Thirty-one years ago, in late August and early September 1991, the former Soviet Republics of Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and Kyrgyzstan declared their independence from the Soviet Union. Since that time, the citizens of these three ‘Stans have been building their countries and their national identities as independent nations in the modern world.
Their journey has not been easy. The transition from being controlled from Moscow, politically, culturally and economically, has presented many challenges which continue today. Tajikistan began its independence with a five-year civil war, which resulted in the death of an estimated 20,000 to 150,000 people and the internal displacement of about 10-20% of the population.
Economies in all three countries suffered in the transition, and it was difficult for many families to put food on the table. Entrepreneurship was a new concept for most people, and it has been a steep learning curve. Addressing the needs of people in rural regions has been challenging. The pandemic has exacerbated many internal, regional, and global problems. Yet, the people persevere and continue to build for the future.
HoonArts would like to offer our congratulations to the people of all three countries for their resilience and amazing accomplishments during the last 31 years. It's so easy for people in the West to forget that 31 years is a very short time period in 21st century nation-building. Many also fail to realize that these countries bring over 4000 years of civilization, embodied in multiple empires each lasting hundreds of years, to the table.
While all three countries face many continuing challenges, we are confident that they will continue to build and grow. We also believe that the people of the region will play an increasingly important role in solving regional and global problems.
We would like to especially celebrate the people of these Silk Road ‘Stans who have been working continuously to reclaim and honor their historical, cultural, and artistic heritage in a way that was not permitted during Soviet times. HoonArts is proud to work with master artists in all three countries who are devoted to preserving that cultural and artistic heritage for future generations, while also working to become active and resilient participants in the modern world. They are wonderful role models for building bridges that celebrate unity in diversity.
Congratulations and may the future grow ever brighter!