditionally greeting people in their everyday life. They follow the belief of maintaining eye contact and taking off their gloves while greeting or handshaking is most appropriate (Dobroe Utro- Good morning, Dobriy Den- Good afternonn, Dobriy Vecher- Good evening). They believe in deep conversations and are very much communicative in nature. The Russian culture is deeply expressive and seems unrestrained in showing their feeling such as through hugs and kisses on the cheeks is very common part of Russian culture. The physical contact in public is a sign of affection and positive connection for them. While in case of their attires they usually prefer wearing hats and wool clothes. The Russian women usually like to wear dark coloured coats, business suits and skirts. Men generally wear formal coats and business suits. Beside this they follow the tradition of opening the door and let woman enter the room first (Leigh, 2006). The Russians love to explore their own country where they have such institutions and monuments that are symbol of their ancient culture.
Arts, architecture and literature
Ballet is an symbol of Russian culture and arts since for a longtime. Founded in 1776, Grand Ballet is a classical ballet company located at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow. The Mariinsky Ballet in St. Petersburg is another popular ballet company in Russia. The Russian puppet dolls are a popular symbol of the country’s arts and culture. This doll is called a matrix doll and is made up of wooden figures. The photos of each doll looks very beautiful and fascinating usually depicting Russian farmers(women) in traditional costumes. Apart from this, the Russian literature has its own identity across the world. The writers like Leon Tolstoy (war and peace) and Fyodor Dostoevsky (crime and punishment) are still read by the people from different parts of the world. In case of architecture the colourful onion domes in Russia are famous in the whole world for their unique architecture which symbolises the distinct arts in Russia.
The places where the most famous authors of Russia lives and creates outstanding works becomes a cultural monument in Russia. There are many places connected with Dostoevsky and Pushkin in St. Petersburg and their books. Pushkin Mountains (Pushkin Hill) – a literary memorial, located in the Pskov region in the north-west of Russia. Every year the International Festival of Pushkin’s Poetry is held. Russian classical music is also well known. The Russian ballet, the famous name of its rich tradition and ballerina, is the most important cultural symbol of Russia. The Russian classical ballet school is considered the best in the world. At present, the tradition of Russian classical ballet not only comes from Russia, but also dancers and choreographers from all over the world have received support and development. Many tours in Moscow and St. Petersburg include visits to ballet or opera. Beside this, Russians are known for their strong connection with drama, arts, theatre and opera.
Russian architectural monuments occupy a special place in the symbol of Russian culture. In fact the development of Russian culture cannot be separated from religious traditions. The Orthodox Church entered ancient Russia in the 10th century. The cathedrals and monasteries, built in different centuries, reflect the Russian spirit. It can be called the Palestinian National Cathedral in the centre of Moscow, the White Stone Temple on the Neil River and the unique church in Kizhi (Diplomacy, 2018). Nevertheless, the country is known for its diversity. It has people from different ethnic groups who follow different faiths. The four major cultures in Russia are orthodox Christians, Islam, Judaism and Buddhism where more than 70% of people follow the orthodox Christianity in Russia and less than 5% follow Islam and a very few follow other religions like Buddhism and Jainism.
Besides the basic features of Russian culture, there is a major characteristic of Russian culture
i.e. the distinct identity of the nation. It is concerned about its self consciousness since a long time (Berlin, 1957). According to Samuel P. Huntington Russia has a torn identity. He stated that from the time of Peter the Great the Russians are divided over the topic of whether they belong to west or Asia (Huntington, 1997). Any society has never been more deeply and exclusively occupied with itself, with its own nature and destiny than Russia. Since eighteenth century Russia itself is the subject of almost all critical and creative works in Russia. The great novelists and many secondary novelists, like most of the characters in Russian novels, are constantly worried not only about their goals, such as people, family, classes or professions, but also about their status or mission or future, like the Russians , as a unique and distinct society. This national self-absorption can be found among novelists and dramatists of a different vision in Russia such as a religious teacher in Russia, like Dostoyevsky, a moralist like L. Tolstoy, an artist who works in the West for timeless and universal psychological and aesthetic patterns, has been crucial to the “Russian problem” (Berlin, 1957).
