On 1 September 2017, the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation Headquarters ináBeijing played host toáthe Culture Day ofáthe Republic ofáTajikistan.
The event's organisers designed and planned the initiative ináa creative and unconventional way, offering a diverse and original programme packed withávarious events.
Guests arriving atáthe Day ofáCulture venue were greeted byáthe image ofáthe mysterious smile fromáthe 13-metre statue ofáa sleeping Buddha, the largest clay Buddha statue ináthe world known asáthe ĹNirvana sleeping Buddha.'
Once insideáthe SCO Headquarters, guests were offered an immersive experience intoáthe rich and ancient history and culture ofáTajikistan. For example, guests could sit ináa replica ofáa statue representing a golden chariot witháBactrian racing horses fromáthe world-famous Oxus Treasure, or ride the majestic Bucephalus sculpture byáprominent Chinese sculptor Ren Zhe. They could also take pictures withágracious horses striking sparks ofáhealing fire withátheir hooves, help harvest grapes fromáa vineyard nearáthe eastern side ofáthe SCO Headquarters, or taste magical amber berries filled witháhappiness and love.
"Building onáthe best traditions ofáthe SCOáŚ Our Common Home project, we are happy toáwelcome the Day ofáCulture ofáthe Republic ofáTajikistan atáour Headquarters," SCO Secretary-General Rashid Alimov said atáthe opening ceremony. "We are all looking forward toáthe wonderful journey toáthe land ofámountain highs, blooming valleys and open hearts," Mr Alimov went onáto say.
Tajikistan's Minister ofáEconomic Development Nematullo Hikmatullozoda welcomed the guests onábehalf ofáPresident Emomali Rahmon, who was onáa state visit toáChina atáthe time. The official said: "The initiative toáhold the Days ofáCulture atáthe SCO Headquarters promotes dialogue betweenácivilisations and helps strengthen neighbourly relations, friendship and cooperation withináthe SCO family. Today, Tajikistan will show you only a small portion ofáits rich culture, art and unique traditions. I hope that every guest will be able toáexperience Tajikistan's hospitality, atáleast foráthis brief moment."
In his remarks, First Vice President ofáthe Chinese People's Association foráFriendship witháForeign Countries Shen Xin congratulated the guests ofáthe event, and stressed that "China and Tajikistan enjoy a high level ofámutual trust asáclose and good neighbours." He went onáto say that "this is demonstrated byáthe fact that so many people turned upáfor this event, and we are glad toábeing able toácontribute toáthe organisation ofáimportant events likeáthe Days ofáCulture."
The SCO Headquarters also hosted a large-scale exhibition byátalented artists fromáTajikistan, including Sukhrob Kurbanov, Yusuf Sangov, Faridun Negmat-sade, and others, reflecting the beauty and generosity ofáthe Tajik people, and the uniqueness ofáthe country's mountain regions.
For two decades, prominent Chinese painter Yang Yang has focused onáethnic Tajik people living onáthe country's border witháChina. Her paintings were also displayed atáthe exhibition. The Culture Day also featured a photo exhibition onáorganic fruit, providing another immersive experience intoáTajikistan.
The Culture Day offered its guests a unique opportunity toáget a taste ofáthe traditional Tajik cuisine byásampling a wide variety ofádishes prepared byáthe country's best chefs.
The highlight ofáthe event was a concert byáTajikistan's performers, featuring Jahonoro dance group led byáMerited Artist ofáTajikistan Dilorom Sattorova, prominent vocalists Soibnazar Alovatov and Firdavs Khoshimov, asáwell asádoyra player Khayrullo Dadoboyev.
A fashion show was also held withábeautiful models wearing traditional Tajik costumes.
For many guests, this day helped rediscover not only Tajikistan's rich and diverse culture, butáalso the SCO Headquarters transformed intoáa hospitable Tajik home.
The Tajikistan Culture Day was timed toácoincide witháthe 25th anniversary ofádiplomatic ties betweenáTajikistan and China. It was held asápart ofáSCOáŚ Our Common Home initiative byáthe SCO, continuing a string ofáevents involving SCO member states.
More thaná300 guests attended the event, including ambassadors and diplomatic staff accredited ináChina, prominent Chinese political figures, cultural and civil society leaders, asáwell asáacademics and students.
Chinese and foreign media provided extensive coverage ofáthe event.
The Tajikistan Culture Day atáthe SCO Headquarters was held duringáthe state visit byáthe President ofáthe Republic ofáTajikistan Emomali Rahmon toáChina.
The Day ofáCulture was organised byáthe Ministry ofáCulture ofáthe Republic ofáTajikistan, and co-sponsored byáthe Chinese People's Association foráFriendship witháForeign Countries witháassistance fromáTajikistan's friends, including Yema Group, Xi Tang, Riverside Group and Chinese Cultural and Art Exchange Exhibition Centre ofáOne Belt and One Road.
Jahonoro dance groupáwas created oná2 January 1991 and is part ofáthe State Creative Concert Association withináthe Ministry ofáCulture ofáthe Republic ofáTajikistan. Headed byáhead choreographer Dilorom Sattorova, it took part ináa number ofáfestivals and competitions.
Pamir Folk Bandáwas created iná2011 withináBazmoro, one ofáthe oldest ensembles ofáTajikistan. The band consists ofáeight people witháSoibnazar Alovatov asáone ofáits leading vocalists.
Doyra virtuoso Khayrullo Dadoboyeváhas a rich repertoire or music played withánational percussion instruments, including doyra, tablak, karay, darduk, djemba, bong, cong, etc. Khayrullo Dadoboyev's band has more thaná20 musicians who play national percussion instruments.
Firdavs Khoshimovágraduated fromáthe Sattorov Tajik National Conservatory, and is currently the soloist ofáDjurayev Tajik State Philharmonic.
Sukhrob Kurbanováwas a Soviet painter fromáTajikistan, awarded the title ofáPeople's Artist ofáthe USSR and Tajikistan. From 1982 untilá2012 he was board chairman ofáthe Union ofáTajikistan's Painters. His works can be found ináthe Metropolitan Museum ofáArt ináNew York, ináthe Tretyakov Gallery ináMoscow, asáwell asáin museums ináDresden, Beijing, Paris, etc.
Yusuf Sangováis a People's Artist ofáTajikistan, winner ofáthe Rudaki State Award, Professor Emeritus atáNanjing University ofáthe Arts (China) and Professor Emeritus atáthe Moscow Academy ofáContemporary Art.
Faridun Negmat-sadeáwon a number ofáprestigious international art awards. His works can be found inámuseums, galleries and private collections ináChina, Russia, the United States, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Sweden, Mexico, Chile and Israel.