Rahvusvaheline õhtu "Meet the world": Aserbaidžaan 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.


Videos:

Making the silk carpets http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TFZeyBgsICI

National dance http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RHpCcXQeClw