2. Russia’s search for Cultural Identity
Several centuries ago, a local Russian-Slavic ethnic group (Rus) around Eastern Europe was formed in the city of Kiev. For several hundred years, Russia has become an important region of Eastern European region. However, in the middle of the thirteenth century, the Mongols invaded Russia and united it in the Mongol Empire. The period of Mongolian rule which lasted for two centuries i.e. 1240-1480 had serious impact on culture of Russia. In fact this invasion turned out to be a unique crisis for the Russians which largely contributed to the debate on are they belong to Europeans or Asians? The Grand Duke of Moscow, after the collapse of the Mongol Empire in 1480, combined with many regions of Russia, it became easier for new Russian leaders to expand itself on eastern and Asian lands than West European lands. In the 16th century, when Moscow became the new capital of the expanding Russian state, Ivan the Terrible became the first “king”, and the “tsar of Russia” was born. They crossed the continental gap – the depths of the Ural mountains and the Asian continent, reaching only geographically, mainly to Asian lands.
While on the other side there are huge cultural differences between Western Europe and Russia. In fact, although Russia is both European and Asian geographically, it often does not appear in its cultural perspective. For example, Russia is a Christian Orthodox country. By 1500 Western Europe was almost exclusively Catholic, with Asian Muslims, Taoism, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Confucianism. In addition to this the unique Cyrillic script and the Russian language distinguish them from the Latin alphabet of the West and the ideologists of the East. Therefore it is visible that Russia was neither geographically nor culturally Western. It had a Mongol heritage, most of which lay in Asia, like billions of Russian Asians. They practiced a different Christianity, wore different clothes, had different habits and wrote different letters. They are known for their own distinct way of living their lifestyle.
3. Tsarist period and cultural identity
-Russia as backward
During the sixteenth and seventeenth century Russia had been considered entirely different by the west. In case of its location and culture it was seen as different from western civilisation. According to C. Marsden, he argued that Russians were considered as clumsy and dirty bythe west. They were seen as barbarians and backward in their way of living by the travellers across the world. Therefore the Muscovites were seen as ‘others’ and different by the West for a longer time. However, the emergence of Peter the great in Russia changed the scenario and moulded the Russian history in his own way which shaped the perceptions on Russian identity domestically and internationally including west.
-Peter the great: influence on culture
Peter the great is known as father of modern Russia where he worked for 42 years for bringing cultural and technological achievements to Russia. Peter become king in 1683 and his task was to get Western Europe from the point of view of education, political organisation, technology and economy. As a young man, he was amazed by the western culture and lifestyle, and engages with Western Europeans, mostly in business. Peter’s political accomplishments began when Russia became a dominant force in Europe. It also introduced the responsibility and transparency of the government. At the same time, Peter’s main social and cultural achievements in Russia are the introduction of western education. Before the Great Peter, Russia’s education is far behind Western Europe, focusing on science, mathematics and social science. For that reason, Peter tried to understand the knowledge and skills necessary for the industrial and cultural development of Russia, such as mathematics, science, technology, social sciences and humanities.In addition, Peter’s introduced the Western culture in Russia to improve the Russian lifestyle. The Russian clothes are relatively simple compared to west therefore he tried to enhance the clothing style of Russian man and woman to make them look more presentable.
In his regime Peter the great focused on Western style and culture of tea table for socialisation and entertainment. In addition, the first Russian newspapers started under the control of Peter the Great. Thus, Russians understand national politics through newspapers. Since Russia is socially oriented and focused on Western Europe, these social reforms help to improve the living conditions of the people and to educate from the western culture. Therefore Peter the great tried to match the Russian culture with that of west. Along with this he also introduced strategies and programs to improve economy of Russia. In short, the kingdom of the Great Peter is an important milestone in Russian history and has greatly influenced the modernisation process in Russia. That is why he acknowledged the great cultural, social, political and economic changes in Russia. Thus, his achievements contribute to Russia’s becoming a leading power in Europe and huge influence on reforming Russian culture through the introduction and improvement of education as well as through the development of the Russian western culture.
