Life in Tashkent: Family Journal August 21, 2022

Central Asian Cradle “Beshik” at the Chorus Bazaar

I changed diapers for 8 consecutive years! That was the time from when our first son was born in 2002 to our daughter getting out of diapers in 2010. I could have avoided much of that if we had encountered an Uzbek beshik. Last weekend I went to the big Chorsu Bazaar in Tashkent looking for some aluminum buckets for Nadia’s classroom. I noticed many of these wooden structures and I guessed they were baby cribs. A little research turned up the YouTube video below.

The beshik was invented before disposable diapers came around and people settled in cities. The hole in the bottom of the cradle is for waste, both #1 and #2. I can see the functionality of them although I would have a hard time strapping down the babies. I guess they get used to it and from the little scholarly research on benefits or harm of using beshiks, it seemed not to have an impact on normal child development. I laugh that the children in the thumbnail of the video are holding onto the “catheters”. I wonder how many people in Tashkent still use the beshik. There were plenty for sale, but I sense it is more ceremonial rather that useful. I always encounter new things living in exotic countries!

Patterned ceramic tiles are a big deal in Islamic architecture. Nadia is looking for tiles to put in a coffee table she is designing so we stopped a the workshop of a friend. It was located in an old school building . They were working on the tiles for a new Islamic library that is being built here in Tashkent. As you can see in the photo on the far left, the intricate patterns require many tiles. The scale of the building is immense. One of the masters is holding up one tile in front of a diagram of that one portion of the library wall. We found a couple tiles we liked although they were charging us a bit too much, so Nadia will continue looking for some less expensive tiles. It is cool that there are ceramic workshops like this throughout Uzbekistan.

I end this post with a sunset photo of the Minor Mosque, my favorite mosque in Tashkent. It is a modern mosque, completed only a few years ago. It is located at the end of the biking trail on the canal and it never ceases to awe me with its beauty. This was taken from the back side as I cycled around the grounds of the mosque.

The weather is finally starting to cool a bit with day time temperatures in the high 80s, low 90s and nights cooling to the 70s. Perfect blue skies and a nice breeze!

Minor Mosque

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