One of Central Asia’s most popular poets was a voice virtually unknown in the West.
Choʻlpon (1897-1938) arrest photo before his execution
For centuries, Central Asia was a space largely unknown to most Westerners, a blank map shadowed by the spheres of influence of other powers. That’s changing. As we have written before, today the people of Central Asia have an opportunity to chart their own destiny, an opportunity unprecedented in modern history. Not surprisingly, the peoples of Central Asia are forging national identities all their own. For Uzbeks, one important source is Abdulhamid Sulaymon oʻgʻli Yunusov, known by his penname Choʻlpon. The Uzbek poet and novelist has been credited with shaping the modern Uzbek language and serves as an important figure of national independence.