President Shavkat Mirziyoyev’s speech at the festive event occasioned to the 30th anniversary of granting Uzbek the status of state language
I take delight in welcoming you all in this marvelous, recently commissioned palace erected in the heart of our capital city.
With all my heart I congratulate you – and all our people in your person – on the historically important date, the 30th anniversary of granting Uzbek the status of state language.
Currently, new buildings and structures are being built across the nation to afford Uzbekistan a modern look. Tashkent City business center stands out among them.
Conspicuous as it is, the architectural appearance of Tashkent City has incorporated the latest achievements and the enormous possibilities of state-of-the-art urban planning, engineering and design.
With the construction of this center on an area of 80 hectares we have sought to deliver a modern “smart” city, to boost the attractiveness of our country, especially the capital, for international, foreign and local banking and financial institutions and investors.
We are consistently implementing the Actions Strategy we had devised to uplift Uzbekistan to a new level of development. The idea of erecting the Tashkent City business center arose during its implementation.
To make such a majestic and unique project a reality – for the first time in our practice – we have had to master scores of new approaches and methods, undertake extensive design and survey works.
The total construction area is 1 million 600 thousand square meters, whose 30 percent is assigned for residential buildings, another 30 percent – for office structures, the other 30 percent is for shopping malls, while 10 percent is allocated for hospitality purposes.
Tremendous creative and construction works are currently underway at a dynamic pace in this area, and hopefully they will be completed by 2021.
In short, the construction of the Tashkent City business center manifests new directions in the development of Uzbekistan’s construction industry and modern architecture and our enormous potential in this area.
Today, thanks to its open and constructive policy, Uzbekistan is turning into a major political, economic and cultural center of our region.
Reputable international organizations and agencies, financial institutions, and business circles hold major events, conferences and meetings in Tashkent.
Naturally, Uzbekistan will host even more such forums in the future.
And I feel convinced that this complex, unique in its architectural solution and engineering design, will become a birthplace of new ideas and initiatives useful for our country as much as the international community. This is the premise where important historic documents will be adopted.
I take this opportunity, on my own behalf and on behalf of our people, to express my deep gratitude to the creators of this magnificent palace, masters of their craft – architects and designers, workers and engineers, foreign specialists.
This cutting-edge complex is a practical embodiment of the new history of a country we are creating, a new stage of development, and the creative potential of our people. It is deeply
symbolic that it is here that the celebrations dedicated to our native language are taking place, for the first time ever.
And today it gives me great pleasure to sincerely welcome you, dear compatriots, deputies and senators, esteemed veterans, scientists and culture figures, our youth, representatives of the diplomatic corps – as the first honored guests in this new resplendent palace.
Uzbek, one of the oldest and richest languages in the world, is a symbol of national identity and independence, a grand spiritual value.
Anyone wishing to feel the splendor, charm and wealth of our language, its infinite opportunities, may listen to the lullabies of our mothers, ancient dastans and makoms, songs of our hafizes and bakhshi.
The history of Uzbek, itself part of a large family of Turkic languages, is inextricably linked with centuries-old narration, dreams and aspirations, sorrows and losses, achievements and victories of our people. It was this very mother tongue that was the principal factor for our ancestors in national self-identification. In this very language did they create the greatest examples of culture, scientific discoveries, and artistic masterpieces.
In the past, various hostile forces, trying to subjugate our nation, tried primarily to deprive us of our native language, history, culture, our sacred faith, honor and dignity.
Yet our courageous and resolute people, despite all the trials that had to be endured, and the countless victims, bravely fought for their freedom and independence. Whatever the oppression and violence, they not only carefully preserved their native language, that is, their national pride, but, developing it all the way, passed it on to future generations.
Today, with immense respect and reverence we call the names of our great ancestors, writers and academics, religious figures, prominent representatives of arts who have shown real spiritual daring and dedication in order to safeguard and advance our native language.
