Uzbek Culture is one of the brightest and original cultures of the East. It is famous with it's incomparable national music, dances and painting, art and literature, unique national kitchen and clothes.
Uzbeks make up the majority of the country's population, but there are many different ethnic and cultural groups represented in Uzbekistan. About 71% of people in Uzbekistan were Uzbeks in 1995.
The majority minorities were Russians (8.4%), Tajiks (officially 5%, but thought to be significantly higher), Kazaks (4.1%), Tatars (2.4%), and Karakalpaks (2.1%), with Armenians and Koryo-saram making up the remainder. However, it is said that as Uzbeks return from other regions of the former Soviet Union and Russians and other minority groups gradually leave, the population of non-indigenous people in Uzbekistan is declining.
It was commonly believed that Muslim extremism would spread throughout the area once Uzbekistan attained independence in 1991. One anticipated a very quick increase in the manifestation of the prevailing faith in an Islamic nation that had long been denied freedom of religion.
In 1994, it was estimated that more over half of Uzbeks were Muslims, but only a small percentage of them actually knew what Islam was or how to perform it, according to an official poll.
The literacy rate in Uzbekistan is high, with 98% of adults over the age of 15 being literate. However, as only 76% of those under 15 are now enrolled in school, this number might go down in the future. The budget for Uzbekistan's educational program is severely underfunded.
Yangi Yil is the name of the New Year's festival that Uzbeks have. They celebrate New Year's Eve, decorate a tree for the new year, and exchange gifts with one another. After supper, a man costumed as Father Time and Santa Claus arrives and the celebration continues as they sing and listen to traditional Uzbek music.
To ring in the new year and continue the festivities, they sing the Uzbek National Anthem at midnight. In addition, Nowruz is the most celebrated holiday among Uzbeks and is also thought to be the most ancient. The major theme of the occasion is represented by the variety of dishes on the set table and the colorful traditional clothes. But Sumalak, which needs to be simmered all night, is the holiday's main dish.
Local agriculture has an impact on Uzbek cuisine, just like it does in most other countries. Palov (also called "plov" or "osh") is a traditional main dish from Uzbekistan that is often cooked with rice, chunks of meat, and chopped carrots and onions.
Oshi Nahor, or Morning Plov, is generally offered to large groups of guests as part of a continuing wedding celebration in the early morning (between 6 and 9 am).
Other noteworthy national meals include: shurpa (shurva or shorva), a soup made of huge pieces of fatty meat (typically mutton) and vegetables.
Norin and lagman, noodle-based dishes that may be served as a soup or a main course.
Manti, chuchvara, and somsa, packed pockets of dough eaten as an appetizer or a main course.
Dimlama (a meat and vegetable stew) and various kebabs, usually served as a main course.
At the 2000 Summer Olympics, Artur Taymazov became the first wrestler from Uzbekistan to win an Olympic medal. He also won two gold medals in the Men's 120 kg division at the 2004 and 2008 Summer Games. Uzbekistan's boxer in the WBA is Ruslan Chagaev, a professional. Following his victory over Russian Nikolai Valuev, he was became WBA champion in 2007. Prior to losing it against Vladimir Klitschko in 2009, Chagaev had two successful championship defenses.
The International Kurash Association is based in Uzbekistan. The traditional Uzbek martial art of Kurash has been internationalized and updated. In Uzbekistan, football is the most popular sport. The Uzbek Competition, which consists of 16 teams, is Uzbekistan's top football league. FC Bunyodkor is the current champion, and FC Pakhtakor Tashkent holds the record for most titles won with eight.
Server Djeparov is the player of the year for 2010 at the moment. Uzbekistan frequently competes in both the AFC Cup and the AFC Champions League. The first international club cup for Uzbek football was won by Nasaf in 2011 with the AFC Cup.