This is a selection of resources on Living in Central Asia available from the NLB catalogue or the Internet and is not meant to be an exhaustive list. If you know of or come across more useful resources, please drop us a note so that we can share them with our readers.
NLB print and digital resources
Intangible cultural heritage of Uzbekistan
This is a joint publication of the National Commission of the Republic of Uzbekistan for UNESCO and International Information and Networking Centre for Intangible Cultural Heritage in the Asia-Pacific Region under the auspices of UNESCO (ICHCAP). It provides educational insights to Uzbekistan’s oral traditions and forms of expression, performing arts, customs, ceremonies, festivals and traditional crafts.
All rights reserved, Istanbul: MegaBasım, 2017
Social and cultural change in Central Asia: The Soviet legacy
From this book, learn about the influence of Soviet culture and society during the Soviet era on the Central Asian countries of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. It also traces the continued impact of socialism on the region’s society, culture and politics.
All rights reserved, Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge, 2014
Central Asia travel guide
Be transported to the heart of Central Asia by this Lonely Planet travel guide which comes replete with full-coloured maps and pictures, and contains immersive cultural insights to the history, customs, art, literature, architecture and cuisine of the region. Countries covered include Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and more.
Retrieved from OverDrive. (myLibrary ID is required to access this ebook.)
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Food and identity in Central Asia
Enrich your knowledge of Central Asian food and learn about the etiquette of food consumption, food preparation and offerings, food sharing rituals and the integral connection that food serves in understanding everyday life, festivity, health, economy and politics in the region.
Hats, carpets, and dances: Bits of Central Asia’s intangible culture added to UNESCO list
In December 2019, Uzbekistan’s Khorazm dance, Kyrgyzstan’s iconic hat - the kalpak- and Turkmenistan’s traditional carpet making art were added to UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage list. Watch a mesmerising Khorazm dance performance from the video clip embedded in the article.
Embassy of the Republic of Kazakhstan in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland - Cultural heritage
This website provides an overview of Kazakhstan’s culture and its ethnic composition. It also features the ‘Seven Facets of the Great Steppe’ initiative that highlights Kazakhstan’s culture of horsemanship, ancient metallurgy, animal art and celebrates its importance as the cradle of the Turkic world and the birthplace of apples and tulips. Links are provided for those who wish to read up more on Kazakhstan’s language and alphabet, cuisine, cinema, literature, music, theatre and dance, fine art and fashion, handicraft and national dress.
Carpets in Uzbekistan: History and traditions
Discover the Uzbek tradition of carpet weaving from this article, which explains in detail the origins of this art form and the different carpet designs and techniques associated with different tribal groups and time periods. It also examines the evolution of carpet weaving into a home craft in the 19th and early 20th centuries and its emergence as an invaluable artefact for documenting Uzbekistan’s cultural heritage.
Uzbek dance art: Past and present – In the wake of Tashkent encounters
The origins of the traditional Uzbek dance date back to the 10th and 11th centuries and were modelled after the movements of animals and birds. Individual dance movements were imbued with meaning and dance was also used to reflect the material culture, work and everyday life of the people. Also featured in the article are brief biographical profiles of famous female dance pioneers who helped to promote and preserve Uzbekistan’s traditional dances over the decades.
This website from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan provides a good introduction to the country, covering its history, foreign policy, economy, healthcare, education, sports, culture and tourism.
The Embassy of the Kyrgyz Republic to the USA & Canada - About Kyrgyzstan
Kyrgyzstan is a landlocked country covered with mountainous terrain. Read up about the country’s history, geography, economy and tourism potential from this website from the Embassy of the Kyrgyz Republic to the USA & Canada.