-Evolution of Cultural identity debate
Since the ancient time Russia has been known for its distinct identity and culture. Geographically it has been placed between east and west and therefore possess different values and traditions. During the tsarist phase the debate on cultural identity of Russia was started by various groups in Russia who had different perceptions on Russian identity. The debate starts with the slavophile who supported the unique identity and culture of Russia such as Petre Chaadaev who argued that Russia has its own distinct identity and race which is different from west and Asia. The various intellectuals who supported the view had always argued that Russia has a different objective and vision which makes it different from other regions. The intellectuals like Ivan Kireevski and Aleksei Khomiakov defines the ancient Russian culture and its importance where the preservation of eastern churches and the way it had maintained the ancient catholic values in Russia.
However their opinions got criticised by the liberals and other groups in Russia but the major difference and different opinion came from the westernisers. The westernisers who supported the western culture and consider Russia as a part of western tradition. They argued that Russians try to match the culture of west and tries to copy the western model in their own way. They also claim that Russians had no such distinct culture of their own and lag behind west in terms of cultural modernisation. However, the west remained aloof and disinterested in copying the sociologist ideology of Russia. While there are some intellectuals who associate Russia with eastern culture and values such as the influence of Byzantine empire, Mongolian ruleand role played by tatars in Russia which made a deep impact on shaping Russian culture and identity. These scholars argue that Russia had learnt the authoritarianism, art of religious tolerance and unity from mongols.
Lastly comes the Eurasians who supported the argument that Russia is not a part of any western or eastern race but having its own identity and culture which makes it unique. However they also agree that Eurasia has been influenced by both west and Asia since its location connects it with both the regions. The Eurasians are deeply influenced by the Mongolian rule and their contributions in shaping the history of Russian politics and society.
4. Soviet stage: Cultural debates in Russia between East and west
The rule of Tsar which was ended on 1917 marked the beginning of Bolshevik power in the political system of the country. The bolsheviks placed their political thrust on Communist ideology. During the initial phase of the communist rule the cultural debate remained disappeared and there was no major question on Russian cultural identity. They were more concerned about the ideologies of Lenin-marxism through which the Bolshevik ruler Lenin ruled the country till 1924. During Lenin phase, the main feature of communist relations with artists and artists was relative freedom, which required an exclusive Soviet style of experiments of different styles. Experimentally spread in the field of art and literature, many schools, some traditional and others. During this period, communist writers like Maxim Gorki and Vladimir Mayakovsky worked actively, but many others were later suppressed and published a lack of socialist political content. The films were introduced in Russia supported to influence the illiterates and to make them connected to Russian culture.
However, with the beginning of Stalin era the cultural trends become more rigid. During the reign of Joseph Stalin, the power of the socialist realism was emphasised by the government, and the other trends were characterised by rare and rare peculiarities. Many writers, such as Daniel Zamms, Osip Mandelstam, Isaac Babel and Boris Pilniak, have been jailed, murdered, or killed. Over a period of great cleansing of the Ukrainian literature, more than 250 Ukrainian writers, such as Valeria Piedmohl (1901-1937), were called “Performed Renaissance”. In fact, the regime tried to vanish all the books from the libraries to make full command over Russian culture. Along with this the literature, musical performances, and even even Soviet composers’ music were completely forbidden. The musicians and artistic people were used to be considered as anti-soviets during his regime. Therefore the cultural values remained more intact in his era. While from the mid 1950s with the Khrushchev coming into power the regime gave a relaxation to Soviet culture and paid special attention to the conformational social life and private life.
