A Silk Road Connection — by Leesan

Samarkand in Uzbekistan is where one goes to learn about ancient Asian history.

The charm of Samarkand in Uzbekistan, the ancient crossroads of Asia.

As I sit in a folk music restaurant in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, I catch a glimpse of a beautiful Uzbek lady passing by. She’s tall, has fair skin and cuts an elegant figure. As she turns around, she smiles sweetly – I was totally bowled over by her beauty. I couldn’t help but ask her name. She is Sitora, she says, a fourth year Art student majoring in English literature.

She’s friendly and she’s at the restaurant to celebrate a family member’s birthday. She invites me to dance with them. Soon enough, after a few short interactions, her whole family gathers at my table, bringing the party with them!

Family gatherings are very important in the Uzbek culture and community and this particular family is naturally extending its warm hospitality to me, a stranger. Sitora’s father even offers me a 3l-Russian vodka, and I find that offer hard to refuse.

As my mind drifts into the distance, I feel as though I have travelled back in time to the first century, roaming on the Silk Road. In fact, I am standing at the ancient crossroads of China and the Mediterranean, watching merchants unload dusty sacks of silk, spices, porcelain and other things for trade from the back of camels.


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