Thursday, March 19, 2009

Its the way you make me feel...

One of main purposes of my blog is raising awareness about Azerbaijan…

Therefore as you would imagine when I get emails as below and as this one I am happy to see that the blog serves its purpose…

I also appreciate very much that people take their time and actually leave comments and send me feedback. It “fuels” my energy and makes me feel good what hopefully results in better stories and pictures :) Thank you! :)
Hi Ayten

Recently I started a writing group here in the Blue Mountains west of Sydney, Australia. One of our projects was to find a country we’ve never been to, and make up a character who lives there! Fun, eh? I chose, just because I love the word, Azerbaijan. My character lives in Baku. I can’t tell you how useful your blog has been to me, it gives me an up-close-and-personal view of how daily life is lived in your town. I’ve read some of the tragic history too, which you would all have simmering away in your consciousness; but it’s lovely to see how celebratory your attitude is to everything. I think Azerbaijanis must be tough and resilient.

Thanks again

Alison Jones

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Novruz holiday is knocking the door..."earth" Tuesday evening...

Today is last Tuesday evening when signs of nature are noted or celebrated as part of Novruz holiday.

Unfortunately last Tuesday I wasn’t able to write about wind Tuesday…I was thinking to write that they say that Baku means city of winds and this wind makes sometimes hot and humid summers a bit bearable but also makes winters much colder than thermometers show...They say that in the past, when the area of Baku was empty and there were less constructions to break the wind, people could actually stand on the wind…so strong it used to be…nowadays wind can get quite strong too…cold wind that comes from Caspian is called khazri (xəzri in Azeri, Khazar (Xəzər) is how Caspian Sea is called in Azeri) and warm wind is called gilavar. How poetic is this…

This Tuesday is evening of earth sign of nature…I guess the most important sign. I say the most important cause it was the first and main reason why people started to fight with each other…Earth said: “I will feed you and amaze you, all you need is to take care of me, love me and enjoy…but people thought that more they have of it better and started wars to occupy as much of it as possible in the meantime forgetting what they needed the earth for in the first place…”

Nowadays when traveling and moving around are usual state of living for many people, when quite often under asphalt and among skyscrapers one can’t even see the earth, belonging to some place is not even relevant. I remember my grandma who had to move to Baku since her health wasn’t allowing her to stay alone in Sheki. She was not able to hide that she hated buildings and asphalt of the city, she wanted back to her land where she could take deep breath and feel the earth…of course she wasn’t describing it that way, she simply wanted home…and we took her home so that she could spend her last spring there, feeling the earth under her feet…(last Tuesday evening of Novruz is the day to remember all who are not with us any more...)

This Tuesday evening is considered as the most festive…with candles on the table, dishes cooked and sweets prepared people are celebrating the awakening of earth…spring is coming and rejuvenating nature will bring hopes and love or hopes for love to everyone…

It is not easy to grasp all merits and not only of civilization and continue to remember and appreciate what is really important…Novruz helps us to do it.

Be well :)

click on picture to see it big and beautiful :)


Sunday, March 08, 2009

Happy 8th of March!!! Post devoted to silent heroes (no actually heroines)...

Today is 8th of March, not just another calendar year, but also the day celebrated by some countries as Women's Day.

My post today is not devoted to emancipated, somewhat feminist women but to self-sacrificing, low profile, hard working women that mainly devote themselves to men and upbringing of their children then grand children and other family members...Above photo was taken sometime in 1940es in Sheki...all those women were/are mainly mothers, sisters and wives and after women if I may say so. They were/are mainly engaged in house chores and family duties and many of them did not even think (or maybe they did but never showed) that they should complain etc.
I remember my grandmother (also pictured above) who was ready to take care of us members of her family, days and days and do everything to please us, prepare something tasty and create comfort. When we went to Sheki in winter and weather was cold she was the one to prepare warm water and breakfast so that we wake up to beautiful smells and warm kitchen. Although she was the oldest she seemed to be the most energetic and proactive...I am thinking now that her energy must have been coming from her love and kindness to her family.
Another thought that comes to me is that those women were shy to come to the city as their heads were mainly covered and they did not think that they were as beautifully dressed or as "good" as urban women. It happens nowadays too and I always want to protect them and convince that it does not matter what they are dressed in, their inner beauty, kindness and giving nature means much more than polished nails or ostentatious looks...
They say woman stands for wisdom. The woman that you see in the centre of above picture (my great-grandmother) and many other women alike her were the core of the families and they "radiated" wisdom, kindness and love and wisely directed their families including men in a subtle or if necessary powerful way.
Slogan :) of my today's post is "let there always be women and let there always be wisdom" :)

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Chocolates, flowers and perfume...

I think chocolate, flowers and perfume are the most popular products couple of days before and on 8th of March not only in Azerbaijan but everywhere where Women's Day is celebrated.
We are having beautiful weather in Baku which is singing beauty and love songs to all who want to hear :) Women look even more gorgeous as they feel and anticipate even more attention. Small or big gifts and flowers, chocolates and smiles are everywhere...:)

There are also always those who prejudice the purpose and date of the holiday etc personal opinion is that why to doubt? Isn't it better to have another occasion to celebrate life? ;) Women's day is on 8th of March but since this day happens to be Sunday this year, business women were congratulated on Friday and celebrations continue now :) I am not sure about other countries but we Azeris do not mind having long celebrations...I say its because we are southern country...maybe that is the reason we love music, dancing and women :)

Be well :)

P.S. attached photo is not mine but downloaded from internet...


Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Novruz holiday is knocking the door..."fire" Tuesday..."Od Çərşənbəsi"...

This Tuesday is the eve of "Od Çərşənbəsi" meaning "Fire Tuesday/Wednesday". The thing is that although it is called "Od Çərşənbəsi" we celebrate the eve not çərşənbə i.e. not Wednesday...anyway these are just technicalities :)

Fire...those who know the history of Zoroastrianism and know a bit about Azerbaijan might have heard that there is a zoroastrian pilgrimage in suburbs of Baku and that fire is somewhat sacred in this "odlar yurdu" i.e. land of fire i.e. Azerbaijan...this territory historically hid reserves of oil and gas that caused flames of fire and this was of course interpreted as blessing by superstitious people and capital by practical people...

Fire is another sign of nature that is celebrated during Novruz. Fire means warmth and comfort...I hope there is more warmth and comfort in our homes and hearts than anything else...