During his phase, the Soviet folk culture was interesting to the American folk culture such as the example of blue jeans which become popular in Russia. Khrushchev focused on liberal side of culture where of all spheres of life has allowed the development of various forms of informal, secret and dissident arts, which are not threatened by Gulag labor camps like in Stalin era. The period of 1960s and 70s experienced great flow of cultural values and ideas from western culture to Russia such as Rock and Jazz music, popularity of Blue jeans and literary knowledges. However, with the 1950s and 60s, with the process of de-stalinization and weakening of Lenin marxist ideologies in Soviet Russia the debates on its identity and culture started reviving again.
The identity debate
Historically Throughout their life, Russian publicists, historians, political theorists, socialists, literary critics, philosophers, poets, above all, without exception, and to a large extent discuss issues such as what it means to be Russian; Dignity, vice and fate of the Russian individual and society; but above all the historical role of Russia among the peoples. During the Soviet period the debate was between westerns and Eurasians where the former supported the claim that Russia belongs to western civilisation, while the other one claims that Russia has its own distinct ideology and it is different from both Europe and Asia. They link the rise of Russian ideology and culture to the rule of Mongols in Russia during 13th century. The believed that the Russian culture has been influenced by the Mongol rule. They argue that Russia learnt ‘religious toleration’, ‘authoritarian style’ and the concept of ‘unity’ from Mongols. However during the Bolsheviks rule the identity debate lost its significance which later revived again with 1960s and 70s with the beginning of New Eurasians who also appreciated the Mongols and the distinct cultural identity of Russia located between west and Asia (Pandey, 2007).
5. Post 1991: Continuity and Change
-Resurgence of Culture debate
With the disintegration of Soviet Union and rise of Russia the debate was still deeply continued on the cultural identity of Russia where the westernisers or liberals view Russia as a part of west while on the other hand, the Eurasians and new Eurasians support Russia’s distinct Eurasian identity which is neither European or Asian and lastly those analysts who support Russia as a part of Asia. The question of Russia’s culture and identity has become very important part of contemporary study where various analysts have different opinions about the identity of Russia. Being a multi ethnic country for centuries it has people from different cultures and religions therefore have diverse opinions. The feeling of self consciousness and to know better about its culture and historical facts has been deeply embedded among Russians where each person has strong sense of cultural identity in Russia. The country has been filled with the feelings of unity, pride and love for their nation. In a nutshell it can be concluded that Russian culture and identity has the essence of both western civilisation and Asia. In terms of its culture, religion and language it is influenced by west however its location makes it more closed towards Asians which makes its distinct in nature.
6. Russian culture and society under Putin
Russians superiority and authoritarian culture
Recent events in Russian higher culture have taught us about the social and political situation in Russia and the possibility that Putin will succeed in his understanding of the great projects of Russia and his compatriots. The Putin period has shaped the culture and geopolitics of the present Russia which also has the reminiscent of the Soviet state and the tsarist government. This story is related to the definition of Russian academic society, religious institutions and democratic countries. Putin wants to build an authoritarian culture that allows the executive to control the media and all wealthy competitors. Of course, the base of this country is a restored army, but it is also the revival of dictatorship. In Putin’s world, culture maintains an arrogant state and once again retain the glory of Russia through culture. Putin needs Russian culture to strengthen his power, a person full of paranoia, xenophobia and revenge. Leading cultural figures allow us to learn more about Putin’s thoughts and behaviours. They proved why his country is so easy to control that it supports its items very well.
Putin focuses on the Russian Orthodox Church. Since he was never a fan of democracy and human freedom – even in the days of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, of course, the re fore the church and Putin understood each other well. Under his government, the Orthodox government is growing. Russian intellectuals believe Russia must “surpass the Western model and influence on its culture and should focus on building their own distinct culture”. The Culture is formed by a partnership between the church and the state due to which church became a major focus under his era.The Russians seem to be returning to their old ways of supporting the country by demonstrating the philosophical absolutism that Russian intelligence has transmitted from generation to generation.
