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Tajiks
(تاجک Тоҷик)
Total population
ca. 20 to 29 million
Regions with significant populations
 Afghanistan
        (varying estimates)
10,600,000
12,000,000
[1]
[2]
 Tajikistan 6,849,331 [3]
 Uzbekistan
    (suggestive estimates)
3,400,000
7-9,000,000
[4]
[5]
 Pakistan 1,220,000 [6]
 Iran 500,000 [7]
 Russia 120,000 [8]
 Germany 90,000 [9]
 Qatar 87,000 [citation needed]
 United States 52,000 [10]
 Kyrgyzstan 47,500 [11]
 China 41,028
[12]
 Canada 15,870
[13]
Languages

Persian
varieties of Dari and Tajiki

Religion

Islam (predominantly Sunni (Hanafi), with Shi'a (Twelver and Ismaili) minorities)

Tajik (Persian: تاجيک Tājīk; Tajik: Тоҷик ) is a general designation for a wide range of Persian-speaking peoples of Iranian origin,[14] with traditional homelands in present-day Afghanistan, Tajikistan, and southern Uzbekistan. Large refugee populations can also be found in both Iran and Pakistan.[15] Alternative names include Fārsī (Persian), Fārsīwān (Persian-speaking), and Dīhgān (cf. Tajik: Деҳқон, Dehqon, literally "peasant", in a wider sense "settled" in contrast to "nomadic").[16]

As a self-designation, the term Tajik, which earlier on had been more or less pejorative, has become acceptable only during the last decades, particularly as a result of Soviet administration in Central Asia.[14]

The Persian-speaking Tajiks are, at least in terms of language, culture, and history, closely related to the Persians of Iran. Tajiks descended from ancient Eastern Iranian peoples of Central Asia, such as the Soghdians and the Bactrians, with an admixture of Western Iranian Persians as well as non-Iranian peoples.The Tajiks of China, although known by the name Tajik, speak Eastern Iranian languages and are distinct from Persian Tajiks.

Contents

History

Monument of Ismail Samani, a notable Samanid amir who ruled the area comprising of modern-day Afghanistan, Iran and Tajikistan and who propagated Islam deep into Central Asia.

The Tajiks trace their ancestry to the East Iranian-speaking Bactrians, Sogdians, and Parthians, which means that the historical ancestors of the Tajiks did not speak Persian - the southwestern Iranian language, today known as 'Farsi' in Iran and Afghanistan. The 'Tajiks' adoption of the now dominant Persian language (albeit in a distinct Tajiki form), a Western Iranian language is believed to have as its root cause, the dominance of the Persian empire in the region during the Achaemenid and Sassanid dynasties. Persian language, and particularly Tajiki, contain numerous words from Sogdian, Parthian and other Iranian languages of ancient Central Asia. Following the Arab conquest of Persia, many Persians, after conversion to Islam, entered Central Asia as military forces and settled in the conquered lands. As a result of these waves of Persian migration (Zoroastrian and Muslim) over the course of more than 200 years, the Tajiks have some ethnic Persian ancestry in addition to their original East-Iranian ancestry. Cultural dissemination through Persian literature also helped to establish the new language, as well as intermittent military dominance. According to Iranologist Richard Nelson Frye, the Persian migration to Central Asia may be considered the beginning of the "modern" Tajik nation, and ethnic Persians along with East-Iranian Bactrians and Sogdians, as the main ancestors of "modern" Tajiks.[17]

The geographical division between the eastern and western Iranians is often considered historically and currently to be the desert Dasht-e Kavir, situated in the center of the Iranian plateau.

Origin of the term

One theory is that the word 'Tajik' came to Sogdiana with the Arabs. An Arabian tribe known as the Tayy (or Ta'ii) lived in southern Iraq and was the closest Bedouin tribe to Persia. One of Syrian writer from Edessa has already in 3d c. AD used the word "Tayy" along with word "Saracen" to denote all the Bedouins in general. Out of this word Middle Persian (Pahlavi) and Armenian tachik in the sense "Arab" formed. Later, in Muslim era form tazik and tazi could be seen. Out of first one Turkic tejik was formed. Mahmud al-Kashgari and Yusuf Balasaghuni used it in forme tezhik in 11th c. already to denote Persian but earlier Turks called Arab by this word as evidenced by Chinese da-shi — "Arab". On concept of the time anyone converted to Islam became Arab. When Bukhara nobles have in 728 informed Arab governor of Khorasan Ashras ibn 'Abd Allah al-Sulami of successful Muslimization they used words "all peoples became Arab". It is logical that Muslim representatives coming in Steppe rather than Arab was Tejik for nomad Turks. But the numerical superiority between those Muslim passed soon from Arab to Persian because the quantity of Arab migrated in Central Asia was not so considerable. It is the reason why the word Tejik passed from Arab to Persian.[18]

