Topic: Central Asia

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๐Ÿ”— Tocharian Languages

๐Ÿ”— China ๐Ÿ”— Central Asia ๐Ÿ”— Languages

The Tocharian (sometimes Tokharian) languages ( or ), also known as Arล›i-Kuฤi, Agnean-Kuchean or Kuchean-Agnean, are an extinct branch of the Indo-European language family spoken by inhabitants of the Tarim Basin, the Tocharians. The languages are known from manuscripts dating from the 5th to the 8th century AD, which were found in oasis cities on the northern edge of the Tarim Basin (now part of Xinjiang in Northwest China) and the Lop Desert. The discovery of these languages in the early 20th century contradicted the formerly prevalent idea of an eastโ€“west division of the Indo-European language family as centum and satem languages, and prompted reinvigorated study of the Indo-European family. Scholars studying these manuscripts in the early 20th century identified their authors with the Tokharoi, a name used in ancient sources for people of Bactria (Tokharistan). Although this identification is now believed to be mistaken, "Tocharian" remains the usual term for these languages.

The discovered manuscripts record two closely related languages, called Tocharian A (also East Tocharian, Agnean or Turfanian) and Tocharian B (West Tocharian or Kuchean). The subject matter of the texts suggests that Tocharian A was more archaic and used as a Buddhist liturgical language, while Tocharian B was more actively spoken in the entire area from Turfan in the east to Tumshuq in the west. A body of loanwords and names found in Prakrit documents from the Lop Nor basin have been dubbed Tocharian C (Krorรคnian). A claimed find of ten Tocharian C texts written in Kharoแนฃแนญhฤซ script has been discredited.

The oldest extant manuscripts in Tocharian B are now dated to the 5th or even late 4th century AD, making Tocharian a language of Late Antiquity contemporary with Gothic, Classical Armenian, and Primitive Irish.

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๐Ÿ”— Happy Nowruz

๐Ÿ”— Religion ๐Ÿ”— Iran ๐Ÿ”— Central Asia ๐Ÿ”— Syria ๐Ÿ”— Iraq ๐Ÿ”— Turkey ๐Ÿ”— Ukraine ๐Ÿ”— Holidays ๐Ÿ”— Pakistan ๐Ÿ”— Afghanistan ๐Ÿ”— Caucasia ๐Ÿ”— Kurdistan ๐Ÿ”— Tajikistan ๐Ÿ”— Georgia (country) ๐Ÿ”— Azerbaijan ๐Ÿ”— North Macedonia ๐Ÿ”— Bahรก'รญ Faith ๐Ÿ”— Albania

Nowruz (Persian: ู†ูˆุฑูˆุฒโ€Ž, pronouncedย [nowหˆษพuหz]; lit.โ€‰ "new day") is the Iranian New Year, also known as the Persian New Year, which is celebrated worldwide by various ethno-linguistic groups.

Nowruz has Iranian and Zoroastrian origins, however, it has been celebrated by diverse communities for over 7,000 years in Western Asia, Central Asia, the Caucasus, the Black Sea Basin, the Balkans, and South Asia. It is a secular holiday for most celebrants that is enjoyed by people of several different faiths, but remains a holy day for Zoroastrians, Bahais, and some Muslim communities.

Nowruz is the day of the vernal equinox, and marks the beginning of spring in the Northern Hemisphere. It marks the first day of the first month (Farvardin) of the Iranian calendars. It usually occurs on March 21 or the previous or following day, depending on where it is observed. The moment the Sun crosses the celestial equator and equalizes night and day is calculated exactly every year, and families gather together to observe the rituals.

While Nowruz has been celebrated since the reform of the Iranian Calendar in the 11th century CE to mark the new year, the United Nations officially recognized the "International Day of Nowruz" with the adoption of UN resolution 64/253 in 2010.

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๐Ÿ”— Darvaza Gas Crater

๐Ÿ”— Central Asia ๐Ÿ”— Mining ๐Ÿ”— Central Asia/Turkmenistan ๐Ÿ”— Turkmenistan

The Darvaza gas crater (Turkmen: Garagum รฝalkymy), also known as the Door to Hell or Gates of Hell, or, officially, the Shining of Karakum, is a burning natural gas field collapsed into a cavern near Darvaza, Turkmenistan. The floor and especially rim of the crater is illumined by hundreds of natural gas fires. The crater has been burning for an unknown amount of time, as how the crater formed and ignited remains unknown.