Celebrating the current significant date, we first of all recall the 21st of October 1989, when the Law on the State Language was adopted.
It should be stressed that the adoption of this normative act, crucial in the fate and future of our people, was not easy at that very difficult time for the country, under the conditions of a totalitarian system. I think many of our compatriots remember well how the bill was sent twice to the nationwide discussion and caused enormous public debate, and was hotly discussed in the media.
I myself was a witness and a direct participant of those historic processes.
The strong position of our intelligentsia, the general public and the political will of the First President of the Republic of Uzbekistan, esteemed Islam Abduganievich Karimov, played a major role in the adoption of such an important, long-awaited document.
Uzbek as a state language has become a powerful force that can unite our people, mobilize society on the way to great goals.
I should note that the adoption of this law was Uzbekistan’s first decisive step towards independence and state sovereignty, turning into a clear manifestation of the desire of our people to determine their own destiny.
Two years later, it was in our native language that the state independence of Uzbekistan was proclaimed. The creation of the Basic Law, the Constitution of the country in Uzbek further increased its credibility.
The national anthem of the Republic of Uzbekistan, which sounds in our native language both in the country and in the international arena, fortifies the sense of the Motherland in our hearts.
Over the past years, the Uzbek language has become a spiritual bridge for representatives of more than 100 ethnic and sub-ethnic groups living in Uzbekistan, which serves to ensure peace and harmony in our society.
Five centuries ago, with his immortal works, the great Alisher Navoi made a colossal contribution to the consolidation of this sacred bridge.
We all well understand that native language is a robust foundation of a nation’s spiritual world.
The prominent Uzbek enlightener Abdulla Avloni noted that the life of any nation is reflected in its national language and literature like in a mirror.
Any state, in order to take up a place it deserves in the world community, strives first of all to preserve and develop its national language and culture.
During independence years, a great deal of work has been undertaken to implement the provisions of the Law on the State Language.
In this respect, one fact is worthy of your attention. Given that there are more than 7 thousand languages in the world, while only about 200 of them are state or official, it becomes obvious how important this law is in the life of our people.
Eventually, another important law was adopted, namely, on the introduction of the Uzbek alphabet based on the Latin script.
As you know well, Uzbekistan today is amid a new stage of development and has been consistently realizing its priority objective defined as “From national revival to national progress”.
As in all areas, extensive efforts are on track to bolster the role and authority of the state language in society.
Currently, Uzbek is actively used as the state language in the political, social, economic, cultural and spiritual spheres; it sounds from international stands.
Dozens of decrees and resolutions designed to further the spiritual development in our society, in particular, to modernize the educational sector, promote the culture sphere, arts and literature, improve the culture of reading, directly contribute to the development of the Uzbek language.
Speaking of this, one should note that in recent years, hundreds of new kindergartens, schools and higher educational institutions, newspapers and magazines, television and radio channels, publishing houses, cultural and educational institutions, libraries operating in the native language have been opened.
The Alisher Navoi Tashkent State University of the Uzbek Language and Literature was established to train specialists also in such new areas as folklore, dialectology, Turkic Studies, textual criticism. Naturally, all this is rather instrumental in the advancement of the Uzbek literary language.
New curricula are also being introduced, textbooks and manuals, popular science literature, dictionaries, academic works and monographs are being published. Practical proposals are put forward at scientific conferences and in the media for the further development of the Uzbek language.
As you may know, an Alley of Writers is being created in the National Park, itself in the heart of the capital Tashkent. There are monuments to famous representatives of our literature who made an invaluable input into the enrichment of Uzbek.
For a comprehensive and in-depth study of our mother tongue, introduction of the young generation to its richness and beauty, we have set up creative schools named after prominent poets and writers across the country.
Today, different regions of Uzbekistan are home to creative schools named after Muhammad Reza Ogahi, Iskhok-khon Ibrat, Abdulla Kadyri, Hamid Alimjan and Zulfiya, Ibraim Yusupov, Erkin Vahidov, Abdulla Aripov, Halima Khudoiberdiyeva, Muhammad Yusuf. All conditions have been created for their students to master the secrets of artistic creation.
