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Address by the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev at the Opening Ceremony of the Bakhshi International Art Festival
Distinguished participants of the Festival!
Dear friends!
Ladies and gentlemen!

First of all, I am happy to see you, my dears, in our beloved Uzbekistan, on the beautiful land of Surkhan.
From the bottom of my heart I congratulate all of you on the solemn opening of the Bakhshi International Art Festival.
Over 160 representatives from 74 countries of the world are participating in this festival of art which is hosted in our country for the first time ever.
We are pleased that they include renowned people of art, folklore, as well as representatives of media.
Allow me to express profound gratitude to:
UNESCO’s high ranking representative Andrey Shevelov;
The Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization - ISESCO Cultural director Rhiyadi Salih;
The World Crafts Council’s Asia Pacific Region president Ghada Rida Hijjawi;
Advisor to the President of Kyrgyz Republic Sultanbay Rayev;
Minister of Culture and Sport of the Republic of Kazakhstan Aristanbek Muhamet-ogly;
Minister of Culture of the Republic of Tajikistan Shamsiddin Orumbekzoda;
Deputy Minister of Culture of Turkmenistan Kurbanmurat Miradaliev;
Governor of Balkh Province of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan Muhammad Iskhaq Rakhguzar and our other foreign friends.
We consider you, our dear guests, as close friends of our people and culture. Today, on behalf of our people and country, we express sincere respect and esteem to all of you.
Welcome to Uzbekistan!
Dear friends!
It is an open secret that invaluable jewels of culture created by humanity are, above all, reflected in the folklore art of each and every nation.
The art of bakhshi, which reflects the national uniqueness of various nations, their language and lifestyle, customs and traditions, is dear to all of us as an integral part of this universal culture.
These immortal pieces of universal cultural heritage communicate to us that the origins, historical roots and noble ideals of humanity are alike since the future aspirations of representatives of various nations and ethnicities also stand common.
Along with this, it is not a secret that at this time of globalization, in the complex period of ever growing malicious influence of “mass culture” and show business which became a tool of commerce, the attention and interest to folklore which is a source of any national culture is unfortunately decreasing.
Meanwhile, the art of folklore, if you wish, is humanity’s childhood song.
And the fact that such a unique and great art turns into a mere sample of cultural heritage, forgotten in many places, needs protection and preservation is a bitter truth of our time.
My dear ones, I am confident that this truth worries you the most since you are the real advocates of this beautiful and unique art.
Therefore, preserving and developing this incomparable classical art and rare pieces of folklore which are our unique cultural wealth, passing them safely to future generations is a noble duty of scholars and artists, statesmen and people of art, and entire scope of figures of culture with an advanced mindset.
In this context, we should extend thorough support to folklore and the unique talent of those who are named as bakhshi, jirov, akyn, manaschi, shoir and oshiq in various lands and combine the skills of poets, musicians and singers.
I would like to emphasize that the Bakhshi International art festival which is starting today is aimed at such profound and important goal indeed.
In this regard, in the first place we should accomplish a serious joint work to deeply study and consolidate the scientific and theoretical bases of the bakhshi art turning it into a “visiting card” of national culture.
It will be expedient to restore and develop creative schools in bakhshi art and traditions of “master and apprentice”,
provide for incentives to the creative and scientific activity of bakhshi-poets, folklore scientists, teachers and experts,
establish creative clubs for teaching the bakhshi art at the cultural and art institutions,
create broad opportunities for bakshi-poets, ensure their constant participation at weddings, various holidays and cultural events,
strengthen international cooperation, establish mutual exchange of experience in this area,
effectively use modern information and communication technologies, television and internet opportunities, multiply the audio and video versions of the works of folklore to widely promote the bakhshi art.
If today we don’t join our efforts to preserve this art, then, unfortunately, it will be late tomorrow. The future generations and history won’t forgive us.
Allow me to briefly dwell on the work being accomplished in this sphere in Uzbekistan in recent years.
With an aim to preserve and develop folklore, one thousand years anniversary of «Alpomish» epos was widely celebrated in our country.
