International evening "Meet the world": Azerbaidjan 8.06.2011
The June edition of the international discussion evenings Meet
the World gave us the opportunity to go on a journey to Azerbaijan and get to know two interesting
persons – Arzu Gulijeva who was born in Estonia,
but whose parents are from Azerbaijan,
and Elshan Mammadov who is Aser, doing his Master’s degree in Baltic Studies at
University of Tartu.
We were given a presentation about the culture of Azerbaijan
concerning the religion and beliefs, politics, gender roles, the cuisine, the
folk music etc. We watched a video clip about the complex process of making the
silk carpets, from raising the silkworms until the right way of washing the
carpet. We got to know how important the right carpet washing skills were for
an Azerbaijani girl to find a good groom.
We were surprised that there were many similarities between
Estonia and Azerbaijan,
especially considering the pagan-religious beliefs and traditions. The
favourite holiday in Azerbaijan
- Novruz – which is to celebrate the spring Equinox, holds traditions of
different holidays from Estonian folk calendar (spring festivities, midsummer
night, St. Martin’s Day, St. Catherine’s Day).
After the presentations and discussions we had the chance
to try the typical drink pomegranate juice and typical dessert halva made by
Arzu. Those who stayed for longer could also see the presentation of
Azerbaijani folk dance and learn some steps from Elshan.
Making the silk carpets http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TFZeyBgsICI
National dance http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RHpCcXQeClw