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Anecdotes from Uzbek journalists

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  WE HAVE WITH WHAT TO WIPE UP! One Uzbek businessman who delivered the container with a toilet paper from China, has told, that on a customs post the officer looked at his declaration on a cargo and has angrily asked: "Why so a lot of toilet paper? You want to tell, that the newspapers do not suffice us in Uzbekistan?
  THE SCIENCE WILL NOT PASS: When I was the representative of the Swedish magazine "Central Asia and the Caucasus" in Uzbekistan received 100 copies of it at railway station "Tashkent Central" when arrived there passenger train from Moscow. The steward gave me two boxes and I dragged them on a customs post.
  "What the literature is?" the customs officer has cheerfully asked me. "A pornography? Religious books? The political literature?"
  "Yes that you!" I was indignant. "This is a scientific edition!"
  "A scientific edition?" the officer has frowned. "Well then I can not pass - examination of the Ministry of culture is necessary!"
  IN THE PASSPORT OF THE COW - COLUMN OF THE NATIONALITY: Several years ago in Tashkent there was a magazine "Manager". One of its numbers was devoted to actions and value of stock exchange in economy. On a cover has been drown a bear holding for horns the bull - a known monument of the New York Stock Exchange, symbolizing struggle for increase-decrease of share price. The picture appeared not clear to the employee of the Apparatus of the President of Uzbekistan and he has demanded to himself the editor-in-chief: "Why the Russian bear is holding the Uzbek cow? What do you want to tell us with this? What, does Russia want to deprive Uzbekistan independence?"
  "Excuse me, but I do not understand you", the editor was amazed. "And how you have defined a nationality of animals?"
  "Well, it is known, that a bear is a symbol of Russians", the answer has followed. To tell the truth, as the national identity of the cow has been established the employee of the Apparatus has not specified, though in the picture it was not in tubeteyka.
  (Note: tubeteyka is a national headwear of Uzbeks)
  BONE - NOT FOR OUR PEOPLE! On east calendar one year has been devoted to a dog. Artist Alexander Markelov has drawn a New Year's cartoon for the governmental newspaper "Pravda Vostoka": the dog sleeps on a smart bed, and its owner on a floor, near to him - a bowl with a bone. It has exasperated the censor. He has called to himself the assistant to the responsible secretary and shouted: "This is an insult for Uzbek people! You want to hint, that we have nothing to eat except for bones!"
  The journalist had to run to printing house and to delete a bone from a film by a razor.
  TERRORISTS LOOK FOR APARTMENTS: After terrorist explosions in Tashkent on February 16, 1999, "hunting on witches" began in the country. Censorship especially behaved with brutality. Checked meticulously all pages of editions, even advertising. Once the censor has forbidden to print paid announcements for delivery of apartments in rent.
  "Why?" was amazed the responsible secretary of the newspaper "The Business-Bulletin of the East". "We already have get money for advertising."
  "Return!" the censor has forced. It appears, someone in the Apparatus of the President has decided, that terrorists read newspapers, find announcements for delivery of apartments, rent them and after that leave on street and arrange explosions. It was entrusted to censorship to complicate a life to terrorists.
  YOU BADLY KNOW A GEOGRAPHY: Censorship forbade for a long time to print the information on neighbors of Uzbekistan. I somehow with delegation of journalists have visited Kyrgyzstan. Has interviewed the governor of the Osh area, mayor of the City of Osh. Having arrived to Tashkent, has prepared the publication. But the censor has not passed it.
  Why is it impossible to publish?", I was indignant.
  "There Is no such country as Kyrgyzstan", has followed the answer.
  "And where then I was?" I was surprised.
  "I do not know", the censor has laconically told. "But I advise to learn the geography. It is impossible to write about the country which does not exist on the Uzbek maps.
  PHANTOMS HAVE ARRIVED: Since 1992 on present time between Uzbekistan and Tajikistan does not exist an air communication, though they have common border. In 2000 the Tajik airline has tried to renew flights. The delegation has arrived, and was met in Tashkent. The Uzbek press has been invited for coverage.
  But then in edition of the newspaper "The Business-Bulletin of the East" have called from the News Agency "Jahon" at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Uzbekistan and have forbidden to inform on this event.
  "We have already prepared a material and shall not refuse from it!" the assistant to the editor-in-chief has firmly told.
  Of the other end of a wire have thought, and then have quite seriously offered: "Can you place an article somewhere at the end of the newspaper and under a heading "The Poltergeist. UFOs. A next world"?
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