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๐Ÿ”— Subutai โ€“ Primary military strategist of Genghis Khan

๐Ÿ”— Biography ๐Ÿ”— Russia ๐Ÿ”— Military history ๐Ÿ”— China ๐Ÿ”— Military history/Military biography ๐Ÿ”— Central Asia ๐Ÿ”— Russia/Russian, Soviet, and CIS military history ๐Ÿ”— Russia/history of Russia ๐Ÿ”— Mongols ๐Ÿ”— Military history/Medieval warfare

Subutai (Classical Mongolian: Sรผbรผgรคtรคi or Sรผbรผ'รคtรคi; Tuvan: ะกาฏะฑัะดัะน, [sybษ›หˆdษ›j]; Modern Mongolian: ะกาฏะฑััะดัะน, Sรผbeedei. [sสŠbeหหˆdษ›]; Chinese: ้€Ÿไธๅฐ 1175โ€“1248) was an Uriankhai general, and the primary military strategist of Genghis Khan and ร–gedei Khan. He directed more than 20 campaigns in which he conquered 32 nations and won 65 pitched battles, during which he conquered or overran more territory than any other commander in history. He gained victory by means of imaginative and sophisticated strategies and routinely coordinated movements of armies that were hundreds of kilometers away from each other. He is also remembered for devising the campaign that destroyed the armies of Hungary and Poland within two days of each other, by forces over 500 kilometers apart.

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๐Ÿ”— Abลซ Rayhฤn Bฤซrลซnฤซ -- Medieval Islamic Scientist, quite a read...

๐Ÿ”— Biography ๐Ÿ”— Religion ๐Ÿ”— Iran ๐Ÿ”— Philosophy ๐Ÿ”— Biography/science and academia ๐Ÿ”— Astronomy ๐Ÿ”— History of Science ๐Ÿ”— Astrology ๐Ÿ”— Middle Ages ๐Ÿ”— Islam ๐Ÿ”— Middle Ages/History ๐Ÿ”— Central Asia ๐Ÿ”— Philosophy/Philosophers ๐Ÿ”— Anthropology ๐Ÿ”— Watches ๐Ÿ”— Philosophy/Medieval philosophy ๐Ÿ”— India

Abu Rayhan al-Biruni (973 โ€“ after 1050) was a Persian scholar and polymath. He was from Khwarazm โ€“ a region which encompasses modern-day western Uzbekistan, and northern Turkmenistan.

Al-Biruni was well versed in physics, mathematics, astronomy, and natural sciences, and also distinguished himself as a historian, chronologist and linguist. He studied almost all fields of science and was compensated for his research and strenuous work. Royalty and powerful members of society sought out Al-Biruni to conduct research and study to uncover certain findings. He lived during the Islamic Golden Age. In addition to this type of influence, Al-Biruni was also influenced by other nations, such as the Greeks, who he took inspiration from when he turned to studies of philosophy. He was conversant in Khwarezmian, Persian, Arabic, Sanskrit, and also knew Greek, Hebrew and Syriac. He spent much of his life in Ghazni, then capital of the Ghaznavid dynasty, in modern-day central-eastern Afghanistan. In 1017 he travelled to the Indian subcontinent and authored a study of Indian culture Tฤrฤซkh al-Hind (History of India) after exploring the Hindu faith practiced in India. He was given the title "founder of Indology". He was an impartial writer on customs and creeds of various nations, and was given the title al-Ustadh ("The Master") for his remarkable description of early 11th-century India.

๐Ÿ”— Ulugh Beg Observatory

๐Ÿ”— Astronomy ๐Ÿ”— Central Asia ๐Ÿ”— Museums ๐Ÿ”— Central Asia/Uzbekistan

The Ulugh Beg Observatory is an observatory in Samarkand, Uzbekistan. Built in the 1420s by the Timurid astronomer Ulugh Beg. Islamic astronomers who worked at the observatory include Al-Kashi, Ali Qushji, and Ulugh Beg himself. The observatory was destroyed in 1449 and rediscovered in 1908.

