The Land of Tajiks 
(by Tirdâd)

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Tajik people

Cyrllic alphabet for Tajik



The land of Tajiks, as an  Indo-European  speaking people, is in the  territory known since ancient times as Bactria, Maverannahr, the Parthian  Kingdom and the Kingdom of Kharazm, the Kingdom of  the Samanids and  the states of Seleucids, Tamerlane, the Bukhara Emirate and the Kokand (Qoqand) Khanate once flourished in this region.

The Andronovo Culture shows evidence of a very early history (late Bronze Age) of the Indo-Iranian speaking peoples in Central Asia.

The cities of Samarkand and Bukhara served as major centers of trade and enlightenment on the crossroads of the Great Silk Road linking the civilizations of the East and the West.

The land of Tajiks is a  land of ancient and highly developed culture. It gave the world many outstanding scientists and poets: Al-Khwarazmi, the 9th century mathematican and astronomer, Ibn-Sina, the physician and enlightener of the 10-th11th centuries, known in West as Avecenna; Rudaki, court poet in Bukhara in the time of the Samanids. Alisher Navoi, the great poet and philosopher of the past, lived and worked in Samarqand. Tajiks also venerate Firdausi, a poet and composer of the Shah-nameh (Book of Kings), the Persian national epic, and Omar Khayyam, of Rubaiyat fame, both born in present-day Iran but at a time when it was in the same empire as Tajikistan.
This land is rich in ancient monuments of material culture. Archaeologists have discovered relis of great ancient civilizations – Baktria, Khorezm, Khujand , Sogdiana, Ferghana. In ancient Afrosiab they found remnants of clay sculptures, frescoes and carvings. The 7th-8th centuries saw the emergence of new forms of architecture: mosques, madrasahs, minarets, etc. monumental sculptures and paintings give place to ornamental and epigraphic decorations.

Some of the world's most audacious and beautiful examples of Islamic religious buildings are to be found in the land of Tajiks, especially in the cities of Bukhara and Samarkand.
The Tajik people

As the largest people (between 18-20 millions, Afghanistan excluded) in  Central Asia Tajiks (the self-name Tojik) speak Tajik (Persian) language  which  refers to the west group  of the Iranian   languages.  
         
The majority of Tajiks live outside border of what   is  known as Tajikistan today.The largest  number  of Tajiks  are living in Uzbekistan today but they live even in N.W.  Kyrgizistan, Southern Kazakistan, Turkmenistan and western China.
Tajik girls

Tajiki boys
The Tajiks, as  an Indo-European speaking people,  have  inhabited  Central  Asia since the dawn of civilization and are most  closely related  to the people   of Iran. They have gave name to all of what today is Kazakistan , Turkmenistan, Afghanistan etc. The -stan Suffix, in these countires names, means land in Tajik(Persian) language.

Tajiks have been in Central Asia for thousands of years,  making   them the oldest of all Central Asian groups.


A Tajik beauty
Due to the Soviet policy of cutting across existing  ethnic and linguistic lines ,  most of Tajiks live outside border of what is  known as Tajikistan today.The largest  number  of Tajiks are living in Uzbekistan, where the majority of Tajiks are forced to be registered as Uzbeks (the Tajiks on the official Uzbeki data, make about 4% of the population of this republic), but  the real number of Tajiks  living  in Uzbekistan believed to be nearly  42  percent (11-14 millions) of  the population.
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Tajiks in Uzbekistan are settled in the valleys of rivers   Zerafshan,  Shirbadarya, Fergana valley (all around: Chust, Kasansoy, Marghilan), Sorkh ( to the south from Kokand ) , Jizzakh province, on the right  inflows of  the  river Surkhandarya, Chorvok area, in the upper    Kashkadarya, Burjmolla, Sukh enclave, Khiva and other areas. Tajiks are  the  majority of population  in  cities Samarkand  and Bukhara.                                  
In the north and north-east of  Afghanistan live over 4.5 million tajik. They also live in the frontier regions  of Kirgizistan (between in Batken and Osh provinces) , western  China and south-west of Kazakhstan.   See map
central asia etnics
    Perso-Tajik Literary -, Science - & Philosophy Celebrities      
The  Tajiks   (Persian in Central Asia) produced some of history's most important  thinkers.   Abu Ali Ibn-Sina ( Avicenna, 980 to 1037), from Buchara was the gratest medic of his   age.       
Al Khowrezmi /Khwarizmi (Latin: Algorismi)
, from Khorezm, was a mathematican who gave his name to algoritm. The title of another of his mathematical works, Al-Jebr, became algebra.

Al-Beruni, from Khorezm, was the world's foremost astronomer in the 11th
centuary when he worked in Gurganj(now Urgench). He knew that the earth rotated and that it circled round the sun, estimating the distance to the moon to within 20km. He also produced the worlds finest encyclopedia.        
      
The Tajik/Persian poetry, prose, manuscript, miniature  has developed during   many centuries. The new literary language - Persian/Tajik - has been formed in 9th -10th centurries. The  genius poet,  Rudaki, the father of Persian/Tajik litterature, has improved the language  using it for the first time in secular poetry, laying down foundations of a number of literary genres. Rudaki stars in the national pantheons of the Persian-speaking world: Afghanistan, Iran, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. From this time, there begins a long and brilliant growth of literature that has gained a world glory.
                 

At the end of 10th century, Ferdowsi creates his famous heroic epopee "Šăhnăme" (The Kings Story), outweighing all existed works.   11th century was marked by creation of such genre as romantic epos. There appears a number of poems written by Onsori, Ayoki, Gorgani in this style,  but the wreath of beauty became  "Khamsa"of   Nezami   composed by him in the 12th century. In 13th century  there appears  "Bustan" and "Gulistan" of Saadi, in 14th century the works of continuers of romantic epos - Amir Xusravi Dehlavi  and Xaju Kirmani, Kamol Xujandi (Khujandi) and the master of gazele  Hafez.
 

M.J.M. Molavi Rumi (born , c. September 30, 1207, Balkh  died December 17, 1273. ) also called by the honorific Mawlana  the greatest Sufi  mystic and poet in the Persian language, famous for his lyrics and for his didactic epic Masnavi-ye Ma'navi (“Spiritual Couplets”), which widely influenced Muslim mystical thought and literature.
             

The 15th century is Jami poetry, that has covered by stylistics all genres of preceded literature. The Persian/Tajik literature developed in a vast territory of Iran and Central Asia , distributing due to wanderings of poets, scientists, travelers, merchants and sending of illustrated miniature manuscripts.

Here are some of them:
Avicenna
Biruni
Xujandi
Khwarizmi
Rudaki
Fârâbi Jâmi
Attâr
Lâhuti
Ayni
Khayâm
Ferdowsi
Ghafurov
Tursunzâde
M.J. Rumi
N. Khosrow
A. Ansâri       Onsori


Links:

Tajikistan Travel

Silk road

Adventure on the Roof of the World: Travel Tajikistan

Books from Tajikistan

Tajikistan: Maps and Geographics

Khorasan

PROMINENT TAJIK FIGURES OF THE TWENTIETH CENTURY

Uzbekistan, Ethnic Composition and Discriminations

Major Ethnic groups in Central Asia

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