The Tajik word, Dushanbe, means Monday. When Dushanbe was only a village, Monday was the day of the weekly market so it was called Dushanbe. From 1929 to 1961 the city was known as Stalinabad, but in 1961 the city was re-christened "Dushanbe." Dushanbe has several daily markets (except for the mandatory once a week closure to sanitize the market), but my favorite has always been the Zeleny Bazaar (Green Bazaar).
Rhubarb grows wild on the mountain sides surrounding Dushanbe
The Herbalist (above) mixing medicinal potions
Chopping kilos of carrots into matchsticks for plov
Dillaruz, my former bread lady who always saved me the best, freshest bread
Sadly, Zeleny Bazaar may soon move several kilometers away leaving the surrounding residents without a local market. Perhaps a friend of the President wants to develop the land that the bazaar occupies.
We visited several of the buildings surrounding Rudaki Park. We went to the new National Museum and took a photo of the reproduction of the 13-meter reclining Buddha (in Nirvana pose) that is housed there. When the Bamiyan Buddhas in Afghanistan were destroyed by the Taliban, this Buddha became the largest in Central Asia. It is sculpted out of clay. The original resides several blocks away in the Antiquities Museum. Apparently, they refused to give up their Buddha.
The National Library (above) and National Guesthouse (below)
Avicena bust with Tajik Flag in distance
And, the guard at the Ismail Somoni monument motioned for us to come up the steps and then tried to extort us for 1 somoni. One somoni is worth 16 cents.