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๐Ÿ”— Soviet version of the Space Shuttle

๐Ÿ”— Aviation ๐Ÿ”— Soviet Union ๐Ÿ”— Russia ๐Ÿ”— Russia/technology and engineering in Russia ๐Ÿ”— Spaceflight ๐Ÿ”— Aviation/aircraft project ๐Ÿ”— Central Asia

Buran (Russian: ะ‘ัƒั€ะฐฬะฝ, IPA:ย [bสŠหˆran], meaning "Snowstorm" or "Blizzard"; GRAU index serial number: "11F35 K1") was the first spaceplane to be produced as part of the Soviet/Russian Buran programme. It is, depending on the source, also known as "OK-1K1", "Orbiter K1", "OK 1.01" or "Shuttle 1.01". Besides describing the first operational Soviet/Russian shuttle orbiter, "Buran" was also the designation for the entire Soviet/Russian spaceplane project and its orbiters, which were known as "Buran-class spaceplanes".

OK-1K1 completed one uncrewed spaceflight in 1988, and was destroyed in 2002 when the hangar it was stored in collapsed. The Buran-class orbiters used the expendable Energia rocket, a class of super heavy-lift launch vehicle.

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๐Ÿ”— Loulan Kingdom

๐Ÿ”— China/Chinese history ๐Ÿ”— China ๐Ÿ”— Central Asia ๐Ÿ”— Archaeology ๐Ÿ”— Buddhism ๐Ÿ”— Former countries

Loulan, also called Krorรคn or Kroraina (simplified Chinese: ๆฅผๅ…ฐ; traditional Chinese: ๆจ“่˜ญ; pinyin: Lรณulรกn; Uyghur: ูƒุฑูˆุฑุงู†, ะšั€ะพั€ะฐะฝโ€Ž, ULY: Kroran) was an ancient kingdom based around an important oasis city along the Silk Road already known in the 2nd century BCE on the northeastern edge of the Lop Desert. The term Loulan is the Chinese transcription of the native name Krorรคn and is used to refer to the city near Lop Nur as well as the kingdom.

The kingdom was renamed Shanshan (้„ฏๅ–„) after its king was assassinated by an envoy of the Han dynasty in 77 BCE; however, the town at the northwestern corner of the brackish desert lake Lop Nur retained the name of Loulan. The kingdom included at various times settlements such as Niya, Charklik, Miran, and Qiemo. It was intermittently under Chinese control from the early Han dynasty onward until its abandonment centuries later. The ruins of Loulan are near the now-desiccated Lop Nur in the Bayingolin Mongol Autonomous Prefecture, Xinjiang, and they are now completely surrounded by desert.

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๐Ÿ”— Uyghur Genocide

๐Ÿ”— Human rights ๐Ÿ”— Mass surveillance ๐Ÿ”— History ๐Ÿ”— Crime ๐Ÿ”— Death ๐Ÿ”— China ๐Ÿ”— Philosophy ๐Ÿ”— Politics ๐Ÿ”— Philosophy/Social and political philosophy ๐Ÿ”— Islam ๐Ÿ”— Central Asia ๐Ÿ”— Anthropology ๐Ÿ”— Sociology ๐Ÿ”— Discrimination ๐Ÿ”— Philosophy/Ethics ๐Ÿ”— Ethnic groups ๐Ÿ”— History/Contemporary History ๐Ÿ”— China/Chinese politics

The Uyghur genocide is the ongoing series of human rights abuses perpetrated by the government of China against the Uyghur people and other ethnic and religious minorities in and around the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region (XUAR) of the People's Republic of China. Since 2014, the Chinese government, under the direction of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) during the administration of CCP general secretary Xi Jinping, has pursued policies leading to more than one million Muslims (the majority of them Uyghurs) being held in secretive internment camps without any legal process in what has become the largest-scale and most systematic detention of ethnic and religious minorities since the Holocaust and World War II. Thousands of mosques have been destroyed or damaged, and hundreds of thousands of children have been forcibly separated from their parents and sent to boarding schools.

These policies have been described by critics as the forced assimilation of Xinjiang, as well as an ethnocide or cultural genocide. Some governments, activists, independent NGOs, human rights experts, academics, government officials, and the East Turkistan Government-in-Exile have called it a genocide.

