Tajikistan considers France its important, reliable and trusted partner in Europe.
The history of envoyship, the history of unity of established culture of intercourse between states, the focus of which is the setting up and strengthening of confidential mutually beneficial relations to meet the needs of society and independent states as a recognized perspective or aspiration, is based primarily on moral and cultural values.
Thus, we can conclude that culture is not only the core of the existence of nations, but also a powerful bridge in the cause of establishing a dialogue between human civilizations. Therefore, along with the strengthening of other pillars of statehood, issues of protection and homage, presentation and glorification of history, culture and national values are in the spotlight of public policy of the top leadership of our country.
At the same time, our common mission is to play a significant role in enhancing self-awareness and developing national identity, regardless of individual social contrasts and challenges, in mastering and appropriate formation of national history and culture. In the sense that under the conditions of globalization of imposed values, the essence and historical place of nations, unbiased assessment of their contribution to the development of civilization and human consciousness become vulnerable.
It seems worthwhile to open a “window” for generations or modern human civilizations on the continents of the planet to pay tribute to historical memory and present it without the use of information and communication technologies.
In this regard, in accordance with the wise policy and comprehensive instructions of the Founder of Peace and National Unity – Leader of the Nation, President of the Republic of Tajikistan His Excellency Mr. Emomali Rahmon, on the eve of the official visit of the Head of State to France, the Embassy of Tajikistan in France took productive steps in this direction with the involvement of partners and colleagues in the host country.
Thanks to timely collective action, the opportunity presented itself to organize the Exhibition of historical items of Tajikistan, the first of its kind in the European continent, titled “Tajikistan – the Land of Golden Rivers” at the National Museum of Asian Arts “Guimet” of the French Republic, which, given its enormous significance and unprecedented importance, was officially inaugurated on October 13, 2021 by the presidents of the two countries – His Excellency Emomali Rahmon and His Excellency Emmanuel Macron. This event, which will last until January 10, 2022, represented glad tidings and a special gift from the leadership of the Tajik state to the political elite and civil society of France for presenting the history of the Tajik nation.
As His Excellency Mr. Emomali Rahmon noted, in our epoch, especially when the clash of civilizations and different cultural values is intensifying, in-depth study of history and the popularization of a rich historical and cultural heritage is one of the ways to foster tolerance. Indeed, the ancient history of the Tajik people and the valuable material and spiritual heritage of our ancestors, including historical monuments, is the greatest school of self-knowledge for every member of society, especially for adolescents and young people.
Without any doubt and exaggeration, this event, which was made possible and took place with great contribution and by the will of the heads of both states in honor of the 30th anniversary of the State independence of the Republic of Tajikistan and on the eve of the 30th anniversary since the establishment of diplomatic relations between Tajikistan and France for the purpose of rapprochement of civilizations and societies, was an important occasion that helped strengthen cooperation in the field of culture, not only of these two countries, but also cultural relations with the European continent. We are confident that this event contributes to the establishment of collaboration between the museums of the two countries and the further expansion of cooperation in this area.
In this context, the President of the country Emomali Rahmon thanked the President of the French Republic Emmanuel Macron for the efforts and initiatives to comprehensively develop Tajik-French relations and organize this exhibition on this basis.
During familiarization with the unique artifacts of the Exhibition, President Emomali Rahmon told his colleague Emmanuel Macron about the history and civilization of the noble Tajik people, the contribution of the outstanding sons of the Tajik nation to the development of human civilization, about historical monuments, Tajik statehood in different centuries and about the antiquity of the Tajik land with its huge treasures.
It should be noted that if in the past, when Europeans visited the British Museum in London and, examining the finds of the Amu Darya treasury (Oxus treasury) – a unique monument of the ancestors of the Tajik people, a masterpiece pearl of fine art of ancient Bactria, an incomparable treasury of Tajik civilization and statehood, they drew from them not so much information on the history of the Tajik people, now residents of France and other European countries, while visiting the Exhibition in the “Guimet” Museum, have the opportunity to scrutinize the relics of the Eneolithic and Bronze Ages of the ancient settlement of Sarazm, which is inscribed in the UNESCO World Heritage List.
To present the rich and ancient history and civilization, unique masterpieces of art of the Tajik people, “Guimet” Museum displays 211 artifacts found on the territory of the Republic of Tajikistan, brought from the National Museum of Tajikistan and the National Museum of Antiquities of Tajikistan. The French visitors can, by contemplating these exhibits, enjoy all the subtleties of the beautiful nature and the unique history of the friendly Tajik people.
Visitors to the exhibition have gained an opportunity to enrich their spiritual world through acquaintance with various historical periods of the Tajik people, such as BC era, “Zoroastrianism”, “Achaemenid Empire”, “Greco-Bactrian State”, “Kushan Empire” and “Sassanid State”.
It should be emphasized that this largest exhibition of historical exhibits of Tajikistan, which is presented to the Western world on the continent of Europe, is widely popularized by the French printed and electronic media, and a video by the Central Asia Collections Department of the “Guimet” Museum has been prepared and released for the viewing of millions of Internet users on the theme of the above exhibition. In addition, this event is presented on a grand scale by advertising posters of the exhibition at metro stations in Paris.