This magnificent square where we have gathered today accommodates a sublime monument installed in honor of this great artistic heritage. Samarkand accommodated a monumental complex dedicated to the memory of our renowned bakhshis.
The «People’s bakhshi of Uzbekistan» title of honor was specially instituted in our country.
Hundreds of our youth are keenly studying the national folklore art at a newly established bakhshi school in Termez and at the children’s schools of music and arts nationwide.
One hundred-volume «Monuments of Uzbek folklore» set of books is being published now in our country. In particular, its volume No.59 consists of folk eposes. Besides, the «Karakalpak folklore» multi-volume set of books was published.
All of the aforementioned proves that this type of art plays an extremely important role in our spiritual life.
Along with this, continuous work is underway to record and scientifically study the pieces performed by bakhshi-poets. The books and albums, films and television shows related to this sphere are being created.
Our people are also pleased with successful participation of our bakhshis in international contests and in Uzbekistan’s cultural days abroad.
Certainly, such accomplishments were not achieved out of nowhere.
We can be proud of the fact that the Uzbek bakhshi school gave the world such bright performers as Ergash Juman-bulbul ogly, Islom shoir, Fazil Yuldosh ogly, Polkan shoir, Bola bakhshi, Esemurat jirov, Sherna bakhshi, Mardonaqul Avliyoqul ogly and Qodir Bakhshi Rakhimov.
Today, these creative traditions are being further enriched by dozens of their followers such as Shomurod Togaev, Shoberdi Boltaev, Abdunazar Poyonov, Qakhkhor and Abdimurod Rakhimovs, Qalandar bakhshi, Gulnara Allembergenova, Ghayratdin Otemuratov, Shodmon Khojamberdiev and Ilkhom Norov.
On this joyous occasion we pay homage to the memory of figures of science such as renowned poet Khamid Olimjon, Khodi Zarif, Muzayana Alaviya, Mansur Afzalov, Buyuk Karimiy and Zubayda Khusainova who have greatly contributed to scientifically studying the art of bakhshi.
We remember with gratitude the good names of Tura Mirzaev, Jalghas Khushniyozov, Safarboy Rozimboev, Shomirza Turdimov, Mamatqul Juraev, Toshtemir Turdiev, Jabbor Eshonqulov and other dedicated scholars who are now commendably continuing their work.
Along with this, we are sincerely grateful to foreign scholars, who are learning in-depth the Uzbek national arts of folklore and disseminating it actively throughout the world, such as Oh Eunk Yung from South Korea, Karl Reichil of Germany, Fikret Turkman and Selami Fidakor of Turkey.
Dear participants of the festival!
Certainly, it is not by chance that we are holding this prestigious forum in this ancient and ever-young land of Surkhan.
When we speak about Surkhandarya, above all, we perceive the sacred land – the home to great saints and scholars, as well as brave, noble and dignified people.
The ancient caves of Zara-Vutsoy and Teshiktosh, petroglyphs on the Bobotog and Baysun, the states of Bactria and Kushan, as well as rare monuments such as Dalvarzin-tepa, Kampyr-tepa and Kholchayon testify about ancient civilization and culture of this land.
Should a person once see the beautiful nature of the area, and in particular, places of wonder such as Oltynsoy, Sangardak, Khonjizza, Sayrob and Darband, and listen to the dastans and selections performed by bakhshis upon local hills, he would fall in love indeed with this land forever.
Surkhandarya was initially famous for being a home to bakhshis. Alonside the Republic of Karakalpakstan, Kashkadarya, Samarkand, Jizzakh and Khorezm regions, Surkhandarya, and in particular, the Sherobod school of dastan is now well-known and famous in our whole area.
All of us are pleased that thanks to selfless labor of our people, Surkhandarya is turning into one of the most prosperous regions of Uzbekistan, into a venue of science and education, culture and tourism, and now also turning into a center of the art of bakhshi.
The people of Surkhan, who sincerely love the arts and music and highly value the people of creativity, are welcoming this forum with joy and happiness as a big holiday.
We are very pleased to see tens of renowned bakhshi performers, folklore groups and acclaimed people of the sphere who are joining us today from near and far countries of the world.
Dear friends, let us cordially greet and wish creative achievements to all of them along with expressing our respect and salutations!