The fact that almost 50 million people speak Uzbek in the world indicates that it is becoming one of the most widely spoken languages in the world.
Currently, Uzbekistan’s standing in the international arena has been growing steadily, and a great role in this is played by our mother tongue.
Today, the Uzbek language is studied in almost 60 universities and more than 100 schools in countries such as the US, UK, Germany, France, Sweden, Russia, Ukraine, China, Japan, South Korea, India, Turkey, Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan. The number of foreign scholars and students conducting academic research in the field of Uzbek language and literature has been growing from one year to another.
We support the creation of clubs “Friends of the Uzbek Language” at the embassies and other diplomatic missions of our country abroad.
I take this opportunity to express my gratitude to the honorable ambassadors of foreign nations and representatives of international organizations participating in the celebrations today for the respect and attention paid to the Uzbek language in their countries. I would like to express special gratitude to those foreign diplomats who study Uzbek and actively use it in their work.
As you know well, Uzbekistan has become a full-fledged member of the Cooperation Council of Turkic-Speaking States. This will serve to not only enhance economic interaction, but also boost the status of Turkic languages, including Uzbek, at the international level.
Initiatives put forward by Uzbekistan at the latest Turkic Council summit, in particular, the proposal to publish a 100-volume series of books entitled “Treasury of Turkic Literature” to incorporate literary masterpieces of fraternal peoples in their native languages, induced positive rejoinder.
Dear meeting participants!
Another important step has come to be a logical continuation of our efforts designed to develop the state language. Today I have signed a decree outlining measures to radically enhance the role and authority of Uzbek as the state language.
In accordance with the document, given the enormous historic significance of the adoption of the Law on the State Language, the 21st of October is declared as the Day of the Uzbek Language.
I believe the wide celebration of this date in our country and abroad will facilitate growth in national identity as much as more active use of the state language in all walks of life.
The decree envisages, along with other issues, the creation of an authorized structure in the Cabinet of Ministers – a new department for the development of the state language.
The department is tasked with such important missions as promoting the state language, ensuring compliance with laws related to the state language, and elaborating proposals for implementing an integrated government policy in this area building on an analysis of existing problems.
The fundamental reforms carried out today in all spheres and sectors fill our native language also with the spirit of renewal.
As a result of the rapid development of science and technology as well as the expansion of our country’s international relations, many new words and notions are introduced into the Uzbek language.
Rather important are the preservation of the purity of the national language, growth in its vocabulary wealth, creation of Uzbek versions of modern terms and provision for their uniform application. We must admit that we have flaws on this front.
The aforementioned decree envisions also the establishment of a Commission on Terms to regulate the process of introducing new words and terms into the official vocabulary.
To afford respect and honor to our native language and national spirituality is not only our common task, but also the sacred duty of every one of us.
The focus will continue to be on issues related to the comprehensive assistance to the development and enhancement of the status of the state language.
For many centuries, our land has been at the center of the interaction of great civilizations and cultures. From time immemorial, representatives of many ethnic groups live here side by side with our people in peace and harmony.
A nation that reveres its mother tongue venerates the languages of other nations and ethnicities. Today, thanks to the implementation of the policy of tolerance, representatives of more than 130 ethnic and sub-ethnic groups living in Uzbekistan as a single family are creating the necessary conditions for the development of their native language, culture, customs and traditions. This is precisely what the activities of about 140 national cultural centers in Tashkent and in regions is aimed at.
Educational institutions and mass media in our country operate, along with Uzbek, in Karakalpak, Russian, Kazakh, Kyrgyz, Tajik and Turkmen. The international community recognizes this as an experience worth learning.
