Tajik literature

struggle for the status of the Tajik language in the late 1980s was aimed at regaining the richness lost as a consequence of the change in the alphabet and the adoption of the ìSoviet styleî of writing. As a result, Tajikistan was the first republic in the Soviet Union to pass a law adopting a language other than Russian as an official state language.
The new way of writing Tajik in Cyrillic, Soviet censorship, and the influence of Soviet ideology created a new literature. With the spread of publishing, this new script and literature offered the masses a new Tajik identity, but more importantly, it provided them with a new Soviet identity. The change from Arabic to Cyrillic also created a linguistic barrier between Tajiks and other Persian speakers such as Iranians, as well as the Tajiksí ìlost brotherî in Af- ghanistan.
The Soviet identity of Tajiks confronted their Persian linguistic identity in the 1970s when Tajiks fulfilled their ìinternational dutyî (internacionalniy dolg) by participating in Soviet military actions in Afghanistan. However, unlike members of other Soviet nationalities, Tajiks had to fight people who spoke their language, listened to their music and recited the same po- etry.15 Hundreds of translators, advisors and soldiers witnessed and participated in this fratricidal war. This experience left traces of doubt among the Tajik elite about their Persian identity as well as their nationality in the Soviet/Russian context.
The Tajiksí kindred ties with Afghans were reflected in a number of real and fictitious narratives about the Afghan war. One of these stories was told to Gulrukhsor Safieva, a poetess and activist of the opposition movement in the 1980s, by a Tajik soldier, who took part in many ìcleansingsî (chistki) during his two years in the army. The story took place in an Afghan village where the only people left were women, children, and elders. When the Tajik soldier entered a house with other Soviet soldiers, he encountered an old Afghan man who recognized the soldier as Tajik. The old man told him in Dari: ìDonít take this sin upon your soul. You are Tajik. Let them kill me.î 16 The story illustrated the ties between Afghans and Tajiks which had been de- stroyed by the ìevil stepmotherî Russia.
In poems by Tajik writers about the Afghan war, the notion of ìusîóthat is, Tajiks in the 8


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