Family Journal: March 20, 2022

Sumalak for Sale at Mirabad Bazaar

It was a quiet Sunday with most of the day taken up with errands. People often litter in Uzbekistan and it is the duty of everyone to keep the front of their home facing the street tidy. I swept the street and sidewalk in front of our home and took out the garbage. I watched some of the NCAA basketball tournament and then Nadia and I went shopping. We stopped at the Mirabad and Alay Bazaars as well as the supermarket Korzinka. The evening was spent unpacking groceries and I also had a Zoom call for an upcoming accreditation visit I am leading in two weeks.

There were some celebrations around the city to mark the start of the Navruz holiday. Mahalla centers and shopping malls had entertainment and festive decorations. At the local Korzinka, they were making sumalak in the parking lot for customers. Sumalak is a traditional holiday dish made from wheat grains. It takes a lot of cooking and stirring to get the sweet-tasting pudding. We made sumalak last March on our trip to Karakalpakstan. This year, I purchased the finished product from the local bazaar and we’ll have some this evening.

Stoking the fire under the vat of sumalak at Korzinka

The city was also giving out free staple foods like rice, flour and vegetable oil. There were long lines at the market all day long at the market. They must do this for Navruz. Nadia also pointed out while we were at Korzinka that there were Roshen chocolates on the shelves. Roshen is a Ukrainian chocolate company. We like the Roshen wafer creme cookies.

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