AEPE The European Association of Teachers of Spanish – International Colloquium, Tashkent
The event took place in Tashkent, capital of the Republic of Uzbekistan, on the premises of the State University of World Languages. The purpose of the colloquium was to contribute towards the spread of the Spanish language and Hispanic culture and support teachers of the language in this country.
The 36 participants in the Colloquium arrived at Tashkent on Saturday March 31 from different points of the globe.
On Sunday April 1 the participants travel to Samarkand and thanks to the competent interpreting work performed by one of our participants, Andrés Santana Arribas, of the Aula Universitaria Hispano-Rusa of the University of Cádiz, we fully appreciated the words of welcome offered by the Rector of Samarkand State University, U.Tashkenbayev, with whom our President, Pilar Celma, signed the first Memorandum of Cooperation between our Association and the University. Our next port of call was the Samarkand State Institute of Foreign Languages, where the Rector, Shuhrat Sirojiddinov, welcomed us with a short speech and a brief ‘show’ put on by the Spanish-language students, and another Memorandum was signed.
Tuesday April 3 was devoted to the magnificent historical monuments characterising Bukhara, and the evening before our able guide offered to show us the illuminated city on a brief Bukhara-by-night tour. Later in the evening we were able to return to Tashkent by air.
It was on Wednesday April 4 that the Colloquium proper was initiated and Papers read. In all there were 23, 12 from the visitors’ side and 11 from the Uzbek side. An impressive reception was waiting for us as in the State University of World Languages,One red carpet stretched from the top of the university building steps down to Kishik Xalqa Yo’li Avenue; speeches were held, songs were sung, Uzbek and Spanish dances were performed, and friendships were in the making. Another Memorandum was signed, while at the Fund Forum building a further Agreement was ratified with the signature of the Director of the Tashkent Representative Office. Later in the day the University Rector, Abdulla Abdulkhaevich Ismailov, invited us to a festive supper accompanied by local dancing, and it would seem difficult to leave Uzbekistan without being highly impressed by Uzbekistan hospitality and generosity. Among the bonds which now tie us to the various Spanish departments in Uzbekistan, mention may be made of the AEPE’s offer of two scholarships for Uzbek teachers to attend the annual Congress, this year to be held in Gijón in the north of Spain. Furthermore, the AUHR department at the University of Cádiz is offering a scholarship for an Uzbek national to spend a month in Cádiz studying and perfecting his or her Spanish. The AEPE has also offered cost-free membership of the Association during the first year for newly affiliated persons.
The following day, Friday April 6, our various aircraft took us to our different destinations: Paris, London, Frankfurt, Taipeh, Geneva and Madrid. Correspondence among the 36 of us during the ensuing week has testified to an immense satisfaction with this first encounter with Uzbekistan, its academic world and the teachers and students of Spanish.
We are convinced that this marks the beginning of a long friendship.