In particular, critics have highlighted the concentration of Uyghurs in state-sponsored internment camps, suppression of Uyghur religious practices, political indoctrination, severe ill-treatment, as well as extensive evidence and other testimonials detailing human rights abuses including forced sterilization, contraception, abortion, and infanticides. Chinese government statistics show that from 2015 to 2018, birth rates in the mostly Uyghur regions of Hotan and Kashgar fell by more than 60%. In the same period, the birth rate of the whole country decreased by 9.69%, from 12.07 to 10.9 per 1,000 people. Chinese authorities acknowledged that birth rates dropped by almost a third in 2018 in Xinjiang, but denied reports of forced sterilization and genocide. Birth rates fell nearly 24% in 2019 (compared to a nationwide decrease of just 4.2%).

International reactions have been sharply divided, with dozens of United Nations (UN) member states issuing opposing letters to the United Nations Human Rights Council in support and condemnation of China's policies in Xinjiang in 2020. In December 2020, the International Criminal Court declined to take investigative action against China on the basis of not having jurisdiction over China for most of the alleged crimes. The United States was the first country to declare the human rights abuses a genocide, announcing its determination on January 19, 2021, although the US State Department's Office of the Legal Adviser concluded that there was insufficient evidence to prove genocide. This was followed by Canada's House of Commons and the Dutch parliament each passing a non-binding motion in February 2021 to recognize China's actions as genocide. Later, in April 2021, the United Kingdom's House of Commons unanimously passed a non-binding motion to recognize the actions as genocide. In May 2021 the New Zealand parliament unanimously declared that "severe human rights abuses" were occurring against the Uyghur people in China and the Seimas of Lithuania passed a resolution that recognized the Chinese government's abuse of the Uyghurs as a genocide.

๐Ÿ”— Buddhas of Bamiyan

๐Ÿ”— Religion ๐Ÿ”— Central Asia ๐Ÿ”— Archaeology ๐Ÿ”— Visual arts ๐Ÿ”— Buddhism ๐Ÿ”— World Heritage Sites ๐Ÿ”— Religion/Interfaith ๐Ÿ”— Public Art ๐Ÿ”— Afghanistan ๐Ÿ”— Sculpture ๐Ÿ”— Hazara

The Buddhas of Bamiyan were two 6th-century monumental statues of Vairocana Buddha and Gautama Buddha carved into the side of a cliff in the Bamyan valley of central Afghanistan, 130 kilometres (81ย mi) northwest of Kabul at an elevation of 2,500 metres (8,200ย ft). Carbon dating of the structural components of the Buddhas has determined that the smaller 38ย m (125ย ft) "Eastern Buddha" was built around 570 AD, and the larger 55ย m (180ย ft) "Western Buddha" was built around 618 AD.

The statues represented a later evolution of the classic blended style of Gandhara art. The statues consisted of the male Salsal ("light shines through the universe") and the (smaller) female Shamama ("Queen Mother"), as they were called by the locals. The main bodies were hewn directly from the sandstone cliffs, but details were modeled in mud mixed with straw, coated with stucco. This coating, practically all of which wore away long ago, was painted to enhance the expressions of the faces, hands, and folds of the robes; the larger one was painted carmine red and the smaller one was painted multiple colors. The lower parts of the statues' arms were constructed from the same mud-straw mix supported on wooden armatures. It is believed that the upper parts of their faces were made from great wooden masks or casts. The rows of holes that can be seen in photographs held wooden pegs that stabilized the outer stucco.

The Buddhas are surrounded by numerous caves and surfaces decorated with paintings. It is thought that the period of florescence was from the 6th to 8th century AD, until the onset of Islamic invasions. These works of art are considered as an artistic synthesis of Buddhist art and Gupta art from India, with influences from the Sasanian Empire and the Byzantine Empire, as well as the country of Tokharistan.

The statues were blown up and destroyed in March 2001 by the Taliban, on orders from leader Mullah Mohammed Omar, after the Taliban government declared that they were idols. International and local opinion strongly condemned the destruction of the Buddhas. Some Taliban sources credited Omar's decision to blow up the Buddha statues to the growing influence of Osama bin Laden.