Another suggestion is that "Tājik" is a word of Turko-Mongol[19] origin and means (literally) Non-Turk[20]. The 17th century Persian dictionary Farhang Burhan Qati' (فرهنگ برهان قاطع) by Muhammad Husayn ibn Khalaf Tabrizi also defines it as "non-Arab" and "non-Turk". It may have the same root[21] as the word Tat which is used by Turkic-speakers for the Iranian-speaking population of the Caucasus. In a historical context, it is synonymous with Iranian[22] and particularly with Persian. Since the Turko-Mongol conquest of Central Asia, Persian-speakers in Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Afghanistan, Iran have been identified as Tājiks. The term is mainly used as opposed to "Turk" and "Mongol". "Tajik" in Central Asia is used to refer to peoples that still speak an Iranian language, including both Tajiki-speaking Tajiks, and the Pamiri peoples, also known as Garcha or Mountain Tajiks. The origin of the name Tajik has been embroiled in twentieth-century political disputes about whether Turkic or Iranian peoples were the original inhabitants of Central Asia. The explanation most favored by many scholars is that the word evolved from the name of a pre-Islamic Arab tribe[23]. Others believe it is of Turkic origin, as stated above.

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History of the name

First mentioned by the Uyghur historian Mahmoud Al-Kāshgharī, Tājik is an old Turkic expression referring to all Persian-speaking peoples of Central Asia. From the 11th century on, it came to be applied principally to all East-Iranians, and later specifically to Persian-speakers.[22] It is hard to establish the use of the word before the Turkic- and Mongol conquest of Central Asia, and since at least the 15th century it has been used by the region's Iranian population to distinguish themselves from the Turks. Persians in modern Iran who live in the Turkic-speaking areas of the country, also call themselves Tājik, something remarked upon in the 15th century by the poet Mīr Alī Šer Navā'ī.[24] In addition, Tibetans call all Persian-speakers (including those in Iran) Tājik.

Tajik in medieval literature

The word Tājik is extensively used in Persian literature and poetry, always as a synonym for Persian. The Persian poet Sa'adi, for example, writes:

شاید که به پادشه بگویند

ترک تو بریخت خون تاجیک

Šāyad ki ba pādšāh bigōyand
Turk-i tu birēxt xūn-i Tāǰīk

It's appropriate to tell the King,
Your Turk shed the blood of Tājik

It is clear that he, too, uses the word as opposed to Turk. The oldest known reference of this usage of the word Tajik in Persian literature, however, can be found in the writings of Djalāl al-Dīn Rūmī, himself being an Persian-speaker - and thus a "Tājik" - from present-day Afghanistan.[25]

Location

A Tajik man from Tajikistan, wearing a traditional hat

The Tajiks are the principal ethnic group in most of Tajikistan, as well as in northern and western Afghanistan, though there are more Tajiks in Afghanistan than in Tajikistan. Tajiks are a substantial minority in Uzbekistan, as well as in overseas communities. Historically, the ancestors of the Tajiks lived in a larger territory in Central Asia than now.[citation needed]

Afghanistan

Tajiks comprise between 27-39% of the population of Afghanistan.[1][26] They predominate four of the largest cities in Afghanistan (Kabul, Mazar-e Sharif, Herat, Ghazni) and the northern and western provinces of Balkh, Parwan, Kapisa, Panjshir, Baghlan, Takhar, Badakhshan, and Ghor, some parts of Konduz Province, as well as Herat and large parts of Farah. In addition, large pockets of Tajiks live in all other cities and provinces in Afghanistan.