Under Putin’s reign, what happened in Russia was tragic. We are witnessing an authoritarian leader who manipulates power to become rich and create a intact culture. It is a broad culture and a way of seeing the world across the country, making leaders like Putin popular and unshakeable. Not only that, but it also distorts cultural institutions such as religion and science, and they have to work well if they want to preserve human freedom and development. Regarding the college, it should be a free discussion platform that discusses the true nature of each issue. But without academic freedom or private sector research, scientists will know what they think and do when they avoid persecution and persecution. After losing the opportunity to establish a free market and a free society based on freedom of speech and free will, Russia returns to the only truth: armed and isolated countries under political absolutism, supported by philosophical absolutism.
The large-scale demonstrations in Russia from December 2011 to March 2012 showed that the Russian President Putin will make concessions to the emerging political opposition. After Putin’s re-election, a series of legislative measures restricting NGO activities and their ability to obtain funds from abroad and the freedom of the Internet to launch a conservative anti- Western Western ideological movement were restricted. Some observers later pointed out that Putin’s “cultural war” began to counter the trend of more modern civil society. In a nutshell the Russians believe in the superiority of their culture and consider it distinct from other cultures. Under the authority of Putin he managed to combine his vision with cultural values to centralise the regime under his own hands to increase the superiority of Russians and their culture in the world.
Central Asian Republics (CARs)
Inland and below the Eurasian continent, Central Asia once served as an important land centre in the Silk Road, connecting East and West for more than 200 years. It was a crossroads for the movement of entire nations, cultures and religions. Each ethnic group in Central Asia can really qualify for some periods of glorious history and has its own meaning. The experience of life as multiple societies is not a new violation of the old way of life, but a historical picture of life in Central Asia.
Ancient culture and society
In the ancient time the Uzbek became the last nomadic warrior to rule Central Asian region in the 16th century. This led to the founding of three khanate regions: Bukhara (the eastern tributaries of Zaraf and Amu) and Khiva (the lower border crossing and Aral lakes) and Kokand (the upper Syr river lies in the Fergana valley). The Suburbs, grasslands, deserts and mountains, especially those that live in nomads, are largely independent or loosely associated with these centres. The population of the Central Asian Khanate consists of people whose history and identities reflect the complex history of the region. Most of them are Sunni Muslims and Turks and speak about Persian minorities. The main population and productivity of the this region is located in irrigated valleys and cities, and most people do not have obvious ethnic characteristics. Usually they are designated as “Sarts” (the formation of pejorative terms according to Russian rule), they represent the merging of a settled Iranian population with newly settled Turks. The Uzbek and Persians are mostly bilingual people who often marry each other and therefore share a common culture.
Central Asia is known for its diverse cultural and ethnic groups for a long time. For example, the Tajiks who speak Persian language live in the alpine valleys of self-sufficient villages. The nomadic people of Kazakhstan’s shepherds control the vast grasslands of the north, and the Turkmen control the deserts of the southwest and the mountain pastures of the Pamirs of Kyrgyzstan. In addition to these major groups, there are many smaller minorities that are considered to be unique: Arabs and monks, religious canopies, who claim to have prophets or local saints having a jewish community in the Samarkand and Bukhara regions. The ethnic groups of Kazakh, Turkmen and Kirghiz region showed the strong sense of cultural, tribal and ethnic identity during the period. They were considered to be the symbol of nomadism in central asian region and lived in the periphery areas of the region. However with the beginning of Russian presence in the region brought significant changes in the culture and society of central asian states.
Culture and societies of central Asia under Soviet Union
-Central Asian Culture in Soviet era
Russia conquered Central Asia in the 19th century, Central Asia had stalled in Europe and Asia by the time. After the Russian army defeated Kazakhstan and united its territory, between 1830 and 1864 the settlers settled in search of agricultural land in the meadows of northern Kazakhstan. Conquering Bukhara (1868), followed by Khiva (1873) and Kokand (1876), the Russians started the destruction of the Merv fortress in 1888, the Russian border was adjacent to Afghanistan and Iran. After Central Asia was incorporated into the Soviet Union in 1920, this led to major changes in the region. The Soviets broke old regimes in the 1920s and 1930s and replaced them with “autonomous rules” of ethnic boundaries. The policy is based on the belief that the most natural units include those with the same language and ethnic identity. However, in Central Asia, this form of national-language nationalism was almost non-existent. Th region contained a common regional culture (Islam, Turkish and Iranian, Arabic writing, etc.) that gives people a different personality.
