Since the time I started taking my history classes at school, I noticed that the history books constantly mention the origins of all the eastern nations and refer them to as Turkic roots. In particular, as all of them have common origins, they used to share traditions, lifestyle, technologies, arts, music and culture. However under the influence of the constant wars for the lands, significant part of the entire nation had to move, explore new places and/or bring under already existing communities. As a consequence the importance of such factor as Turkic roots became intangible because of the fact that the change of place brought the influence on the traditions and culture by foreign ones. So, nowadays, the establishment of exact borders, countries, the rules and norms makes people pay less attention to common history. Nevertheless, my visit to Azerbaijan made me feel like I am almost at home. Therefore, I want to share my experience of exploring Azerbaijani traditions, culture, language and food that gave me the sense of closeness to home.
That’s the most suitable word that describes my first impression of Azerbaijan.
I was surprised at the very first day of my staying in Baku during the introductory presentation by the team leaders. So, to be exact, the presentation started with Azerbaijani traditions. Initially I understood the significance of Turkic roots, when the leader first talked about the celebration of “Nauryz”(which Azerbaijani people call “Novruz”), because it appears to be a holiday with high level of importance with historical significance. The meaning of this holiday is that the more bountiful is the celebration the more prosperous the coming year will be. This is due to the fact that “Nauryz” considered being the beginning of the New Year according to astronomical solar calendar and celebrated on 21-23rd of March.
They look similar in terms of wearing national clothes, preparing and sharing food and in general by the significance of this holiday.
Nauryz celebration in Kazakhstan Nowruz celebration in Azerbaijan
Except from that we share other holidays such as Women’s national holiday (8th of March) and Victory Day (9th of May) as the countries who were in the composition of Soviet Union, so that it means that we share more than just initial roots.
Musical culture makes an integral part of every nation. Moreover, it is considered to be the intangible wealth that helped and supported people during the hard times of wars and famine, indeed, it shared the joy and happiness of being independent. That’s why, the place of music in every culture is distinct.
As a true citizen of my country I love and respect our national musical instruments. To my surprise, in the process of explanation, I saw an instrument, which is almost the same as our national one. So, it is called “Saz”. Moreover, the trip to Shirvanshakh’s place allowed me to listen to the music it produces. THE SAME as “Dombyra”, which is Kazakh national musical instrument.
Botagoz Tuganbayeva, Kazakhstan
23 July 2016