In Afghanistan, the Tajiks do not organize themselves by tribes and refer to themselves by the region, province, city, town, or village they are from; such as Badakhshani, Baghlani, Mazari, Panjsheri, Kabuli, Herati, etc.[27] Although in the past, some non-Pashto speaking tribes were identified as Tajik, for example the Furmuli.[28][29]

Tajikistan

Today, Tajiks comprise around 79.9% of the population of Tajikistan.[3]

Uzbekistan

A view of the Registan architectural monuments in Samarkand. Although the second largest city of Uzbekistan, it is predominantly a Tajik populated city, along with Bukhara

In Uzbekistan the Tajiks are the largest part of the population of the ancient cities of Bukhara and Samarqand, and are found in large numbers in the Surxondaryo Province in the south and along Uzbekistan's eastern border with Tajikistan. According to official statistics (2000), Surxondaryo Province accounts for 20.4% of all Tajiks in Uzbekistan, with another 24.3% in Samarqand and Bukhara provinces.[30]

Official statistics in Uzbekistan state that the Tajik community comprises 5% of the nation's total population.[4] However, these numbers do not include ethnic Tajiks who, for a variety of reasons, choose to identify themselves as Uzbeks in population census forms.[31] During the Soviet "Uzbekization" supervised by Sharof Rashidov, the head of the Uzbek Communist Party, Tajiks had to choose either stay in Uzbekistan and get registered as Uzbek in their passports or leave the republic for the less developed agricultural and mountainous Tajikistan.[32] It is only in the last population census (1989) that the nationality could be reported not according to the passport, but freely declared on the basis of the respondent's ethnic self-identification.[33] This had the effect of increasing the Tajik population in Uzbekistan from 3.9% in 1979 to 4.7% in 1989. Subjective expert estimates suggest that Tajiks may make up 20%- 30% of Uzbekistan's population.[5][34]

Kazakhstan

According to the 1999 population census, there were 26,000 Tajiks in Kazakhstan (0.17% of the total population), about the same number as in the 1989 census.

Kyrgyzstan

According to official statistics, there were about 47,500 Tajiks in Kyrgyzstan in 2007 (0.9% of the total population), up from 42,600 in the 1999 census and 33,500 in the 1989 census. The buildings in the picture are built in 15 century by Uzbeks.

Turkmenistan

According to the last Soviet census in 1989, there were 3,149 Tajiks in Turkmenistan, or less than 0.1% of the total population of 3.5 million at that time. The first population census of independent Turkmenistan conducted in 1995 showed 3,103 Tajiks in a population of 4.4 million (0.07%), most of them (1,922) concentrated in the eastern provinces of Lebap and Mary adjoining the borders with Afghanistan and Uzbekistan.[35]

Pakistan

There are at least 1.2 million Tajiks living in Pakistan. Tajiks have historically, travelled to the region of Pakistan as technocrats, bureaucrats, soldiers, traders, scientists, architects, teachers, theologians and Sufis during the Islamic Sultanates and Mughal Empire and settled permanently. There are many shrines doted throughout Pakistan in honour of noted Tajik noblemen. Many Pakistanis claim Tajik ancestry. In recent years, many Tajiks from Tajikistan have also settled in Pakistan due to the economic conditions prevalent in their home country, many have settled in the northern city of Ishkuman. In 1979, with the invasion by the Soviet Union of Afghanistan, a large number of Tajik refugees from that country came and settled throughout Pakistan[citation needed]. Exact numbers are difficult to ascertain as many do not have official identity cards or are counted as being Chitrali or Gilgiti in official census figures.[citation needed] There also large number of Tajiks from Afghanistan that have settled in Pakistan permanently.[36] Many Tajiks refugees from Tajikistan lived in Pakistan and some of them returned back to Tajikistan.[37]

Russia

The population of Tajiks in Russia is 120,000 according to the 2002 census, up from 38,000 in the last Soviet census of 1989.[8] Most Tajiks came to Russia after the dissolution of the Soviet Union.

Physical characteristics

On the whole, Tajiks are a genetically eclectic population, displaying a wide range of phenotypes.[27] The typical Tajik has dark hair and eyes, and brunet-white to a light brown skin.[38] Lighter hair and eye colors can be found in mountain regions. Unlike Tajiks of Afghanistan, small part of the Tajiks who live in the plain and in the northern part of Tajikistan also show a minor Turko-Mongol admixture. Mountain Tajiks more closely resemble the ancient Indo-European populations who dominated the region prior to the Turko-Mongol invasions and migrations. Haplogroup M17, also known as R1a1, has proven to be a diagnostic Indo-Iranian marker. Tajiks have the highest frequency of R1a1, especially Ishkashemi Tajiks (68%) and Pamiri Tajiks(64%). In the 19th and 20th centuries, many Western anthropologists classified humans into a variety of races and subraces, unlike Persian speakers in Iran, who were classed in the Mediterranean race[39], Tajiks in Tajikistan were classed in the Alpine-Caucasian race.[38][40][41]