The Soviets encouraged art culture in the central asian states. It focused on role of artists and craftsmen in the region. It allows certain ethnic expressions within certain limits in order to expand soviet culture in these areas. The combination of various factors, such as the autonomy of a localised bureaucracy, the existence of indigenous intellectual classes, and the growing ability to express national identity through artistic means, made “Soviet cultural nationalism.” Prominent in Central Asia. Under Soviet rule, many of these crafts were viewed as a sign of backwardness and discouraged. Craftsmen were taxed in huge numbers and encouraged to take up “socially useful” tasks such as picking cotton by hand. The Soviets were interested in benefitting themselves from central asian region rather than developing the region itself.
In this period the main focus was to shape and influence the central asian values and traditions under the culture of Soviet Russia for its own benefit. The major tools remain arts, music, heritages and historical landscapes to expand the Russian values to this region since it comes under the control of Soviet Russia. However, the resurgence of native culture central asian region started emerging after the disintegration of soviet union which led to the independence of these five countries and become Central Asian republics (CARs).
Post 1991 till present: Central Asian culture, art, music and heritages
The post 1991 period saw the revival of native values and traditions in central asian states . They started recalling their ethnic values, norms and culture which become disappeared during the soviet era due to dominance of soviet Russian culture. The most important cultural community in the Central Asian republics is the Sunni Islamic practice, which has been proven by the overwhelming majority of the people living in the in the 1990s after the dissolution of soviet union. However, Islam’s role in the five cultures is not uniform, and its role in politics is different and most prominent in Tajikistan. For Kazakhs, Kyrgyz and Turks, their society is based on nomadic transformation, based on a nomadic lifestyle with many traditional tribal beliefs, and the influence of Islam on culture is not so prominent.
-arts, craft, music and culture
With the coming independence the revival of arts, crafts and native culture of central asian states also emerged. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the craftsman started regaining their mastery. Artisans have started engaging with markets which are full of golden designs, handmade and hand-made buckets, handmade wooden boxes, hand-made tapes, handmade rugs, walls and hand-painted miniatures. The resurgence of native ethnic culture and norms started becoming visible in the region. Nomadic folk art is based primarily on everyday items: clothing, silver flat domes, decorated with semi-precious stones, musical instruments, decorative and embroidered boots, Kumis bottles, decorative rugs, decorations, carpets and yurts. They usually represent animal designs in the grasslands and mountains. Women use wealth such as Las Razuri and Karelia in silver and semi-precious stones. They also have things like bags and carpets.
The musical instruments used in Central Asia are similar to the Turkic, South Asian and Middle Eastern countries. The most commonly used tools are lutes. Uzbek dance has long neck, two rows and front, and is associated with classical, mystical and clever music. Kazakh dombra is a short, two-lane cord, traditionally used as a gardener. Kyrgyz komuz is a three-lane longitudinal cord that is traditionally used with gardens. There is a carpeted wooden box of apricot trees. In other types of Lutes- Rubb, long in shape with a skin speaker, played with a dial; Tanbur, three chords, used throughout Central Asia, used to cut the lower line of the melody and used as an unmanned aerial vehicle chord; Sato, playing directly on the lap; Tartars, Tarandur or Tajik version of Tandoor, long neck and movable sitar column. There are other instruments also like dambura, chang and surnay. Therefore these instruments are prominent in the music culture of Central Asia.
-Central Asian societies and ethnic challenges
Unlike many other parts of the former Soviet Union, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan did not seek independence but it was thrown on them. Under the conditions of independence, the new government has been forced to establish its legitimacy and viability as a nation in a radically changing world. In the domestic case, the nominal nation of each republic is in the unexpected condition of true political supremacy and sets the agenda in such areas as national language, political sponsorship and civil law. At present, these countries have begun to feel the effects of their appearance, especially social and cultural backgrounds.