Dear compatriots!
Distinguished guests!
I believe that this festival, which is being inaugurated with your participation, will take its solid place among the ranks of the most prestigious forums of art in the world.
The bakhshi performers are not only the echo of the people’s past, but also the vibrant voice of today.
Dear guests, we wish so that by seeing the life of our beautiful country, you will be able to put new songs and dastans about your feelings and impressions, about our magnanimous and hospitable nation, about its culture and unique values.
I also wish many successes to the international scientific and practical conference to be held in the framework of the festival.
Taking this opportunity, I express a sincere gratitude to distinguished ambassadors of foreign states and the representatives of international organizations who are joining us today.
Dear fellow countrymen!
Allow me to express my cordial gratitude to all people, hospitable and noble residents of Surkhandarya who did their best to organize at high level today’s festival of art and splendor.
I wish all of you a sound health, family happiness and new accomplishments!
Thank you for your attention!
(Source: UzA)
Bakhshis’ songs from around the world sound at Amudarya shores
On April 6, 2019, the solemn opening ceremony of the International Bakhshi Art Festival took place in Termez.
Ancient Termez is festively decorated in the national spirit – one of the cradles of world civilization. Serious preparation for the International Bakhshi Art Festival, first held not only in Uzbekistan, but throughout the world, gave a peculiar beauty and charm to this ancient and eternally young city, which is considered the southern pearl of Uzbekistan.
On the shores of the Amudarya – witnesses of all epochs of development of this ancient region, over the centuries, overcame various trials of life. An ethnographic town has been created on the territory of 32 hectares of the majestic Palace of Arts, which reflects the past and present landscaped life of the Republic of Karakalpakstan, the city of Tashkent and all regions.
Theatrical performances, performances of folklore and ethnographic groups are shown on the small stages of the town. At artisan trade fairs, foreign tourists can see ancient suzane, costumes, carpets, national folk instruments, ceramics, and family ceremonies at guest houses.
A modern scene has been built on the territory of the Palace of Arts, where the main events of the festival will be held, a majestic monument in honor of the great spiritual source of our people, the Alpamysh dastan, has been installed on a wide square.
Flags of the participating countries of the festival are fluttering around the majestic amphitheater. Decorations of the Kuhitan Mountains behind the scenes seems to attract us in the Alpamysh era.
President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev delivered keynote speech at the grand ceremony and congratulated those gathered on this event.
The art of bakhshi narrators, reflecting the national identity of different peoples, their language, lifestyles, customs and traditions, is of particular importance as an integral part of human culture. These immortal works, themselves vivid examples of the world cultural heritage, testify to the common historical roots, the noble ideals of humanity and, naturally, the desire of all peoples for a bright future, Shavkat Mirziyoyev suggested.
In his welcome speech, the Head of the state expressed his views on contemporary requirements, on the protection of values, on the work of bakhshis and the mission of scholars. His words “folk art is a lullaby of humanity” and “bakhshi art is not only an echo of the past, it is also the clear voice of modernity” became an expression of the essence and significance of the festival.
The International Bakhshi Art Festival, held for the first time in the city of Termez, not without reason gathered more than 160 participants from more than 74 countries to the Alpamysh region. Participation in the festival of reputable international organizations UNESCO, ISESCO, as well as honorary guests from Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Afghanistan testifies to the high status and prestige of the forum.
Within the framework of the festival, a scientific practical conference on “The role of bakhshi art in world civilization” was held with participation of local and foreign scientists. Scientists from different countries, including from the United States, Germany, France, Russia, China, Japan, Korea, and Turkey, made presentations.
During the festival, guests will get acquainted with the unique archaeological monuments of this ancient land. They will visit the world-famous complexes Khakim at-Termezi, Sultan Saodat, Iso Termezi, the holy places of worship Fayoztepa, Kampirtepa. Festivities will be held at places, demonstration of stage programs devoted to oral folk art will be organized.
Within the framework of the international festival, a competition with participation of bakhshi performers at the age from 9 to 90 will take place. Excerpts from dastans, songs, nagma, terma performed by the participants will be evaluated by an international jury and attention will be paid to national peculiarities, artistic and aesthetic aspects of oral folk art, performing skills, stage culture and other criteria. Winners will be awarded with special diplomas, statuettes of the festival and cash prizes.