Tajik Woman.Tajikistan
Tajik Boy.Tajikistan
Tajik Man.Tajikistan
Tajik Woman in Dushanbe
Tajik Woman in National Dress
Pamiri Tajik
Tajik Woman in Tajikistan
Ethnic Map of Tajikistan
Children in Tajikistan
Tajiks In National Dress
Tajik Woman
Tajik Girls
Tajik children. Pamir
Pamiri Tajik
Tajik Kids
Tajiks

Culture

Language

The language of the Tajiks, as of their linguistic brethren in Iran, is Persian, also called Dari (derived from Darbārī, "[of/from the] royal courts", in the sense of "courtly language"). The Cyrillic variety written in Tajikistan is called Tajiki. Persian is an Indo-European language. Tajiks speak an eastern dialect of Persian, historically called Dari or also Parsi-e Darbari (see too the dialect of the Persian population of eastern Iran). Historically, it was considered the local dialect of Persian spoken by the Tajik/Persian ethnic group in Central Asia, from where it spread westward only to drive the Arabic language out as the mothertongue of ethnic Persians. In Afghanistan, unlike in Tajikistan, Tajiks continue to use the Perso-Arabic script as well as in Iran. However, when the Soviet Union introduced the Latin script in 1928, and later the Cyrillic script, the Persian dialect of Tajikistan (soghdi dialect) came to be considered a separate (Persian) language. Since the 19th century Tajik has been strongly influenced by the Russian and has incorporated many Russian language loan words.

A transcribed Tajik text can, in general, be easily read and understood by Persians outside Tajikistan, and vice versa, and both groups can converse with each other without an interpreter's assistance. The dialects of the Persians of Iran and of the Tajiks of central Asia have a common origin. This is underscored by the Tajiks' claim to such famous writers as Rudaki, Ferdowsi, Anwari, Rumi, other famous Persian poets. Russian is widely used in government and business in Tajikistan as well, but the government of Tajikistan is trying to replace it gradually with full Persian.

Religion

Mazar i Sharif's Blue Mosque in northern Afghanistan.

Various scholars have recorded the Zoroastrian, Buddhist, and Aryan pre-Islamic heritage of the Tajik people. Early temples for fire worship have been found in Balkh and Bactria and excavations in present day Tajikistan and Uzbekistan show remnants of Zoroastrian fire temples.[42]

Today however, the great majority of Tajiks follow the Sunni Islam, although small Twelver and Ismaili Shia minorities also exist in scattered pockets. Some of Shia- and Sunni´s famous scholars were from East-Iranian regions and therefore can arguably viewed as Tajik. They include Abu Hanifa, Al-Ghazali, Tirmidhi, Abu Dawood, and Imam Bukhari amongst many hundred other Tajiks.

According to a 2009 U.S. State Department release, the population of Tajikistan is 98% Muslim, (approximately 95% Sunni and 3% Shia).[43] In Afghanistan, the great number of Tajiks adhere to Sunni Islam. Tajiks who follow Twelver Shiism are called Farsiwan[citation needed]. Additionally, small Tajik Jewish communities (known as Bukharian Jews) have existed since ancient times in the cities of Bukhara, Samarqand, Dushanbe, and other Tajik populated centers.[44] Over the 20th century, the majority of these Tajik-speaking Jews emigrated to Israel and the United States in accordance with aliyah.

Recent developments

Cultural revival

The collapse of the Soviet Union and the civil war in Afghanistan both gave rise to a resurgence in Tajik nationalism across the region. Tajikistan in particular has been a focal point for this movement, and the government there has made a conscious effort to revive the legacy of the Samanid empire, the first Tajik-dominated state in the region after the Arab advance. For instance, the President of Tajikistan, Emomali Rahmon, dropped the Russian suffix "-ov" from his surname and directed others to adopt Tajik names when registering births.[45] According to a government announcement in October 2009, approximately 4000 Tajik nationals have dropped "ov" and "ev" from their surnames since the start of the year.[46]

In an interview to Iranian news media in May 2008, Tajikistan's deputy culture minister said Tajikistan would study the issue of switching its Tajik alphabet from Cyrillic to Persian script used in Iran and Afghanistan when the government feels that "the Tajik people became familiar with the Persian alphabet".[47] More recently, the Islamic Renaissance Party of Tajikistan seeks to have the nation's language referred to as "Tajiki-Farsi" rather than "Tajik." The proposal has drawn criticism from Russian media since the bill seeks to remove the Russian language as the mode of interethnic communication.[48] In 1989 the original name of the language (Farsi) was added to its official name in brackets. However, Rahmon's government renamed the language to simply 'Tajiki' in 1994. According to an Islamic Renaissance Party official, the Tajiks had referred to their language as "Farsi" before Sovietization. On October 2009, Tajikistan adopted the law that removes Russian as the "language for interethnic communication."[49]

