28 september 2020

Central Asia news

Everybody is picking cotton in the Namangan region of Uzbekistan

18.10.2004 16:57 msk

Nazir Saidkhanov

Ferghana Valley

Concentrating on what was happening in the Andizhan and Ferghana regions of Uzbekistan, we somehow neglected the Namangan region. Meanwhile, this region is facing its own score of problems too, and they may even outnumber the problems of other regions. Ferghana.Ru decided to correct the slip. Here is a report of our correspondent Nazir Saidkhanov from Namangan.

When the cotton picking season began, new Khokim Ikromkhon Nazhmitdinov closed all canteens and entertainment centers in the region and ordered the slogan "Khama Pakhtaga!" (Everyone to Pick Cotton) posted everywhere. Bazaars including the famous Sardoba in the center of Namangan and Zhakhon Bozori (World Market) in the outskirts were closed after that.

I recently decided to visit my favorite Magic cafe and found it locked up with the familiar "Khama Pakhtaga!" in the window. "Strange," I thought. "Are cooks and waiters in private cafes also supposed to pick cotton? What cotton picking can be expected from them?"

One of these days, city fathers intend to send school undergraduates (!) to cotton plantations. Students of colleges and universities are already there. It may be added, however, that only youngsters from "poor" families are picking cotton. Kids from the wealthy ones hire the mardikors (hired hands) for a song.

Some sources say that the city khokim (mayor) was fired by the regional leader for inadequate mobilization of city dwellers for the cotton picking campaign.