In order to promote the traditions and culture of the Uzbek people in the United Kingdom, in March 2013 the Embassy of Uzbekistan organized and participated in a number of events dedicated to the Navruz spring festivities in London and Cambridge.
Together with the Forum of Culture and Arts of Uzbekistan Foundation a presentation of Navruz was organized at the Embassy. In his speech the Ambassador of Uzbekistan Otabek Akbarov said that Navruz was and remains one of the most beloved holidays and is widely celebrated throughout the country. It symbolizes the arrival of spring and is associated with the awakening of nature, kindness and joy. People gather together, visit relatives, and also prepare a variety of dishes, in the first place – Sumalak (Sumalyak is a delicacy prepared in large pots for 24 - hours by boiling sprouts of wheat grains and flour until reduced to an apple butter-like consistency). Along with us, Navruz is celebrated by more than 300 million people in Central Asia, the Caucasus and the Black Sea basin. In 2009 it was included to the list of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO, and in 2010 the UN General Assembly recognized the 21st of March as International Day of Navruz.
The guests were shown an exhibition of paintings of the young artist Timur D’Vatz. He grew up in Tashkent and studied at the Republican College of Arts named after Pavel Benkov. His works are inspired by our ancient culture, traditions, myths and legends, fine arts, which flourished on the Great Silk Road, including the Oriental miniatures and the Byzantine tapestries. Their distinctive features are the imagery and symbolism, as well as oblongness of depicted figures, which creates the impression of movement of the static image. The artist's paintings, especially, «Running Deer», «Hunting», «Winter», «Lion» and «Night of Spring», attracted the keen interest of the guests.
Timur developed his skills at the Royal Academy of Arts in London, where he won the Guinness prize for «The Best First Time Exhibitor». His first personal exhibition was held in the famous Cadogan Contemporary Gallery. Currently his paintings are demonstrated widely on the international level, including in France, the UAE, China and Singapore.
Then, the Ambassador informed the guests about the IV International Children’s Pictures Biennale «Joy of Tashkent», which was held in December 2012 in the capital of Uzbekistan. In the event, organized by the Academy of Arts of Uzbekistan jointly with the Fund Forum, the drawings of children from 27 countries of the world took part. The representative of Britain Sarah Chellis was awarded a diploma and a commemorative medal for her drawing under the category «My Dream». These awards were presented to Sarah’s classmate from «Holland Park School».
In his welcoming speech to the guests, Timur said that since his childhood he was inspired by the traditions and history, reflected in the architecture and handicrafts, as well as the light of the sun, vivid colors of nature and the colors of the national costumes in the rural areas of Uzbekistan. He remembered the village «Sidjak» located on the slope of a mountain, from which one could see the roofs of the houses where apples, pears, grapes and tomatoes were dried, which created an amazing carpet of colors for the artist.
In the course of the musical program of the evening performed a dancer San’at Mahmudova with doirist Dilshod Alambaev (dances «Doira Raks» and «Lazgi»), a graduate student at the University of Cambridge Lea Katzelnik from the United States (song «Have you also missed us, spring?»), as well as «Sharq» group (song «Navruz» and a potpourri of «The Beatles» songs in Uzbek arrangement). Guests were also offered a variety of dishes and drinks of the Uzbek cuisine, including Plov, Sumalak, Chak-chak, Norin, Samsa, etc.
Also Navruz was celebrated in Cambridge in the framework of the traditional annual festival «Navruz in Cambridge». Among organizers were the Cambridge Central Asia Forum, Cambridge University Uzbekistan Society and the Embassy of Uzbekistan. Along with musical performances of students and professional artists, a reception was held with national tables of the participating countries. Students and professors of the University of Cambridge, as well as residents of this city and tourists were guests at this event.
This year, the events dedicated to the Navruz also took place in the University College London in the framework of the «UCL Central Asian Spring Festival 2013». The festival was organized with an active participation of the Youth Division of the British-Uzbek Society. In the courtyard and the halls of the College a charity fair was organized with master-class on preparation of Uzbek Plov, traditional games and theater performances, souvenirs, various concert program, followed by reception with national dishes and drinks.
welcomes the guests
Painter Timur D’Vatz
Painting of D’Vatz “Night of Spring”
Painting of D’Vatz “Winter”
Painting of D’Vatz “Hunting”
Painting of D’Vatz “Lion”
Painting of D’Vatz “Running Deer”
Performance of Lea Katzelnik
(song “Have you also missed us, spring?”)
Performance of San’at Mahmudova (‘’Lazgi” dance)
Performance of San’at Mahmudova with doirist Dilshod Alambaev
(“Doira Raks” dance)
Performance of “Sharq” group
Dr Shirin Akiner and Timur D’Vatz
General secretary of British Kurash Association Paul Sawyer
and Executive Headteacher of Avonbourne College Debbie Godfrey-Phaure
Conclusion of UCL Central Asian Spring Festival - 2013
Press-service of the
Embassy of Uzbekistan
10 April 2013