Tajikistan marked 2009 as the year to commemorate the Sunni Muslim jurist Abu Hanifa, as the nation hosted an international symposium that drew scientific and religious leaders.[50] The construction of one of the largest mosques in the world, funded by Qatar, was announced in October 2009. The mosque is planned to be built in Dushanbe and construction is said to be completed by 2014.[51]

Victims of hate crimes in Russia

Due to large activity of terrorism in Russia: Budyonnovsk hospital hostage crisis with 129 victims, Kizlyar hospital hostage crisis with 100 victims, Ferry hijacking, Moscow theater hostage crisis with 129 victims, Riyadus-Salikhin's bombing in Moscow and Yessentuki[52] with 47 victims, Beslan school hostage crisis with 385 children victims, Russian apartment bombings with 300 victims carried by Muslim society and the growth of Tajik Organized crime[53] many Russians (including putinist authorities) have associated Islam and Muslims with terrorism and domestic crimes.[54][55][56][57] In August 2007 a video of 2 ethnic Russian neo-Nazis beheading two Muslim men, including one Tajik, appeared on the internet.[58] In February 2004, a nine-year old Tajik girl was stabbed to death in Saint Petersburg by suspected far-right skinheads.[59][60]. In December 2008 an email, containing a picture of the severed head of a man identified as Salekh Azizov , was sent to the Moscow Human Rights Bureau. It was sent by a group called Russian Nationalists' Combat Group and has led to protests from the Tajik Government.[61] Despite these facts with large resonance the quantity of victims between Tajik immigrants[61] is 2 time less than average quantity of victims per million inhabitants in Russia in 2008.[62]

