суббота, 30 ноября 2013 г.

The Turanian Tiger

The Turanian Tiger (sometimes called Caspian Tiger) is an extinct subspecies which lived in Turkey, Iran, Mongolia, Afghanistan, Central Asia as well as Karakalpakstan.

In 1894 due to the increasing cases of tiger attacs  on people, a special team of hunters. This team was directed to hunt tigers in the Daw Kara, Chimbay region at the Amudarya. During hunting several tigers were killed, one of the hunters died of wounds inflicted by a tiger 
Also the last Turanian Tiger was seen in Kegeyli region of Karakalpakstan in 1974. Now some old people remember this tiger very well. According to them, till the late 1980s people were afraid to go alone in the forests of Amudarya delta because they regularly heard about that Tiger living somewhere in the forest. The name Turanian is derived from the word Turan which was the name of the lands of present Central Asia.

пятница, 29 ноября 2013 г.

Shawle-Traditional food of Karakalpaks

Shawle is one of the delicious traditional meals of Karakalpaks and it is very often cooked at any Karakalpak family. This meal is also served to guests in different celebrations.
 Below I will give you the recipe and instruction to cook it and you will feel the real taste of Karakalpak national meal.
I will give you the recipe for cooking a meal enough for 4 people. In order to cook Shawle, you will need:
-2 kilo rice;
-2 kilo carrot;
-1 kilo meat;
-0.5 liter oil;
-0.1 kilo onion;
-2 liters water;
-Salt depending on your taste;
-a bulb of garlic (if you want);
and a bigger pot to cook in.

Firstly, you should clean the carrots and cut into long and thin pieces. Then wash the rice in cool water. To begin cooking you should pour the oil into the pot on an oven. When the oil is heated enough put the meat into oil to fry it. Then onions and salt should be added to the frying meat. When meat turns into brown add the cut carrot to them to fry for a while. Then pour a bit water enough to cover the carrot’s surface. Let all the ingredients boil till they are half ready. Next you can add the rice but don’t mix it with other ingredients. Then pour water enough to cover the surface with about 4sm level. You can add extra salt if you think it is not enough. Then boil them till the rice is ready to eat. Now you can serve it with salads.
The history of this meal is not exactly known. But some scientists give the following assumption:
As you see this meal is very similar to Uzbek traditional meal pilaf. So, Shawle may be a kind of quick version of Pilaf. In the past, Karakalpak tribes had to move very often depending on social-economical or political reasons. They had to face with wars with different enemies. So, during such war times they had to be very quick even when eating a meal and they learned to cook Shawle. Because Shawle takes much less time to cook than Pilaf. Also scientists guess that the word Shawle is derived from the Karakalpak word “Jawla” which means “to invade” or “to attack”.

In modern life of Karakalpaks Shawle is one of the most preferable meals. But now they cook and eat Shawle because it a very tasty, useful and energetic traditional meal, but not because they have to be quick and be ready to fight against an enemy J

“Qalim”-payment for a Karalpak bride

“Qalim”-payment for a Karalpak bride
Like most of the Asian nations, Karakalpaks also has a tradition of paying for the bride a particular amount of money or some other valuable things. This payment is called “Qalim” in Karakalpak language and it is usually paid by the groom’s parents to the bride’s parents.

Let’s begin from the beginning. To get married is one of the most important and difficult tasks of a Karakalpak guy. A boy who is in love with a girl should firstly gain her heart. And everybody knows how it is difficultJ. When he persuades the girl he should inform his parents that he wants to get married. Then the guy’s parents send their representatives to the girl’s home to get her parent’s agreement on the wedding. Those representatives are called “Sawshilar” and they should be very responsib
le. When the sawshilar get the agreement of the girl's parents they will be told about the amount of the traditional payment for the future bride. Of course the girl’s parents ask for much more than the usual amount. The representatives should try to persuade them to agree with as less as they can.

In the past, the payment Qalim was paid with horses, camels, bull, sheep and goats or other valuable things. But in modern weddings, as a result of developing and modern society, Qalim is paid in cash. Nowadays it has an average amount of 8 million Uzbek soms ($4000). However giving some cattle as a present for the future bride’s family is still partly present. Besides that the groom must give some presents to the bride’s parents and other family members. Then groom must buy different clothes and jewelries for his bride. And then the groom and his parents may begin to prepare for the long lasting wedding. But it is another part J.

