Tags / Uzbekistan
Riders from all the surrounding villages take part in an Uloq competition in Ertosh. Participating in Uloq competitions is considered a good way to demonstrate mens' strength to women.
Photos by Alexey Volosevich.
Moynaq used to be the biggest port on the Aral Sea, now the site of one of the biggest ecological disasters of the last half-century. Our contributor looks into the state of the sea, and the affect the sea's disappearance is having on a local population that once hosted a thriving fishing industry.
Cairo, Egypt | March 24, 2012
Iranian diplomats along with ambassadors of other six states celebrated the Nowruz Festival on Saturday evening, March 24, for the first time in Egypt.
Ambassadors and diplomats of Iran, Turkey, Azerbaijan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan jointly held the celebration in a big hotel in Cairo.
Ties between the mainly Sunni Muslim Egypt and predominantly Shiite Iran were severed in 1979 following Iran's Islamic Revolution and Egypt's peace treaty with and recognition of Israel. The relations improved since January 25 Revolution toppled Egypt's former regime in Feb 2011.
SOUNDBITE 1 (Arabic) – Mojtaba Amani, Head of Iran's Interests Office in Cairo, Egypt:
"The relations are already existent. We're ambassadors of seven states sharing the Nowruz, besides some other countries. We are looking forward to more cooperation due to our shared cultures. None of these countries or those neighboring countries in the Arab region would want anything wrong for the other countries."
Other diplomats of other states also attended the celebration, including China's Ambassador to Egypt Song Aiguo who hoped that this happy feast brings nations together for more cooperation and enhanced relations.
SOUNDBITE 2 (English) - China's Ambassador to Egypt Song Aiguo:
"This is the first time for me to attend such a celebration of the Spring Festival, the celebration of Nowruz, in Egypt. I think it is a happy occasion to bring all those nations together. Now we're in the spring, in such a wonderful season. I think the spring will bring a lot of good things for the people of China, Egypt and those people celebrating this great event." In May, 2010, the United Nations announced March 21 as the International Nowruz Day.
The day is celebrated by more than 300 million people worldwide, marking the beginning of spring.
Local News Agency: Middle East Bureau / VCS
Shooting Dateline: March 24, 2012
Shooting Location: Cairo, Egypt
Publishing Time: March 24, 2012
Video Size: 119 MB
Language: Arabic and English
1. Various shots of the ambassadors of participant countries receiving the guests
2. Tilt down, banner of the festival with flags of participant countries at the entrance of the celebration hall
3. Wide shot, guests at the celebration hall
4. Medium shot, Mojtaba Amani, Head of Iran's Interests Office in Cairo speaking during the celebrations
5. Various shots of guests talking and eating during the celebration
6. Various shots of a dance performance during the celebration
7. Medium shot, the open banquet at the celebration hall
8. SOUNDBITE 1 (Arabic) – Mojtaba Amani, Head of Iran's Interests Office in Cairo, Egypt:
"The relations are already existent. We're ambassadors of seven states sharing the Nowruz, besides some other countries. We are looking forward to more cooperation due to our shared cultures. None of these countries or those neighboring countries in the Arab region would want anything wrong for the other countries." 9. Medium shot, a dance performance during the celebration
10. Various shots of diplomats speaking during the celebration
11. Medium shot of guests
12. SOUNDBITE 2 (English) - China's Ambassador to Egypt Song Aiguo:
"This is the first time for me to attend such a celebration of the Spring Festival, the celebration of Nowruz, in Egypt. I think it is a happy occasion to bring all those nations together. Now we're in the spring, in such a wonderful season. I think the spring will bring a lot of good things for the people of China, Egypt and those people celebrating this great event."
13. Medium shot, ambassadors of participant states standing side by side
14. Close up, the cake
15. Medium shot, ambassadors holding the knife and cut the cake together and clapping
While dancing, Mugat wedding attendees put money in each other's headdresses. The money is meant to symbolize wealth. The tradition is an adaptation of a local Uzbek custom of throwing money at the dancers as a gift and allowing the children to collect the money. However, the Mugat are cautious of thieves and prefer to put the money directly into another person's headdress.
Guests also brings presents to the boy who is being circumcised. The gifts can be clothes, toys or just money.
The 9 year old boy who will be circumcised. The age of circumcision varies, but is usually performed before the boy hits puberty. The primary determining factor is the family's ability to gather money for the ceremony. Mugat tradition forbids photographing of the actual circumcision.
A boy escaping from the ceremony place.
Cars parked in front of the place of ceremony. Mugat are known for driving old Soviet cars, like those pictured here.
However, the poverty of Mugat society means that most cannot afford cars and many still use donkeys.
Mugat children, including the boy to be circumcised stand in front of a Soviet era monument to fallen soldiers.
Relatives of the boy to be circumcized arriving at the ceremony
The boy's parents have to arrange the help of all of their relatives and friends in order to help feed the approximately 200 guests.
Photos of dead relatives are placed above a carpet depicting the Kabaa in Mecca. This is done as a sign of respect to the dead relatives.
Twin sisters. Their parents rented dresses for them for the ceremony.
Mugat men and women always sit at separate tables.
Mugat love to decorate their houses with cheap Chinese landscape pictures.
Chickens and watermelons are very cheap and a common staple of any meal in Uzbekistan
Children help their parents serve guests.
According to tradition, every family at the ceremony will receive a dish full of fresh meat and a bottle of vodka. Despite the fact that the Mugat are Muslims, alcohol, and especially vodka is an accepted legacy of heavy Russian influence in the region.
Fresh meat and vodka are very desirable products for Mugat, symbolizing prosperity. Guests will take this meat home.
Lamb is often the meat of choice.
Like Roma gypsies, gold teeth are common fashion for the Mugat. The gun pictured in this photo is a toy gun intended as a gift for the boy being circumcised. Guns are strictly forbidden in Uzbekistan.
Teenage Mugat girls enjoy their time at the ceremony. Most ethnologists believe the Mugat have Indian origins, causing many to draw parallels between the Mugat and the Roma gypsies of Europe. The comparison is not based solely on ethnicity, but also on lifestyle. The Mugat, like the Roma Gypsies, live on the fringes of society and have strong and insular communities.