See also

Notes and references

  1. ^ a b "Afghanistan". The World Factbook. Central Intelligence Agency. December 13, 2007. https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/af.html#People. Retrieved 2007-12-26. 
  2. ^ Dupree, L.. "Afghānistān: (iv.) ethnocgraphy". in Ehsan Yarshater. Encyclopædia Iranica (Online Edition ed.). United States: Columbia University. http://www.iranica.com/newsite/articles/v1f5/v1f5a040a.html. Retrieved December 29, 2007. 
  3. ^ a b "Tajikistan". The World Factbook. Central Intelligence Agency. December 13, 2007. https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/ti.html#People. Retrieved 2007-12-26. 
  4. ^ a b "Uzbekistan". The World Factbook. Central Intelligence Agency. December 13, 2007. https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/uz.html#People. Retrieved 2007-12-26. 
  5. ^ a b Richard Foltz, "The Tajiks of Uzbekistan", Central Asian Survey, 15(2), 213-216 (1996).
  6. ^ There are 1,000,000 Persian-speakers native to Pakistan and 220,000 Tajik war-refugees from Afghanistan remain in Pakistan. Ethnologue.com's entry for Languages of Pakistan. Census of Afghans in Pakistan.
  7. ^ UN Refugee Agency: about 50% of the total number of Afghan refugees in Iran in 2006 (920,000)
  8. ^ a b 2002 Russian census
  9. ^ GTZ: Migration and development – Afghans in Germany: estimate for Tajiks based on total of 100,000 Afghans in Germany.
  10. ^ This figure only includes Tajiks from Afghanistan. The population of people from Afghanistan the United States is estimated as 80,414 (2005). Of this number, 65% are estimated Tajiks. "US demographic census". http://factfinder.census.gov/servlet/IPTable?_bm=y&-reg=ACS_2005_EST_G00_S0201:501;ACS_2005_EST_G00_S0201PR:501;ACS_2005_EST_G00_S0201T:501;ACS_2005_EST_G00_S0201TPR:501&-qr_name=ACS_2005_EST_G00_S0201&-qr_name=ACS_2005_EST_G00_S0201PR&-qr_name=ACS_2005_EST_G00_S0201T&-qr_name=ACS_2005_EST_G00_S0201TPR&-ds_name=ACS_2005_EST_G00_&-TABLE_NAMEX=&-ci_type=A&-redoLog=true&-charIterations=045&-geo_id=01000US&-format=&-_lang=en. Retrieved 2008-01-23..  Robson, Barbara and Lipson, Juliene (2002) "Chapter 5(B)- The People: The Tajiks and Other Dari-Speaking Groups" The Afghans - their history and culture Cultural Orientation Resource Center, Center for Applied Linguistics, Washington, D.C., OCLC 56081073.
  11. ^ Ethnic composition of the population in Kyrgyzstan 1999-2007
  12. ^ [1]
  13. ^ This figure only includes Tajiks from Afghanistan. The population of people with descent from Afghanistan in Canada is 48,090 according to Canada's 2006 Census.. Tajiks make up an estimated 33% of the population of Afghanistan. The Tajik population in Canada is estimated form these two figures. Ethnic origins, 2006 counts, for Canada.
  14. ^ a b C.E. Bosworth, B.G. Fragner (1999). "TĀDJĪK". Encyclopaedia of Islam (CD-ROM Edition v. 1.0 ed.). Leiden, The Netherlands: Koninklijke Brill NV. 
  15. ^ Afghan refugees in Iran and Pakistan
  16. ^ M. Longworth Dames, G. Morgenstierne, and R. Ghirshman (1999). "AFGHĀNISTĀN". Encyclopaedia of Islam (CD-ROM Edition v. 1.0 ed.). Leiden, The Netherlands: Koninklijke Brill NV. 
  17. ^ Richard Nelson Frye, "Persien: bis zum Einbruch des Islam" (original English title: "The Heritage Of Persia"), German version, tr. by Paul Baudisch, Kindler Verlag AG, Zürich 1964, pp. 485-498
  18. ^ Bartold, V. V. (1925) "Tajiks: Historical essay" In Korzhenevsky, N. L. (editor) (1925) Tadzhikistan: sbornik stateĭ (Tajikistan: ) Obshchestvo dli︠a︡ izuchenii︠a︡ Tadzhikistana i iranskikh narodnosteĭ za ego predelami, Tashkent, pp. 113-150, OCLC 21620342, in Russian; republished in a revised version as Semenov, A. A. and Bartold, V. V. (1944) Materialʹnye pami︠a︡tniki iranskoĭ kulʹtury v Sredneĭ Azii Gosizdat pri SNK Tadzhikskoĭ SSR, Stalinabad, OCLC 30576295, in Russian
  19. ^ According to Professor Walter Bruno Henning, the term comes from Tat(Iranian)+Jik. Source: Dehkhoda dictionary under Tajik. Actual quote:استاد هنينگ تاجيک را ترکي ميداند مرکب از تا (= تات «ترک» + جيک «پسوند ترکي » جمعاً يعني تبعه ترک و اين کلمه را با «تازيک » و «تازي » (و طايي ) لغةً مرتبط نميداند - انتهي
  20. ^ Lambton, Ann K.S. Landlord and Peasant in Persia, p.57. I.B.Tauris, 1991. ISBN 1850432937.
  21. ^ Bergne, Paul. The Birth of Tajikistan, p. 4. I.B.Tauris, 2007. ISBN 1845112830.
  22. ^ a b M.E. Subtelny, "The Symbiosis of Turk and Tajik" in B.F. Manz (ed.), Central Asia in Historical Perspective, (Boulder, Col. & Oxford), 1994, p. 48
