About: Tajikistan in Focus

Hello, this is a blog that will try to bring some of the history and also current events in Tajikistan into focus.  I will try to use scholarly sources, alongside popular media sources, perhaps with some entertainment sources mixed in.  Art, stories and anec-data; I will try to make use of wikipedia in an appropriate way.

The Sogdians were noted for their tolerance of different religious beliefs. Zoroastrianism was the dominant religion among Sogdians and remained so until after the Islamic conquest, when they gradually converted to Islam, as is shown by Richard Bulliet‘s “conversion curve”.[22] Manichaeism and Nestorian Christianity also had significant followings. Much of our knowledge of the Sogdians and their language comes from the numerous religious texts that they have left behind.

The Sogdians spoke an Eastern Iranian language called Sogdian, closely related to Bactrian, another major language of the southern part of Central Asia in ancient times. Sogdian was written in a variety of scripts, all of them derived from the Aramaic alphabet.

Even in the Middle Ages, the valley of the Zarafshan around Samarkand retained the name of the Sogdian, SamarkandArabic geographers reckoned it as one of the four fairest districts in the world. TheYaghnobis living in the Sughd province of Tajikistan still speak a dialect of the Soghdian language.

The great majority of the Sogdian people assimilated with other local groups such as the Bactrians, Chorasmians, and in particular with Persians and came to speak Persian, and in 819 A.D. founded Samanid Empire in the region. They are among the ancestors of the modern Tajiks. Numerous Sogdian words can be found in modern Tajik language.

The Afrasiab painting of the 7th century in Samarkand is a rare surviving example of Sogdian art

 See also: Samanid dynasty

Modern Tajiks regard the Samanid Empire as the first Tajik state. This monument inDushanbe honors Amir Ismail Samani.

Acharya Yaska‘s Nirukta[8] (7th century BC) attests that the verb Śavati in the sense “to go” was used by only the Kambojas. It has been shown that the modern Ghalcha dialectsValkhi, Shigali, Sriqoli, Jebaka (also called Sanglichi or Ishkashim), Munjani, Yidga and Yaghnobi, mainly spoken in the Pamir mountains and countries on the headwaters of the Oxus, still use terms derived from ancient Kamboja Śavati in the sense “to go”.[9] The Yaghnobi language, spoken by theYaghnobis in the Sughd Province around the headwaters of Zeravshan valley, also still contains a relic “Śu” from ancient Kamboja Śavati in the sense “to go”.[10]

Further, Sir George Abraham Grierson says that the speech of Badakshan was a Ghalcha until about three centuries ago when it was supplanted by a form of Persian.[11] Thus, the ancient Kamboja, probably included the BadakshanPamirs and northern territories including the Yaghnobi region in the doab of the Oxus and Jaxartes.[12] On the east it was bounded roughly by Yarkand and/or Kashgar, on the west by Bahlika (Uttaramadra), on the northwest by Sogdiana, on the north by Uttarakuru, on the southeast by Darada, and on the south by Gandhara.

Numerous Indologists locate original Kamboja in Pamirs and Badakshan and the Parama Kamboja further north, in the Trans-Pamirian territories comprising Zeravshan valley, north up parts of Sogdhiana/Fargana — in the Sakadvipa or Scythia of the classical writers.[13]

Thus, in the pre-Buddhist times (7th–6th century BCE), the parts of modern Tajikistan including territories as far as Zeravshan valley in Sogdiana formed parts of ancient Kambojaand the Parama Kamboja kingdoms when it was ruled by the Kambojas till it became part of Persian Achaemenid Empire. After the Persian Empire was defeated by Alexander the Great, the region became the northern part of Hellenistic Greco-Bactrian Kingdom.

From the last quarter of 4th century BCE until the first quarter of the 2nd century BCE, it was part of the Bactrian Empire, from whom it was passed on to Scythian Tukharas and hence became part of Tukharistan. Contact with the Chinese Han Dynasty was made in the 2nd century BCE, when envoys were sent to the area of Bactria to explore regions west of China.

The Samanid Empire supplanted the Arabs and enlarged the cities of Samarkand and Bukhara, which became the cultural centers of Tajiks (both of which are now in Uzbekistan). The Mongols would later take partial control of Central Asia, and later the land that today comprises Tajikistan became a part of the Emirate of Bukhara. A small community of Jews, displaced from the Middle East after the Babylonian captivity, migrated to the region and settled there after 600 BCE, though the majority of the recent Jewish population did not migrate to Tajikistan until the 20th century.

Turkestan ASSR — Formed on 30th of April 1918, on the territory of the former Turkestan General-Governorate. As part of the delimitation programme of Soviet Central Asia, the Turkestan ASSR along with the Khorezm SSR and the Bukharan PSR were disbanded on 27th of October 1924, and in their place came the Union republics of Turkmen SSR and Uzbek SSR. The latter contained the Tajik ASSR until December 1929 when it too became a full Union republic, the Tajik SSR. The RSFSR retained the newly formed Kara-Kirghiz and the Kara-Kalpak Autonomous Oblasts. The latter was part of the Kirgiz, then the Kazak ASSR until 1930, when it was directly subordinated to Moscow.

a mountainous landlocked country in Central AsiaAfghanistan borders it to the south, Uzbekistan to the west, Kyrgyzstan to the north, and People’s Republic of China to the east. Tajikistan also lies adjacent to Pakistan‘s Chitral and the Gilgit-Baltistan region, separated by the narrow Wakhan Corridor, which is claimed by both Pakistan and Afghanistan.



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