Complex Mizdahkan

Complex Mizdahkan
Complex Mizdahkan is one of the most interesting, at the same time secret historical places of Karakalpakstan. The archeological complex includes several historical monuments of Zoroastrianism and Islamic culture and they are located on two hills. The name Mizdahkan was given by Russian archeologist Aleksandr Yakubovsky. He studied the site from 1928 to 1929 and he believed the site to be the ancient city of Mizdahkan mentioned in the writings of the medieval writers. Mizdahkan was the second largest city of Khorezm covering 200 hectares and it was the centre of trade, art and culture as it was located on the Great Silk Road.
The first inhabitants of the city lived in 4th BC and they were Zoroastrians. After invasion of Arabs the people started to accepted Islam and Zoroastrianism monuments changed by Islamic architectural monuments. The city was destroyed and rebuilt several times. In the 13th century it was fully destroyed by Mongol invaders under Genghis Khan and it was rebuilt under the Golden Horde. Mizdahkan suffered a lot when Amir Timur was liberating Mowerenahr from Mongols in 1388’s as it was located in his way to Kunya-Urgench (Old Urgench).

Archeological complex Mizdahkan consists of several monuments like Gyaur-Qala fortress, Shamun Nabiy, Mazlumkhan- Sulu, Madrasa Caliph Erejep and Djumart Khassab dakhma. The complex is located near Khojeli city of Republic of Karakalpakstan. In modern life of people of Khojeli Complex Mizdakhan is known a pilgrimage place. The name Mizdakhan is recognized by minority of population because majority knows this place as Nazlimkhan Suluw or Gyaur-Qala. If you ask local people about Mizdakhan Complex it is possible that they don’t understand what you are asking about and if you say Nazlimkhan Suluw or Gyaur-Qala nearly everybody understands and can show you the way. The Fortress Gyaur-Qala is known among local people as a secret place which hides many not fully known events and legends.

“Qara uy” or Karakalpak yurts

“Qara uy” or Karakalpak yurts

I think everybody knows what is a yurt if you don’t know you may find its explanation nearly in all dictionaries. One of them has this explanation: “Yurt- a large round tent used especially by people in Central Asia”.

Yes, maybe some people in Europe and America may imagine yurts when talking about Central Asia. Yurts were used by all the Central Asian nations in the past as these nations were nomadic and half nomadic many centuries ago. A yurt was a very comfortable and easy-built house for nomadic people. Because it doesn’t take much time to built or to pick up and a camel can carry it.

Karakalpaks were half nomadic people in the past. Like their neighboring nations, their main activities were cattle-rising, agriculture and fishing. Karakalpaks had to move to one place to another as they needed new grasslands for their cattle and fertile lands to grow crops. At such times yurts were very comfortable living place. It was cool in summer and warm in winter.

Karakalpaks used sheep wool to make felt for yurts.

 It has an open circle roof and it is called “Shanaraq”. The shan’araq can be opened and closed. The shanaraq of a Karakalpak yurt is considered to be more solid than that used in the Turkmen or Qazaq yurt. The word "shan’araq" also has the meaning "family" in Karakalpak language. Maybe this is because a whole Karakalpak family lived under that roof “shan’araq”.

In modern life of Karakalpaks, yurts don’t have actual role as in past. Nearly all Karakalpaks nearly stopped using yurts as the development of new society in middle of 20th century. However, there some type of people who still use yurts to live in. They are herders who herd and look after thousands of ship, goats, cows, horses and camels. They have to move often to different places to find new grasslands for their herds. So yurts are still the only comfortable and compact living place for them.

Yurts also can be used as an attractive object in hotels, restaurants, cafes etc. for visitors. Many hotels and cafes offer a delicious Karakalpak dinner table inside a yurt for guests. There are also yurt camps near historical monuments like Fortress Ayaz Qala. These yurt camps are organized to make impression of true traditional Karakalak life for tourists.