Living in the City of Stone
Tashkent youth dream not only of America and Europe, but South Korea as well, being one of Uzbekistan’s strongest economic partners. It’s no coincidence that Korean is an alternative to English as a foreign language, being that it provides access to better jobs and salaries. Apparently a good university education would seem to provide access to an adequate Western standard of living. However, in Uzbekistan, invested with a deep culture of patronage, it’s easier to finish college by purchasing a degree than by merit or actually studying. Taskent youth are a wonderful example of tolerance and positive coexistence as Uzbekistan is comprised of several different ethnic groups. Firstly Uzbeks, but also Tajik, Tartar, Armenian, Russian, Korean and Kazakh. Seemingly no cultural differences exist since first Russian, then Uzbek, are the languages of communication, as if the Soviet period still existed.
The majority of Tashkent youth have never been outside of Uzbekistan nor have they seen other Uzbek cities like Samarkand, Bukhara and Khiva.
Karimov, the eternal president, maintains a continuous media censorship with little other than Russian entertainment and music available.