Informed Traveling

I am a fan of informed traveling. This means that if you have the ability and the time, you need to read at least one history book about the country/region, one fiction book (by an author of the country or region), maybe look up the wikipedia file on the country if all else fails. Needless to say, informed traveling makes your travels not only safer (which my mom loves), but also more interesting.

As you will all be traveling with me on my next adventure to Central Asia, I figured I could give you a heads up on some stuff so you are a bit more informed.

– Tajikistan is a country located in Central Asia. Its Language is Tajik, which is Persian based language. This stems from pre-Mongol invasion times.

-The largest Tajik cities are not in Tajikistan, they are in Uzbekistan. You have actually heard of them if you like history, of Samarkand and Bukhara

-Finding a book written by a Tajik (especially a modern one) is hard, very hard. So instead I suggest two other reads, Shahnameh and Rumi. These will give you an interesting perspective on the area, and at the same time a good deal of the history of the place.

-The Pamirs are why most Americans go to Tajikistan. They are a climbers wet dream, and very interesting from everything I’ve read. It takes up a LARGE part of Tajikistan. I sadly, will not be participating in this.

-Though mostly Sunni Muslims, there is a sect there that very few in the United States know about. The Ismai’lis, which is a Shi’ah sect. This is actually the second largest sect of Shi’ah Islam.

-Last but not least. The creation of Tajikistan was according to some, “the thorn that Stalin created to always bother Pan-Turkism.” (wowzers)

Thats all for now.

“If you reject the food, ignore the customs, fear the religion and avoid the people, you might better stay at home.” – James Michener

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