Kazakhstan being the largest country among central asian republics is the largest landlocked country of the world. It is the immediate neighbour of Russia which has serious repercussions on the relationship between both the countries. Kazakhstan has the second largest population and a population of 16.5 million, but most of its population is sparsely located. This is the only country in Central Asia with a minority of titular ethnic groups (40-42%).The Ukrainians and Russians make up 44% of the population and occupy wheat growing areas in northern Kazakhstan and urban industrial areas. Since the grasslands in northern Kazakhstan inhabited by Russian population, therefore it makes the issues delicate for both Russia and Kazakhstan. If Kazakhstan insists on political power to discriminate against the Slavic population, for example through language policy, it can trigger an unrestricted movement calling for the region’s return to Russia. Russian nationalists in particular criticised the fact that such a large Russian population is still under the control of the Central Asian regime.
Without a multi-country model, Kazakhstan will not be able to survive within its current borders, but in all Central Asian countries. In the present time Kazakhstan faces the main task of establishing Kazakhstan’s identity for Kazakhstan without dissolving the Slavs. In fact after the crimean crisis of 2014 the country has became more suspicious of Russia. Since the northern part of the country has inhabited by the slavic population the Kazakh government is quite suspicious of the Russian intentions and has generated a kind of fear in their hearts after the invasion of southern Ukraine (Crimea). Therefore from cultural perspective it can serve as an issue which can challenge the harmony between both the countries. Nevertheless both the countries share harmonies relationship in the present time.
Uzbekistan is the most populous country in Central Asia with a population of 20 million. It is located in the main agricultural areas of ancient Bukhara, Khiva and Kokand Khannat. In the Soviet era, his economy was based entirely on irrigated commercial cotton. Although Tashkent, Khivan and Samarkand are both in the area, their production base is very limited, mainly in cooperation with Russians. Uzbeks represent the majority of the population (71%), but this indicator is likely to hide the largest Tajik. However, the language laws which talks about knowledge regarding Uzbek language as a necessary criteria for jobs made situation miserable for Russian (slavic ) population in the country. Therefore it shows the superiority of promoting native language and culture over others. Although its a small part of the population the Europeans leaving Uzbekistan at a high interest rate, not because of open hostility, but because of doubts for their decline future in the country. Other minorities, such as the Caucasus Turks and the Crimean Tatars, were forced to leave Uzbekistan under Stalin and leave the area to find old houses. Uzbekistan is by far the most powerful country in the region. Uzbekistan sometimes supports the only Turkestan state, and the fear of its neighbours stands for the Greater Uzbekistan strategy.
Of all the problems in Central Asia, the rights of ethnic groups such as Russians and Ukrainians and jobs in Kazakhstan seem more incomprehensible than the Uzbek and Tajik quarrels over the status of Samarkand and Bukhara. The emerging clashes between Kyrgyz and Uzbeks in Kyrgyzstan and clashes between Turks and Uzbeks in the Ferghana Valley in Uzbekistan are very prevalent ethnic conflicts of the region. The discussion about the identity and role of Central Asia in the modern world has hardly occurred before they were strangled. Therefore, many of the problems in Central Asia today are similar to the Middle East era after the First World War: nationalism, self-determination, national language and letters, the role of religion, national development patterns and relationships, which is not surprising.
With the old colonial forces Some leaders see Turkey as a model of a strong secular government, democracy and nationalism based on the Turkish identity.Others, by looking at especially Iran and Afghanistan, are trying to re-open their Islamic roots, especially Tajiks who are trying to establish new ties with the great Persian world. Others have sought to support the old dictatorship of Central Asia, therefore the region shows the divergent opinions, values and cultures among these five central asian republics where culture plays the dual role of harmony and conflict. Nevertheless, culture can be used as a way to resolve these conflicts among the region and spread peace and harmony among them.