Uzbekistan is a land of paradoxes, both enjoyable and surprising for foreign visitors. One
of the ex-Soviet Asian republics, it is located in the center of what the British writer Colin
Thubron called “the Lost Heart of Asia,” a country of deserts, mountains, picturesque
oases, green and clean cities, and hospitable people. One of the least-traveled-to tourist
destinations in the world, Uzbekistan is famous for its fabulous architectural monuments
and the exotic spirit of the Great Silk Road, the ancient trade route connecting East and
West, which has left its stamp almost everywhere. At the same time, it is a country of tight
government control – a legacy of the Soviet Union and the response to a difficult political
context. The Uzbek variety of a post-socialist society combines traditional, Soviet, and
modern cultures in a unique and exciting mix.
Uzbekistan is a multicultural society where old and revived traditions coexist with modernity.
Medieval mosques stand opposite restaurants offering both food and popular music;
narrow lanes with adobe houses are now hidden behind wide streets flanked by trees and
concrete apartment blocks.
Culture Smart! Uzbekistan will take you beyond the standard descriptions of minarets,
kebabs with vodka, embroidered skullcaps, and Soviet-style bureaucracy. It will make you
aware of the value systems, attitudes, and behaviors of the different cultural groups in the
country, and offer an insider’s view of Uzbekistan’s fascinating history, national traditions,
various cuisines, and cultural scene. It will tell you what the peoples of Uzbekistan are like
at home, at play, and in business, and give practical advice on how to behave in different
situations so as to make the most out of your visit.

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Uzbekistan is a land of paradoxes, both enjoyable and surprising for foreign visitors. One of the ex-Soviet Asian republics, it is located in the center of what the British writer Colin Thubron called “the Lost Heart of Asia,” a country of deserts, mountains, picturesque oases, green and clean cities, and hospitable people. One of the least-traveled-to tourist destinations in the world, Uzbekistan is famous for its fabulous architectural monuments and the exotic spirit of the Great Silk Road, the ancient trade route connecting East and West, which has left its stamp almost everywhere. At the same time, it is a country of tight government control – a legacy of the Soviet Union and the response to a difficult political context. The Uzbek variety of a post-socialist society combines traditional, Soviet, and modern cultures in a unique and exciting mix.

Uzbekistan is a multicultural society where old and revived traditions coexist with modernity. Medieval mosques stand opposite restaurants offering both food and popular music; narrow lanes with adobe houses are now hidden behind wide streets flanked by trees and concrete apartment blocks.

Culture Smart! Uzbekistan will take you beyond the standard descriptions of minarets, kebabs with vodka, embroidered skullcaps, and Soviet-style bureaucracy. It will make you aware of the value systems, attitudes, and behaviors of the different cultural groups in the country, and offer an insider’s view of Uzbekistan’s fascinating history, national traditions, various cuisines, and cultural scene. It will tell you what the peoples of Uzbekistan are like at home, at play, and in business, and give practical advice on how to behave in different situations so as to make the most out of your visit.

ALEXEY ULKO is a linguist, art critic, filmmaker, and writer. A First Class Honors graduate in English Language and Literature from the University of Samarkand, Uzbekistan, he taught English there for ten years and became the first Hornby Scholar from Uzbekistan to obtain an MEd TTELT degree from the College of St. Mark and St. John in the UK. Since 2003, he has been an independent consultant in Englishlanguage teacher training, a translator, and a writer on contemporary Central Asian culture and art. He has made several short films and spoken at conferences on the subject. He is a member of the Association of Art Historians and the European Society for Central Asian Studies