  23. ^ Federal Research Division of the Library of Congress (1996). "Tajikistan: Tajik". Country Studies Series. Library of Congress. http://www.country-data.com/cgi-bin/query/r-13606.html. Retrieved 2009-02-04. 
  24. ^ Ali Shir Nava'i Muhakamat al-lughatain tr. & ed. Robert Devereaux (Leiden: Brill) 1966 p6
  25. ^ C.E. Bosworth/B.G. Fragner, "Tādjīk", in Encyclopaedia of Islam, Online Edition: "... In Islamic usage, [Tādjīk] eventually came to designate the Persians, as opposed to Turks [...] the oldest citation for it which Schraeder could find was in verses of Djalāl al-Dīn Rūmī ..."
  26. ^ Dupree, L.. "Afghānistān: (iv.) ethnocgraphy". in Ehsan Yarshater. Encyclopædia Iranica (Online Edition ed.). United States: Columbia University. http://www.iranica.com/newsite/articles/v1f5/v1f5a040a.html. Retrieved 2007-01-28. 
  27. ^ a b Federal Research Division of the Library of Congress (1997). "Afghanistan: Tajik". Country Studies Series. Library of Congress. http://www.country-data.com/cgi-bin/query/r-39.html. Retrieved 2007-12-19. 
  28. ^ Bellew, Henry Walter (1891) An inquiry into the ethnography of Afghanistan The Oriental Institute, Woking, Butler & Tanner, Frome, United Kingdom, page 126, OCLC 182913077
  29. ^ Markham, C. R. (January 1879) "The Mountain Passes on the Afghan Frontier of British India" Proceedings of the Royal Geographical Society and Monthly Record of Geography (New Monthly Series) 1(1): pp. 38-62, p.48
  30. ^ Ethnic Atlas of Uzbekistan, Part 1: Ethnic minorities, Open Society Institute, table with number of Tajiks by province (Russian).
  31. ^ Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor (February 23, 2000). "Uzbekistan". Country Reports on Human Rights Practices - 1999. U.S. Department of State. http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/1999/369.htm. Retrieved 2007-12-19. 
  32. ^ Rahim Masov, The History of the Clumsy Delimitation, Irfon Publ. House, Dushanbe, 1991 (Russian). English translation: The History of a National Catastrophe, transl. Iraj Bashiri, 1996.
  33. ^ Ethnic Atlas of Uzbekistan, Part 1: Ethnic minorities, Open Society Institute, p. 195 (Russian).
  34. ^ Svante E. Cornell, "Uzbekistan: A Regional Player in Eurasian Geopolitics?", European Security, vol. 20, no. 2, Summer 2000.
  35. ^ Population census of Turkmenistan 1995, Vol. 1, State Statistical Committee of Turkmenistan, Ashgabat, 1996, pp. 75-100.
  36. ^ The Afghani Tajik of Pakistan
  37. ^ Long-time Tajik refugees return home from Pakistan
  38. ^ a b Alpines, Turkestan and the Tajiks.
  39. ^ The Irano-Afghan race, The Irano-Afghan race.
  40. ^ Asiatic Alpines, Asiatic Alpines.
  41. ^ Alpine Type, Alpine Type.
  42. ^ Lena Jonson, Tajikistan in the New Central Asia: Geopolitics, Great Power Rivalry and Radical Islam (International Library of Central Asia Studies), page 21
  43. ^ Background Note: Tajikistan
  44. ^ J. Sloame, "Bukharan Jews", Jewish Virtual Library, (LINK)
  45. ^ McDermott, Roger (2007-04-25). "Tajikistan restates its strategic partnership with Russia, while sending mixed signals". The Jamestown Foundation. http://jamestown.org/edm/article.php?article_id=2372123. Retrieved 2007-12-19. 
  46. ^ Some 4,000 Tajiks opt to use the traditional version of their names this year
  47. ^ "Tajikistan may consider using Persian script when the conditions are met", interview of Tajikistan's Deputy Culture Minister with Iranian News Agency, 2 May 2008.
  48. ^ Tajik Islamic Party Seeks Tajiki-Farsi Designation.
  49. ^ Tajikistan Drops Russian As Official Language
  50. ^ Today marks 18th year of Tajik independence and success
  51. ^ Qatar paying for giant mosque in Tajikistan
  52. ^ [2]
  53. ^ http://tajmigrant.com/gastarbajtery-v-zakone-tak-li-ploxo-zhivetsya-tadzhikskim-trudovym-migrantam-v-rossii.html Tajik organized crime
  54. ^ Islamophobia in Russia - Pravda.Ru
  55. ^ More Racism in Russia
  56. ^ [3]
  57. ^ Mosnews.com
  58. ^ "Russian held over 'deaths' video". BBC News. 2007-08-15. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/6946810.stm. 
  59. ^ BBC NEWS | Europe | Girl killed by Russia 'racists'
  60. ^ BBC NEWS | Europe | Racist attacks that stain Russia
  61. ^ a b "Tajik alarm after Moscow murder". http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/7780468.stm. Retrieved 2008-12-13. 
  62. ^ Demoscop Weekly, 1 February 2009

