On the Road: Chorsu Bazaar in Tashkent

Loads and loads of sweet cherries.

There’s no way to satisfyingly describe the biggest bazar of Tashkent, Uzbekistan, in words. At least I can’t find one. It’s soo big, soo colorful, soo varied. The offered goods range from cheap plastic to home-farmed super sweet strawberries, from weird icon-carpets made in China, to elaborately embroidered jackets, from intensely scenting garlic to brightly sparkling jewelry.

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National clothing: embroidered jackets
National clothing: embroidered jackets

The bazaar is stretched over countless halls and streets with the giant hall of intensely colored spices and dried goods (an Kurt, a dried cheese speciality), topped with a green dome, being the center. What Tashkent’s new city lacks in actual public life, Chorsu compensates for. Every day, farmers from outside of Tashkent travel to Chorsu to offer their goods in the already relentless heat of May. The abundance of sun in Uzbekistan (300 days of sunshine a year, take that, Berlinowic) makes the produce ultra-delicious. The sweet scent of strawberries and the delicious taste of tomatos here is so intense, it makes you wanna faint (when thinking about the German quality).

Kurt, a dried cheese snack eaten with beer. Quite unusual in taste.
Kurt, a dried cheese snack eaten with beer. Quite unusual in taste.
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The halls are filled with customers and sellers, boys moving carts, and young ones running in between stands. Most of the farmers are from Uzbek origin and don’t necessarily speak Russian, while many customers from the new parts of the city don’t necessarily speak Uzbek, although it’s teached in school since first grade. It’s a total clash and also a good lesson about the Uzbek society. I was quite surprised to learn, that in Uzbekistan your “ethnicity” or “origin” is mentioned in your passport, while everyone is Uzbek by nationality, their origin is mostly either Uzbek, Russian, Korean or Armenian. Uzbek are by far the majority in this country, although for instance almost none of my students were Uzbek and there were no Uzbeks in the clubs and bars we went to after sunset. I heard, Uzbek are far more conservative, and I also learnt how big the resentments in between the several ethnicities can be.

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Picture: Komila Rakhimova
Picture: Komila Rakhimova

I came to Chorsu with the students of my photography workshop and wanted to include the pictures of one of them, Komila Rakhimova, here. They are marked in the caption.

Women gathering around sellers
Women gathering around sellers
Famers resting in carts
Famers resting in carts
Sweet gold: dried apricots
Sweet gold: dried apricots
Picture: Komila Rakhimova
Picture: Komila Rakhimova
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Picture: Komila Rakhimova
Picture: Komila Rakhimova
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Just behind the big dome is the food bazaar, or food market. Where vendors yell their offered dishes to get your attention and we went to have lunch. Chorsu Bazaar is located around Chorsu Metro Station and is also a stop of many busses. Or just get a taxi. It happens every day.

Uzbek lunch: Lagman, a soup with noodles.
Uzbek lunch: Lagman, a soup with noodles.

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  1. Tinka on

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    wow looks so amazing. I just wanna hop on my bike and go :-). One day I must go and visit. The know the colorful bazaars from Morocco, but they don´t have such overabundance of strawberries and cherries. Must be heaven. wishing you a wonderful time!

  2. sev on

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    Great colours! and it looks pretty good, I’d like to eat anything of everything taken in picture.

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