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Tajikistan is a landlocked country in Central Asia that borders Afghanistan to the south, China to the east, Kyrgyzstan to the north, and Uzbekistan to the west and northwest. The ancient Silk Road passed through it. The nation is unique in that the majority culture is non-Turkic, unlike its neighbors to the north and west and east. Tajikistan is the poorest country out of the former soviet states, the poorest country in Central Asia and one of the world's poorest, largely owing to a devastating civil war that broke out shortly after independence in 1991. (less...) (more...)
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The region covering today's Tajikistan was part the of Persian empires for much of its history. This region has been an important place for flourishing Persian culture and language.
In recent history, Tajikistan has experienced three changes in government and a five-year civil war since it gained independence from the USSR in 1991. A peace agreement among rival factions was signed in 1997 and implemented in 2000. The central government's less than total control over some areas of the country has forced it to compromise and forge alliances among factions. Attention by the international community in the wake of the war in Afghanistan has brought increased economic development assistance, which could create jobs and increase stability in the long term. Tajikistan is in the early stages of seeking World Trade Organization membership and has joined NATO's Partnership for Peace. In recent years, Unemployment has been fought by the government with a huge success, though the country has been unable to cope up with the problems left behind of the civil war. Today, most prospects of change are clearly being evident to help recover the country, though much of these measures are proving to be inefficient and unfulfilling.
Mid-latitude continental, hot summers, mild winters; semiarid to polar in the Pamir Mountains.
Tajikistan is a stunning place, and there is plenty to do, from the Silk Road mystique of places like Khujand and Istaravshan, to the stunning, untouched mountain scenery of the Pamirs and their accompanying allure of unclimbed peaks and virgin trekking routes. Fan Mountains could be a good alternative to the Pamirs. They are easy to reach and provide good trekking options.
Food in Tajikistan is a cross between that of Central Asia and that of Afghanistan & Pakistan along with a bit of Russian influence. If you like Russian food, you will probably have a good culinary experience. If you find Russian food bland, you may have a rough time here.
- Plov- The national dish is made with rice, beef or mutton, and carrots. All fried together in vegetable oil or mutton fat in a special qazan (a wok-shaped cauldron) over an open flame. The meat is cubed, the carrots are chopped finely into long strips, and the rice is colored yellow or orange by the frying carrots and the oil. The dish is eaten communally from a single large plate placed at the center of the table. Plov is generally referred to as "osh" in Tajikistan.
- A traditional dish that is still eaten with hands from a communal plate is qurutob, before serving the dish is topped with onions fried in oil until golden and other fried vegetables. No meat is added. Qurotob is considered the national dish.
- Laghman- a pasta soup dish served with vegetables and lamb or beef. Try the stir-friend Uyghur varieties available at several restaurants in Dushanbe.
- Sambusa- (baked pastries)
- Shashlik (shish-kebab)- Grilled-on-coal fish, liver, chicken, mutton and beef.
- Tushbera soup- (like ravioli, or pasta with meat in it)
- Ugro soup- (handmade spaghetti soup served with cheese cream and basilic)
- Jiz-biz- (fired freshcut lamb or mutton on its own juice)
- Dolma- (steamed rolls with grape leafs and meat inside, served with sour cream and red pepper)
- Mantu -(steamed dumplings with meat inside, served with sour cream and fried onions)
- Shurbo- (fresh vegetable soup with lamb or beef, served with green onion and basilic)
- Many types of bread like chappoti, kulcha, nan, fatir, qalama, etc.
- Damlama- (like English stew, steamed lamb or beef with vegetables in its own juice)
- Khash- (soup with sheeps' legs and arms, joints and tendons)
- Melons and watermelons are extremely popular among locals and are very cheap in local markets
Take care with street food and do NOT eat unwashed vegetables and fruits. It's best to soak them in distilled water and cook thoroughly.
Now, the situation is different. National cuisine is becoming more popular in Tajikistan, such as Shurbo, Oshi Palov, Mantu, Sambusa, etc.
- Green tea- Tajiks customarily enjoy drinking unsweetened (or sweetened) green tea all throughout the day. Hence, it is the country's national beverage.
- Compote- A distilled fruit punch.
- Traditional Tajik padded coats. Comfortable and perfect for the colder weather in the mountains. The ensemble can be completed with a hat and sash.
- Mercedes Benz (c. USD7,000) cars and Land Cruisers from Dushanbe's Sunday Car Market. Also available: Russian cars, jeeps, minivans and an assortment of other models.
- Vodka. Ruski Standard is the best one by far.
- Rugs and carpets. The good ones are imported from Afghanistan or Uzbekistan.
Somoni (Tajik: cомонӣ) has been the national currency since October 2000 and we use the ISO 4217 international currency code of TJS placed before the amount in all our articles. However, when you're shopping locally, you may see a variety of notations placed before or after the amount.
Banknotes come in TJS1, 3, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, and 500 denominations and you may find TJS0.05, TJS0.10, TJS0.20, TJS0.25, TJS0.25, TJS0.50, TJS1, TJS3 and TJS5 coins in circulation.
Approximate exchange rates in September 2013 were:
This article is based on Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike 3.0 Licensed text from the article Tajikistan on Wikivoyage.
Cities in Tajikistan
Points of Interest in Tajikistan
There are two UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Tajikistan: the proto-urban site of Sarazm in Panjakent and the Tajik National Park encompassing the Pamirs in the east of the country. The mountains of Tajikistan are among the highest in the world with three peaks higher than 7,000m and more than half of the country is located over 3,000m above the sea level.
Palace of Nations - Dushanbe
Khujand Museum - Khujand
Lake Zorkul - Murghob
Sarez Lake - Rushon
Somoni Monument - Dushanbe
Tajikistan National Museum - Dushanbe
Shaykh Maslihiddin Mosque - Khujand
Dushanbe Opera - Dushanbe
Dushanbe Zoo - Dushanbe
Pamir Stadium - Dushanbe
Fort Hissar - Dushanbe
Tajik State Technical University - Dushanbe
Lake Iskanderkul - Dushanbe
Haji Yakoub Mosque - Dushanbe
Nurek Dam - Dushanbe
Lake Kara-Kul - Murghob
Victory Park - Dushanbe
Takob Ski Resort - Dushanbe