Tajik Culture Day

Tajik Culture Day

On Sunday, November 28, 2021, the Tajik community of Lithuania arranged the Tajik Culture Day in the club of Nemėžis village in Vilnius district. The event was held within the framework of Family weekends activities part of the Project “Bridges across communities” organised by VA Caritas together with partners Arts Agency Artscape and the Refugee Council and funded by The National Programme of the 2021-2027 Asylum Migration and Integration Fund and coordinated by VA Caritas Foreigners’ Integration programme. The families meeting from various communities in Lithuania has become known as Family Weekend over the past five months and promotes the integration, of the migrants who were granted asylum, into Lithuanian society. About 70 people participated in the Tajik Culture Day, representing the Lithuanian, Tajik, Turkish, Uzbek and other communities living in Vilnius, Kaunas and ….. districts. The invited guests also attended the event, i.e. Morgana Daniele – a Member of Parliament of the National Seimas of Lithuania and a native of Tajikistan, currently living in Georgia, writer and journalist Oleg Panfilov.

At the beginning of the event, Renata Maciunskaitė-Zujienė a representative of Caritas and Shohnaim Karim, director of the Tajik-Baltic Cultural Centre, who was responsible for organizing and hosting the Tajik Culture Day, had a good welcome speech for the participants. Then everything was organised in traditional Tajik way: the distinguished guests sat on the national kat (wooden trestle bed decorated with patterns), covered with national kurpacha (cotton mattres) and pillows. In the middle, a Tajik dastarkhan (traditional tablecloth with food) was laid out, decorated with national dishes. The reciter of Quran – Qari Abdushukur recited the sura from this holy book by heart, and upon its completion Dodojon Yakubov, the elderly of the Tajik community in Lithuania, said words of wisdom, wishing peace and good luck to everyone present. A representative of the Tajik-Baltic Cultural Centre spoke in detail about the purpose and use of kat in Tajik everyday life, and a student of the Faculty of Physics of Vilnius University Sinoi Bobojon simultaneously translated his speech into English.

This was followed by an exhibition of folk clothes, which included hand-embroidered men’s and women’s hats, clothes made from traditional materials, national women’s jewellery, a traditional bride’s wedding dress, traditional knitted Pamiri socks and other accessories. The attention of the participants was especially attracted by the hand-embroidered large red bedspread, which is usually hung in the corner of the newlyweds’ room and during the first three days of their honeymoon serves as a privacy corner for the newlyweds.

One of the attractive shows of the Tajik Culture Day was a master class on cooking three famous dishes of Tajik cuisine – qurutob (traditional food made of bread and qurut, dried balls of cheese), sambusa and oshi ugro (handmade noodles), presented by women – home cooks from the Tajik community. The participants of the event at the same time received information about the method of preparing these dishes at home, as well as about the ingredients of these national dishes.

After that the guests were invited to taste delicious Tajik pilaf prepared by Tajik entrepreneur Adam Buriev. Tajik dastarkhan (table) was also decorated with varieties of national flatbreads, halva, sambusa and other salads and sweets. At the same time, the visitors listened a short story about Tajikistan, accompanied by the show of video materials about the nature of this Central Asian mountainous country with 9 million inhabitants.

Later the visitors of the event carefully listened to the speech of the Tajik schoolgirl of a local school Sora, as she told in Lithuanian why she liked Lithuania and recited her own recently written poems about this wonderful Baltic country. Warm memories of the ethnic Jew Oleg and the Lithuanian Anatoly, who spent most of their lives in Tajikistan, were unforgettable. The deputy of the Lithuanian National Seimas Morgana Daniele and the local judo coach Andrej Klokov shared their vivid impressions of the Tajik Culture Day and called for friendship and mutual understanding between the communities.

Almost every member of the Tajik community actively participated in organizing and conducting this event, which certainly had a positive effect on abundance of national table and the colourful performances. We would like to particularly note the contribution of Tajik youth. In particular, on this day Parvina surprised everyone with her abilities of a tour guide. Vocational College student Najiba photographed interesting moments of the Tajik Culture Day for the history of the newly formed community. Nasrullo, showing his management abilities and leadership skills, proved that in the future he could easily manage to conduct such events.

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