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Uzbekistan: how Timur and the Soviet period are studied?

Elena Vanyashova is the teacher with a 38-year experience. She teaches history and public disciplines in the Academic lyceum at the Samarkand Institute of Economy and Service. Our conversation is how the history is taught today in Uzbekistan:
- As for such subject as “History of Uzbekistan”, there is the textbook according to which training is conducted. Certainly, a lot of things changed from the Soviet period. And, it concerns not only the contemporary history of the country and the world.
Let's take, for example, discussion about when the Middle Ages come to an end and New time begins. Someone believes that border of eras is the bourgeois revolution in England, and someone considers that speech needs to be conducted about Great geographical opening. In any case, we accepted the second point of view, and I think that it is absolutely logical: after these events the Great Silk Road lost the former value.


- The interpretation of the Soviet period of republic history, for certain, underwent big changes.


- You know, in two decades there were different estimates of this period of history of Uzbekistan. There was even one very subjective textbook in the 90th years. And it is difficult to call it as the textbook: only the quotes and any statements; it had an obvious anti-Russian orientation …
The teachers complained in the ministry concerning this textbook. I have to notice that when we address with similar requests, they listen to us. So was in this case too. But, by the way, it was written in the Soviet textbooks that the Russian Empire pursued here a colonial policy – in principle, we nearby left from it … But, certainly, we teach objectively: we show all parties of historical process. It is impossible to forget about the positive moments too!


- I thumbed through the textbook of history and found out that there is no such concept as the Great Patriotic War in it…


- Yes, there is no such concept in textbooks – the story is about World War II. The term to which all of us, of course, got used, now isn't used at all. Though we explain on the example of war of 1812 what is “patriotic war”. But the matter is not in the name – in textbooks the essence of events is stated without notes.
We tell to children that more than one million people was evacuated to Uzbekistan during the war, 200 thousand children were sheltered there. Tens large industrial enterprises, cultural institutions known to all country appeared in the territory of Uzbekistan during the war and 120 thousand inhabitants of the republic were awarded by awards and medals. Pupils know Gafur Gulyam's well-known poem “You are not the orphan!” Generally, there are no any extremes now.


- I paid attention that a lot of attention is paid to the identity of Timur who in Russia is known by his aggressive campaigns and thanks to story with opening of his tomb because of what allegedly the war began …


- For many people Timur is the cruel conqueror, but let's look at eyes of the people living here. He created the great empire which had many achievements and people have the right to be proud of him. Timur, really, made much – therefore the monuments are put to him.
Do you know that he gave the names to suburbs of Samarkand according to the names of the capitals of the large states which he won. That is, Timur wanted to emphasize with it greatness of the capital. Certainly, all this is studied – in the same way, as well as Timur's code. There are many wise thoughts. Who will begin to argue with his words: what is the force? In justice!


- In Kyrgyzstan there is such subject as “manas history”. Is the analog in Uzbekistan?


- No, there is no something similar. We have many public disciplines which give to pupils a complete idea of the country and the world.


- Is the modern history of Uzbekistan studied actively?


- It is studied very actively. For this purpose there are all opportunities: where 13% of gross domestic product are allocated for an education system?! Believe me, it is very serious figure, and we see the results, for example, on infrastructure development. And parents see it and children.
Certainly, the period after achievement of independence is studied rather in detail: and the declaration on independence of Uzbekistan, both presidential government introduction, and country development till the today's moment …
But, it is necessary to tell that we have no blind learning. Certainly, we study the book of the president Islam Karimov “Uzbekistan on a threshold of achievement of independence”, but it is quite clear: the articles of the head of the state since 1989 are collected and they give an idea of how the country lived at this time.
I will tell you directly, the president is respected at us very much. Not so long ago he celebrated anniversary – the 75 anniversary, but everything was made modestly and tactfully. The people of Uzbekistan, really, love the president. We have many guests and often people from Western Europe, from Russia can't understand it. But it is necessary to understand that it is the East, other culture, other mentality. And the Russians who live in Uzbekistan well understand it.
Citizens of the country see that there was a civil war in Tajikistan, in Afghanistan the war doesn't stop many years, in Kyrgyzstan there are revolutions and excitements constantly … Uzbekistan against the neighbors is the stability island. The people appreciate that very much.
The person thinks of how to build the house, to hold a wedding on 500-600 people. I didn't make a reservation – so many guests happen; they can present everything from the shelf for footwear and up to the car. Of course, money is necessary to buy that therefore they go on earnings to Russia. There it is possible to earn the necessary sum quicker.


- Do the pupils receive any representation about the history of Russia?


- Sure! What the period we would study, we can't do without the story about Russia. How to tell about establishment of the Soviet power in Uzbekistan if not to explain what occurred in Russia? Why there was a revolution? Generally, pupils receive idea of history of Russia, since the most ancient times. They know about the Battle of the Ice and the Poltava fight, about Alexander Nevsky and Peter the Great …


- In what language do you teach?


- It is necessary to explain that Uzbekistan is the multinational country; the representatives of very many nationalities live there. Therefore the Russian always is in great demand; it is also studied at high school now. Children can study in classes with training in the Uzbek language or in the Russian. Parents solve where their children will study. In higher educational institutions just the same principle works. It happens that one Uzbeks study in the Russian group – it doesn't surprise somebody.


- Why do they choose the Russian language?


- Simply the people consider that it is possible to get a good education in the Russian language. There is no need to say why… It needs to be developed everything, after all studying the Russian, pupils are acquainted with the Russian culture which know and respect around the world.
You would see, with what pleasure my pupils prepared the video movie “History of the Palace of the Romanovs in Tashkent”, how it was interesting for occupations! In general I consider that the history needs to be studied through the culture - it is the most fruitful approach!

Viewed : 2258   Commented: 0

Author: Vladimir Kuzmenkin

Publication date : 26 September 2013 21:34

Source: The world and we

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