Popular wisdom says: “He who knows the language of other people finds a way to their heart.” Quite telling in this respect is the life and work of distinguished ancestors, including Musa Khorezmi, Abu Raihan Beruni, Abu Ali ibn Sina, Imam Bukhari, Ahmad Fergani, Mahmoud Zamakhshari, Alisher Navoi and other outstanding scientists and thinkers. Knowledge of many foreign languages helped them reach heights in world science and culture.
The continuation of these traditions is suggestive by the fact that today, in the educational institutions of the country, young people deeply study foreign languages, including English, Russian, German, French, Spanish, Italian, Arabic, Farsi, Turkish, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Hindi, Urdu. And we fully support this desire of our youth.
In this regard, I would like to remind the statement of the outstanding enlightener Iskhok-khon Ibrat, who at the dawn of the twentieth century created a combined dictionary of Arabic, Persian, Hindi, Turkish, Uzbek and Russian languages, thus saying: “Let our youth necessarily learn other languages, but first render due respect for their native language. For devotion to the native language is a trait of a true patriot.”
I think these wise words barely need comments.
We face quite critical and urgent tasks to further increase the influence and eminence of the Uzbek language in the life of state and society.
First of all, the necessity has ripened for the improvement, based on in-depth analysis of contemporary requirements, of the Law on the State Language adopted thirty years ago.
Another urgent task is related to the comprehensive use of the state language in fundamental science, in modern information and communication technologies, industry, the banking and financial system, jurisprudence, diplomacy, military affairs and other spheres.
It is essential to expand the scope of the state language, create appropriate conditions for its learning by our compatriots of other ethnicities, and enhance the number of training centers teaching Uzbek in the country and abroad.
To this end, we have a lot to do to fashion new textbooks, thematic and comparative dictionaries, workbooks and phrasebooks, improve the Uzbek alphabet based on Latin graphics and complete the transition to this system.
At the same time, one should deeply study the peculiarities of the Uzbek language and its dialects, issues related to its history and development prospects, raise the effectiveness of specialized academic research, and drastically uplift the quality of training. And for this we will direct all the required resources and means.
Among the urgent tasks is the creation of a complete encyclopedia of the life of the great poet and thinker Alisher Navoi, thanks to whose priceless works our native language attained its dignity and become famous throughout the world.
Today, for many, especially for young people, the main sources of information are the internet and social networks.
Therefore, we must offer young people attractive and interesting forms of learning the native language, and for this we need to intensify the endeavors aimed at creating software in Uzbek, along with online textbooks, electronic dictionaries. It is crucial to streamline efforts to promote the mother tongue, using modern media, including the capacities of the internet.
The question of the state language should become one of the basic principles of the national idea. It is indispensable to pay special attention to fostering love for and interest in the mother tongue among the younger generation from a very early age, to teach Uzbek from kindergarten and further at all stages of education using modern innovative technologies.
The naming of geographical places – one of the most discussed language issues in our society – sometimes becomes the cause of fair complaints.
Toponymic indicators in public places, on streets, building facades, signs and advertising texts are often written in foreign languages, sometimes presented in a form alien to our mentality, which, unfortunately, suggests the requirements of the state language are ignored and the level of general literacy is lowered.
In this regard, the Cabinet of Ministers together with the Commission on Terms, with the participation of the general public, should carefully study and streamline this issue.
Indeed, the naming of public objects is not someone’s private affair, but primarily a criterion for the level of patriotism, spirituality and culture of our society. We must never forget this.
Caring for the fate, for the future of our people, we must first of all protect our national values and customs, arts, literature and, of course, our native language as the apple of an eye.
In a word, we ought to consider our attitude to the state language as an attitude to our independence, and devotion and respect for it as devotion and respect for the Motherland. This should be the rule of our lives.
And every one of us must begin this noble work with ourselves, our family and our teams at workplace.
Once again, I heartily congratulate you, all of our people, on the holiday of the Uzbek language!
I wish you all a sound health, happiness and prosperity!
May the fame and standing of our native Uzbek language, and our people who created this priceless wealth, grow!
Thank you for attention.