The Art Forum, which will continue until April 10, will contribute to preserving and bringing to the future generations the ancient samples of bakhshi and dastans, will become a factor in further development of the country’s tourism potential, rich in historical and architectural monuments, demonstration of our unique and diverse culture to the whole world. It will play a big role in enhancing respect for the invaluable heritage in the hearts of young people, strengthening friendship and harmony among nations, expanding creative cooperation, cultural and spiritual relations on an international scale.
The Head of the state got acquainted with the new terminal of Termez International Airport, the construction of which had been completed a few days ahead of the important cultural event.
The modern terminal is capable of serving 400 passengers an hour. Particular attention was paid to the acceleration of customs control processes, inspection points and baggage claim. Passenger-friendly conditions are delivered in waiting and CIP halls, rooms for mothers and children, for prayers, a first-aid post and other departments. The venue boasts cozy duty free shops, Wi-Fi free access, as well as a visa issuing sector for foreign tourists.
The President appreciated the amenities available in the new terminal and insisted that they be used effectively. The Head of the state stressed that it is essential to increase the frequency of international flights and the inflow of tourists from abroad, and attach special significance to the quality of service. Shavkat Mirziyoyev gave instructions to perfect the design of a new runway construction.
The President of Uzbekistan visited the mausoleum of Sultan Saodat near Termez. Surahs from the Holy Quran were recited.
According to scientists, allegedly in 865, Hassan al-Amir settled with his relatives in Termez and gave rise to an influential Seyyid dynasty. In the Middle Ages, the Termez Seyyids played important role in the social and political life of various countries, particularly in the state of Amir Temur. Sahibkiran and the Temurids, who paid special attention to worshiping the descendants of the Prophet, built mausoleums and chapels here. The tombs that appeared in the following centuries were built in the architectural traditions of their time. In this regard, the complex has great historical, spiritual and cultural significance.
The President pointed out that this venue constitutes a unique spiritual heritage, a sacred place for Muslims, therefore it is vital to thoroughly study its history, bring it to the people and foreign public. The Head of the state gave instructions on landscaping the complex on the basis of archaeological research, turning the shrine into an enormous and fine-looking pilgrimage site like the mausoleums of Imam Bukhari and Zangiata.
Shavkat Mirziyoyev also visited the mausoleum of Hakim Termizi. Prayer with wishes of peace and prosperity for our nation was read out.
Complexes of mausoleums that embody our rich history, culture, architectural traditions, the International Bakhshi Art Festival held at a high organizational level will further enhance the prestige of the country on an international scale.
(Source: UzA)
Russian Zarubezhneft, Uzbekneftegaz conclude agreement on oil production conditions
JSC Zarubezhneft and Uzbekneftegaz signed an agreement on the conditions of hydrocarbon production at the “Khartoum”, “East Khartoum” and “South Alamyshik” fields, the press service of the Russian company reports.
“On April 5, 2019, in Moscow, Zarubezhneft and Uzbekneftegaz signed an agreement on the main conditions for implementation of the project in Uzbekistan and a roadmap to ensure timely and high-quality work at the “Khartoum”, “East Khartoum”, and “South Alamyshik” in order to increase hydrocarbon production,” the report said.
It is explained that the companies signed an agreement in the framework of the joint venture “Andijanpetro”. In the summer of this year, the parties plan to begin an immediate implementation of the project.
Earlier, Uzbekneftegaz and Zarubezhneft signed a memorandum of cooperation. According to the document, the parties established a joint working group. In October 2018, the companies discussed the preparation of an agreement on oil production in the east of Uzbekistan.
Zarubezhneft is a holding company uniting more than 20 joint ventures and subsidiaries in various segments of the oil and gas business. The only shareholder is represented by the Federal Property Management Agency of the Russian Federation.
Foreign investments serve the prosperity of the country
Khorezm region hosted an international investment forum “Invest in Khorezm” on April 5-6 this year.