If, according to official statistics, the Exhibition has been visited by an average of 12-13 thousand people per month, then by the means of placing its advertising posters at metro stations, from 4 to 7 million people and guests of Paris who use the metro have been learning about it every day.
It is noteworthy that “Guimet” – National Museum of Asian Arts in the city of Paris was founded late 19th century by the wealthy industrialist Emile Guimet. The museum was first opened in 1879 in Lyon, and then moved to Paris. The museum houses one of the largest artifacts of Asia.
In this vein, the cultural ties of Tajikistan with France, along with other areas of cooperation, are constantly developing on the basis of international norms and mutual recognition of interests.
It should be accentuated that in the light of the participation and speech of the Founder of Peace and National Unity – Leader of the Nation, President of the Republic of Tajikistan His Excellency Mr. Emomali Rahmon at the opening ceremony of the Day of Culture and Exhibition of Folk Crafts of the Republic of Tajikistan at the UNESCO Headquarters in the capital of France, which was held on October 14 this year and during which the level of mutual cooperation was highly commended, the cultural atmosphere of Paris was subsequently also embellished with a number of other significant activities and historical events.
Thus, on November 27, 2021, at the National Museum of Asian Arts “Guimet” in Paris, in partnership with the French Association of Friends of the East (AFAO), a Day dedicated to Tajikistan was marked, in which representatives of the museum, scientists and historians, artists and researchers, political figures and the civil society of France, as well as the Tajik scientific and cultural circles living in Paris and officials of the Embassy of Tajikistan in France took part.
During the meeting, French scientist and foreign member of the National Academy of Sciences of Tajikistan, Professor Francis Richard, Professor of Sinology Emmanuel Lincot, expert on agro-economics Christine Oriol, famous Tajik filmmaker Jamshed Usmonov, experienced travel photographer Ferrante Ferranti and representative of “Novastan” media company Amelia Boyart-Bienenfeld spoke in detail about the achievements and results of their activities, in particular concerning trips along the roads and highways of Tajikistan, acquaintance with cities, villages and charming landscapes of the country, about the history of the Tajik language and the rich heritage of Tajik literature, rural development and tourism, media-coverage of Tajikistan and, in general, Central Asia in the French online edition "Novastan", the geopolitical challenges of the region and the importance of strengthening family relations reflected in thematic films. Participants also highly praised the achievements of the country’s independence period under the guidance of the Leader of the Nation.
The screening of the film “L'ange de l'épaule droite” (Angel on the Right Shoulder) by the famous Tajik director living in France, Jamshed Usmonov, which demonstrates the importance of strengthening family ties in Tajikistan, was greeted with applause from the audience.
Likewise, on December 11, 2021, “Guimet” Museum hosted on the same level and with attendance of lovers of Tajik history and culture the Day of Archeologic Studies of Tajikistan.
At this conference, interesting and informative reports-presentations of French and foreign archaeologists and historians (Henri-Paul Francfort, Frédéric Brunet, Francis Richard, Valerie Zaleski, Harry Falk, Etienne De La Vaissière, etc.) were delivered concerning the history of archaeological cooperation between Tajikistan and France, especially the results of archaeological excavations, scientific data and explanations about historical places and monuments of the Tajik state from ancient times to the Middle Ages, including the ancient settlement of Sarazm.
On December 13, 2021, in Paris, the National Institute for Oriental Languages and Civilizations of France (Inalco) hosted the Day of presentation of Tajikistan, which was attended by a wide audience of French and Europeans – intellectuals, scientists, cultural and literary figures, the press and representatives of government agencies of the French Republic, as well as officials of the Embassy of Tajikistan to France.
At this event various thematic presentations were made. In particular, Ms. Catherine Poujol, former director of the French Institute for Central Asian Studies (IFEAC), now a senior researcher for Central Asian Studies at the Inalco Institute, presented detailed information on the history of the newest statehood of Tajikistan, political, economic, social, demographic, scientific, cultural, tourist and other key aspects of the country’s life over the 30 years of state independence, and also shared her impressions of the first acquaintance and experience of cooperation with Tajikistan and its people.
All of the above leads us to the conclusion that professional presentations and discussions took place in a friendly atmosphere at these cultural fora, which once again prove that each of them plays an important role in promoting public diplomacy and shaping the image of Tajikistan in Europe. They, in particular, help to attract or enhance the interest of the French and European communities in Tajikistan, especially in order to encourage participation in the implementation of investment projects in our country, as well as to increase the number of European tourists and of interested investors to enable infusion of the necessary funds into the country’s economy.
Finally, it is also gratifying that thanks to the direct efforts and careful instructions of the Head of State, following the successful activities of the National Commission of the Republic of Tajikistan for UNESCO and the Permanent Delegation of the Republic of Tajikistan to UNESCO, on December 15, 2021, at the 16th session of the Intergovernmental Committee of UNESCO for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, which took place online in Paris, “Falak” was officially included on the Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity: a momentous cultural image-forming event, on which we heartily congratulate and salute all our compatriots.
Embassy of the Republic of Tajikistan to France, Italy,
Permanent Delegation of the Republic of Tajikistan to UNESCO