Central Asia is terra incognita for the Europeans, for the Americans, for many indeed. As I was young I used to like reading the countries lexicon and find out how many countries with different languages and religions there were on the world. Later, I was wondering why there is nothing about my city, my land, and my language in those books. There was instead, a huge chapter called ‘CCCP’. I was told this was my country. It is interesting how I discovered the world. In the beginning, just in the very beginning I thought there were only 15 countries in the world. I knew how these nations dressed, danced and looked like. I had pictures of every single nation, both men and women. And there I could also find the way my people looked, in traditional dresses.
Later, I started watching TV. I remember how I was excited about the new word ‘REKLAMA’ (advertisement). All I saw was the blue screen and some text with phone numbers. My mother told me it was a pause, as the people working on TV were tired of speaking and had to have a cup of tea. The Pause called Reklama was quite short. Then a woman appeared, looking very accurate, she spoke very fast, without any emotions on her face. I think this was the reason I couldn’t understand everything she said, even though I thought I spoke all the known languages. Well, the languages I knew existed for me then, which were Russian, Tajik and Uzbek. She spoke of things I couldn’t place in my head, and on my world map. She spoke of Americans, of Germans. I didn’t know what they were. Much later, did I realise that the world was bigger than 15 socialist republics. What a shame! How could they do this to me?!! Why didn’t they tell me? – I thought.