Tuesday, January 24, 2012 -
Uzbek President Islam Karimov has axed concerts and other official events planned for Valentine’s Day next month, local media outlets reported Tuesday.
Instead residents of the tightly controlled former Soviet country may have no choice but to spend the day listening to poetry readings by Mughal emperor Babur who died 400 years ago, the Associated Press (AP) news agency reported, citing Russia’s RIA Novosti.
Cancellation of the February 14 romance-based festivities in Uzbekistan, the most populated country in Central Asia, appears to have been a government decision.
Nevertheless, it reflects an apparent official dislike for Valentine’s Day.
The “day of love” was described by the state-run Turkiston newspaper last year as the work of “forces with evil goals bent on putting an end to national values,” AP said.
The day is widely celebrated across Muslim-dominated Central Asia despite the holiday’s Christian roots, AP said.