Did you know that Seattle currently has sister city relationships with 21 cities throughout the world? The establishment of sister cities fosters relationships between two locales thus creating greater understanding of their respective cultures. The exchange program began in 1956 thanks to President Dwight Eisenhower. His intention was essentially one of world peace and less conflict; or at least more peaceful relationships between the United States and other countries of the world.
I have an ongoing goal of honoring and highlighting each of the 21 sister cities of Seattle. The master list of cities appears in my “Travel the World in Your Own Backyard: Seattle’s 21 International Sister Cities” post and will be updated every couple of weeks.
Sister City: Tashkent, Uzbekistan
Year Established: 1973
Representation in Seattle:
The Tashkent-Seattle relationship is quite strong, and was actually the very first Soviet-American Sister City connection to be established in the world. A wide variety of exchanges have occurred between Tashkent and Seattle from the arts (cinema, dance, tightrope walking) to professional (dentist, lawyer, chef) to social and civic work, and beyond.
The sister city organization hosts an annual event in the spring to celebrate the Central Asian New Year called Navruz.
Our “travels” took us to the Tashkent Park, which was dedicated, with a visit from the Mayor of Tashkent, in 1974 and is located in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood. It features the statue, “Semurg” “Bird of Happiness”, given to Seattle from the people of Tashkent in 1989, in addition to an arbor and painted peace tiles created by school children.
Tashkent, with a population of 2.3 million, is the largest city in Central Asia and is the capital of Uzbekistan. According to the city of Seattle’s website, it’s a desert city whose main industries include mining equipment, tobacco, chemical products, and textiles.
Have you traveled to Central Asia? Tell us about your experience.
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