Further reading

  • Dupree, Louis (1980). Afghanistan. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press. 
  • Jawad, Nassim (1992). Afghanistan: A Nation of Minorities. London: Minority Rights Group International. ISBN 0-946690-76-6. 
  • Rahmonov, Emomali (2001). The Tajiks in the Mirror of History: From the Aryans to the Samanids. Guernsey, United Kingdom: London River Editions. pp. 272. ISBN 0954042506. 
  • World Almanac and Book of Facts (2003 ed.). World Almanac Books. ISBN 0-88687-882-9. 

External links


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Simple English

File:8 Famous
Famous Tajik people:
1st row: Ismail Samani • Rudaki • Abu Rayhan Biruni • Avicenna
2nd row: Al-Khwārizmī • Rumi • Emomalii Rahmon • Hammasa Kohistani

Tajiks (Persian: تاجيک Tājīk) are an originally Persian-speaking peoples of Iranian origin, spread in present-day in Afghanistan, Tajikistan, southern Uzbekistan. Because of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, large refugee populations can also be found in both Iran and Pakistan.

The Tajiks constitute almost four-fifths of the population of Tajikistan. In the early 21st century there were about than 6,000,000 Tajiks in Tajikistan and more than 1,000,000 in Uzbekistan. There were over 7,000,000 in Afghanistan, where they constituted about one-third of the population. Another 40,000 lived in the Uygur Autonomous Region of Xinjiang in China.

The name tājīk refers to the traditionally sedentary people who speak a form of Persian called tājīk in Tajikistan and Uzbekistan and who speak the modern Persian language in Afghanistan.

It is generally accepted that the origin of the word tājīk is Middle Persian tāzīk "Arab" (New Persian: tāzi), or an Iranian (Sogdian or Parthian) cognate word. The Turks of Central Asia adopted a variant of this Iranian word, täžik, to designate the Persian Muslims in the Oxus basin and Khorasan, who were variously the Turks’ rivals, models, overlords and subjects. The term emerged in the ninth and tenth (or perhaps the tenth and eleventh) centuries, but it was not until the first third of the eleventh century that the term Tājīk began to be applied to them. Persian writers of the Ghaznavid, Seljuq and Atābak periods (ca. 1000–1260) adopted the term and extended its use to cover Persians in the rest of Iran. So this word remained to be used to designate the Persian peoples in Afghanistan and Tajikistan today, although these people are neither Arab nor Turk.[1]

The Tajiks are the direct descendants of the Iranian peoples (Aryans) who have lived in Central Asia and northern Afghanistan since very ancient times. They were the heirs and transmitters of the Central Asian sedentary culture that diffused in prehistoric times from the Iranian plateau into an area extending roughly from the Caspian Sea to the borders of China. The ancestors of the Tajiks constituted the core of the ancient population of Khwārezm, Sogdiana and Bactria, which formed part of Transoxania. They were included in the empires of Persia and Alexander the Great, and they intermingled with such later invaders as the Kushāns and Hepthalites in the 1st–6th centuries AD. Over the course of time, the eastern Iranian dialect that was used by the ancient Tajiks eventually gave way to Farsi, a western dialect spoken in Iran, Afghanistan and Tajikistan.

File:Canons of
In about AD 1000 a doctor from the Tajik city Bukhara named Avicenna wrote the Canon of Medicine, an important medical book. Doctors in the Middle East and Europe followed the teachings of this book for centuries.[2]

The Tajik people have a rich cultural heritage. Their homeland which was once called Khorasan, was a prosperous and important province of Persia, as it was the seat of many rulers. Khorasan enjoyed its peak of urban civilization in the period of Abbasids, before the Mongol invasion of the thirteenth century, and was one of the most significant areas in the muslim-Persian world, a great centre of literature where the New Persian literature arose and flourished. Tajik cities like Herat, Balkh, Marv, Samarkand, Bukhara and Ghazni were centres of science and culture out of which came some of the most famous Islamic scholars.[3] Many poets arose among the Tajik people, such as Rudaki, an early Persian poet and Rumi, the famous Sufi poet, and scientists such as Avicenna, Al-Farabi, Al-Biruni, Al-Khwarizmi, and many others who have made outstanding contributions in various domains such as mathematics, astronomy, medicine, physics, geography, and geology.

The Tajiks built villages of flat-roofed mud or stone houses and cultivated irrigated fields of wheat, barley, and millet. Their gardens were famous for melons and a variety of fruits. Their crafts were highly developed, and their towns along the caravan routes linking Persia, China, and India were centres of trade. Turks subsequently migrated westward into the area inhabited by the Tajiks, but Tajiks retained their Iranian culture and language.

Most Tajiks are Sunni Muslims, but a few in remote mountain areas are Shia.

See Also

Other websites

  1. Oxford English Dictionary: Origin of the word "Tajik": from Persian tājik 'a Persian, someone who is neither an Arab nor a Turk'.
  2. "medicine." Britannica Elementary Library. Encyclopaedia Britannica Ultimate Reference Suite. Chicago: Encyclopædia Britannica, 2010.
  3. Music of Afghanistan: professional musicians in the city of Herat By John Baily
  • TAJIK i. THE ETHNONYM: ORIGINS AND APPLICATION, Encyclopedia Iranica, Last Updated: July 20, 2009, www.iranica.com
  • "Tajik." Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopaedia Britannica Ultimate Reference Suite. Chicago: Encyclopædia Britannica, 2010.


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