The forum was attended by representatives of over 100 companies from more than 20 countries, such as China, Russia, France, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Turkmenistan, as well as offices of the United Nations Development Programme in Uzbekistan and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.
The local khokimiyat, relevant departments and organizations have reached a number of agreements with foreign investors on the use of innovative approaches in agriculture – the creation of cotton clusters, modern hydroponic greenhouses, intensive gardens, logistics centers, as well as livestock, fish breeding and poultry farms.
At B2B meeting, held within the framework of the forum, the khokim of Khorezm region held negotaitons with representatives of foreign companies.
Presentation of more than 100 projects in the agricultural, industrial, tourism, social spheres, a fair of products of local enterprises and small businesses attracted great interest among the participants of the event.
Within the framework of the forum, the participants visited and got acquainted with the activities of large enterprises, trade, tourism, agricultural facilities of the region.
The international investment forum “Invest in Khorezm” provided great opportunities for the development of trade, economic and investment relations between Uzbekistan and foreign countries. A number of mutually beneficial agreements have been reached within its framework.
(Source: UzA)
Uzbekistan – Kazakhstan: security cooperation expands
On April 5, 2019, Tashkent hosted the fifth round of bilateral consultations between the security councils of the Republic of Uzbekistan and the Republic of Kazakhstan.
The negotiations were chaired by the Secretary of the Security Council under the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Viktor Makhmudov and the Assistant to the President – Secretary of the Security Council of the Republic of Kazakhstan Kalmukhanbet Kasymov.
At the meeting, the parties highly appreciated the holding of regular consultations between the staffs of the security councils of the Republic of Uzbekistan and the Republic of Kazakhstan, noted that this event is important in ensuring regional security, stability and sustainable development of the Central Asian countries.
Security cooperation of Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan is multifaceted, based on the principles of eternal friendship, good neighborliness and strategic partnership.
As it was noted, in 2017-2019 high results were achieved in the fight against challenges and threats to security.
At the event, it was once again noted that further expansion and deepening of cooperation between law enforcement agencies of border regions of the countries in security and coordination of activities of state bodies at the interdepartmental level is important.
Cooperation between authorized organizations on the situation in Afghanistan, development prospects in Central Asia, ensuring uninterrupted operation of border checkpoints, exchange of experience in prevention of religious extremism and the fight against customs offenses were considered at the meeting.
Issues of further strengthening good neighborliness, ensuring stability and sustainable development in Central Asia were discussed.
It was noted that consistent implementation of tasks outlined in the roadmap of mutually beneficial cooperation for 2019-2020, full and timely implementation of the agreements reached are important.
A number of initiatives and recommendations for further development of cooperation between Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan in security were developed. The importance of strengthening and continuing at a new level dynamically developing relations was emphasized.
(Source: UzA)
Uzbekistan to host International Jazz Festival
The Fifth International Jazz Festival in Uzbekistan will be held from April 14 to 30, 2019.
According to the UNESCO Office in Tashkent, the festival is organized on the occasion of the celebration of the International Jazz Day by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Uzbekistan, the State Philharmonic of Uzbekistan, the Art and Culture Foundation Development of Uzbekistan, the UNESCO Office in Tashkent, the Ilkhom Theater/Ilkhom Jazz Club, the Municipality of Tashkent City, as well as with the support and participation of the embassies of Czech Republic, France, India, Indonesia, Israel, Hungary, Turkey, United Kingdom and Switzerland in Uzbekistan.
Director of the UNESCO Office in Tashkent, Ms Pilar Alvarez-Laso, stipulated that: “The history of jazz is inextricably linked with the history of the struggle for human dignity, democracy and civil rights. UNESCO believes in the power of jazz to promote peace, dialogue and understanding between people and nations. The aim of our festival is to provide opportunities for jazz musicians from Uzbekistan and abroad to celebrate this universal language of the world, cultural diversity and intercultural dialogue through various events. As the great Nina Simon said: “Jazz is not just music, it is a way of life, a method of being and a style of thinking”.
The International Jazz Day brings together civil society, educational institutions, artists, historians, teachers, as well as music lovers from around the world to celebrate this holiday and learn more about jazz, its roots, culture and influence.
(Source: UzA)