If you happen to celebrate the New Year in Uzbekistan don’t expect to see Father Frost and his snow maiden on local TV. The government has allegedly imposed an informal ban on showing images of the key Slavic New Year characters.
Even the traditional New Year staple – a Christmas tree – can be shown on local TV only if it’s small enough and shown from far away.
The censure move is said to be similar to the semi-official ban on celebrating New Year's Eve in 2005.
According to the UzMetronom news website, the government headed by President Islam Karimov has imposed the informal ban encouraged by a group of politicians keen to preserve traditional Asian values in the country.
Local newspapers have long reported on the harmful influence of mass culture on Central Asian nation.
It’s not the first time the Republic has proved hostile to holidays and cultures perceived as ‘alien’. Ahead of this year’s St Valentine's Day local authorities reportedly canceled some concerts, organizing readings of poems of the first Mughal Emperor Babur instead.