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DAYS OF RUSSIAN CULTURE IN TAJIKISTAN

Days of Russian Culture in the Republic of Tajikistan were held in April when the old hospitable Tajik land celebrated the spring holiday of Navruz. This event became an evidence of close relations and friendship between the two countries strengthening the best traditions of our history through this kind of cultural activity.
The mission of Russian culture in Tajikistan is, first of all, in bringing together people on humanistic principles and their appreciation of culture.

The opening ceremony took place on April 7, 2004, in the Concert Hall named after Borbad in Dushanbe. The opening remarks were made by Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Tajikistan Ms. Khairinisso Mavlonova who welcomed the participants of the Days of Russian Culture in Tajikistan on behalf of President Emomali Rakhmonov. The history of Russian-Tajik relations, she said, is characterized by our commonly shared values. Art, music, culture, and literature intervened and influenced each other thus creating a phenomenon of change and stability of relations. Several generations of Tajik musicians, singers, actors, art directors and composers have been trained by Russian school of culture. Our cultural cooperation has a long tradition. Many poets, thinkers and people of culture of multinational Russia admired masterpieces of Tajik classical literature, were inspired by the poems of Rudaki, Firdausi, Khayam, Khafiz and Djami.
Personal friendship and cultural ties between Sadriddin Aini and Maxim Gorky, Mirzo Tursun-Zade and Nickolai Tikhonov, Bobodjon Gafurov and Russian orientalists are still among the best examples of our cooperation. We are happy that after gaining independence, Tajikistan continues developing traditional cultural relations and cooperation with Russia and that both countries preserve their cultural identity.

In his return speech, Head of the Federal Agency on Culture and Cinematography Michael Shvidkoy expressed the hope that cultural relations between the two countries will create favorable grounds for the development of good neighborhood relations between Tajikistan and Russia and will serve a new impulse to the development of their cultural ties. "It is a great honor for me to be on this stage today and to open the Days of Russian Culture in Tajikistan. People of your country have a special sense of beauty and penetration to the secrets of human soul. I do not have to tell you what the poems of Rudaki, Khafiz and Omar Khayam meant for Tajiks and for all of us in the Soviet Union. Opening the books of these outstanding Tajik philosophers and poets we felt as if we were coming close to a special world of beauty and a special understanding of life. I am sure that after gaining independence your country has preserved this sense of beauty because the need for beauty is very high.
The relations we have had with your country, with your cultural and public representatives prove that this sense has developed and strengthened despite the years of the civil war which are fortunately over. You came back to a peaceful life and you appreciate its value and its fruits. These Days of Russian Culture in Tajikistan have been made possible because your Republic, under the leadership of President Rakhmonov, is going through a period of development and stability. Representatives of Russian culture highly appreciate this possibility to come to your beautiful land. I hope that these Days will open a new phase of our spiritual development. I have always had the best memory of Tajikistan.

This morning, when we brought flowers to the wonderful monument of the Samanids I met my friends - graduates from the Theater School and we understood that neither years, nor borders or difficult times can separate us. It felt as we have just left our school garden and walk together on the road of life.
I believe that our both nations have preserved this feeling of unity and solidarity. I am happy to welcome the Tajik people on behalf of the Government of Russian Federation and to thank you for the opportunity to represent Russian art in your wonderful country. In my turn, I am happy that we have come to an agreement with Minister of Culture Mr. Amirov that in 2005 we will be happy to receive Tajik actors on the land of Russia and to provide them with a warm welcome - same as we received in Dushanbe. We have prepared for you a very good concert. Please allow me, as a sign of a special attitude and sincere friendship, to give you a part of Russian heart and Russian soul. Thank you again for Tajik hospitality."
His speech was followed by the hymns of Russian Federation and the Republic of Tajikistan. A slight accent of the master of ceremonies - the Honored Actress of Russian Federation Galina Preobrazhenskaya who greeted the Tajik people on behalf of the Russian delegation in the Tajik language was both pleasant and compelling.
The concert included P. Tchaikovsky and M. Dunayevsky works wonderfully performed by the Chamber Orchestra "Moskovia" led by the People's Artist of Russia Edward Grach; adagio from "Don Quixote" ballet performed by the Honored Actress of Russia and the People Actress of the Republic of Tatarstan Lilia Musavarova and the People Actor of the Republic of Tatarstan Aidar Akhmetov; A. Khachaturian's "Waltz", musical illustrations to M. Lermontov's "Masked Ball" performed by "Moscow Balalaika" Quartet; a "Gypsy Song" and "Light is the Night" performed by a laureate of international competitions of young singers Helena Guliaeva; "Kalinka" and "Tap-Dance" performed by Moscow State Dancing Group "Russian Seasons", musical parodies by Michael Vashukov and Nickolai Bandurin, etc. None of these left the Tajik audience indifferent. Bursts of applause were often interrupted by "Bravo!" and "Encore!".

The Days of Russian Culture in Tajikistan lasted from April 7 to April 12, 2004. The Tajik people had a chance not only to get acquainted with the musical art of Russia but also visit an exhibition of applied Russian art in the National Museum named after Behzod. The exhibition displayed works of traditional art centers which are a pride of both Russian national and the world culture. These were works of Golden Khokhloma; Torzh golden embroidery; Gorodetzk wooden painting; varnish miniature from Fedoskino, Palekh, Mstera, Kholui, decoratively painted trays from Nizhny Tagil and Zhustov; Rostov and Vologda enamel; Gzhel, Kislovodsk,
Lomonosov and Verbilki porcelain; stone carving from the Urals; Bashkirian and Mordovian national art; Ryazan, Krestetz, and Chkalovsk embroidery; Vologda and Eletzk lace; Russian matreshka and clay toys.
The exposition including over 300 works of national art gives a good idea of the multiplicity of traditional applied Russian art which has deep roots in Russian culture.
Days of Russian Culture in Tajikistan were accompanied by a festival of Russian films and meetings with popular Russian actors and film critics.
On the last day, April 11, young people filled the biggest stadium in Dushanbe to meet with their favorite group "Regular Swindlers".
The Days of Russian Culture in Tajikistan are over. It is always sad to say good-bye, yet people of Tajikistan hope there soon will be another meeting with their Russian friends.
There is no doubt the Russian actors have left unforgettable impressions on the Tajik audience.
"Khush omaded!" - "Welcome!" - we say in Tajikistan.

Prepared by
Mukharam Komilova

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