I’ve been living in Azerbaijan for the last 3 years, and I’ve grown to appreciate much of the country’s traditions, as well as its people. Actually, I feel them so close to my heart, that it’s hard to imagine living anywhere else in any other way.
There were many times in my life when I’ve felt like I’m not enough and I’ve been seriously struggling with being (or feeling like) the outsider in many places and circumstances. However, I should say, that never, in those three years spent in Azerbaijan, have I felt something like that. Actually, I’m always happy to note that I’ve never felt like a foreigner here. Not in a bad way, anyway. Even though I don’t speak the language and my Russian is pretty modest, I’ve always felt somehow at home, and most of the time I don’t have any communication problems with the local people. However, getting closer to the day in which we will have to go back home, I start to reflect more and more often on the things that I’ve learned, the things that I’ll miss, and the things that I would like to always remember and carry in my heart.
That’s why in today’s post I would like to share a few positive things that one can learn from the Azerbaijani people.
5 Things You Can Learn from the People in Azerbaijan
“Come and be our guests!”
The Azerbaijani people are so open, friendly, and eager to get to know you better, that they don’t hesitate to invite you into their home. It has happened to me numerous times (even in the elevator!) from people that I meet for the very first time. I always get amazed by the hospitality of the locals and their desire to communicate and share some thoughts on life with you.
I often think of having guests over a little bit as kind of a burden, stressing over cleaning, cooking, and hundreds of other things, but this is not the case with the Azerbaijani people. They’re always ready to welcome you with tea, sweets, and national cuisine. They’ve taught me that hospitality doesn’t have to be complicated; it doesn’t have to be perfect; nor gourmet. Hospitality has to be desired and sought after. And when it comes from a heart filled with genuine interest, curiosity and love, it doesn’t matter how perfect or not your home is.
This is something I’m definitely taking with me when I go home! Having a home (and heart) open for family, friends, and various acquaintances, can be so rewarding in all kinds of ways, helping us to keep a good perspective on life and the way other people perceive it.
There’s a very strong sense of aesthetics everywhere you look in Azerbaijan.
When they dress – they Dress, when they build – they Build, when they decorate – they Decorate!
Everything is done in abundance and with precision to detail! As a result, the country is filled with marvelous architecture, breathtaking views, and beautiful craft pieces that grab not only the eye of the locals, but that of the foreigners as well.
This creative to perfection side of the people is a trait I personally admire. Unfortunately, it’s not something I find myself doing on day to day basis. But oh, how I wish I did!
I absolutely love the way beauty is perceived in Azerbaijan. And here I’m not just talking about architecture and cityscape. I’m talking about the beauty of the people, especially the women.
The Azerbaijani women dress with style and you will very rarely see a woman in a casual or slightly neglected outfit, especially if you’re walking in the center of the city (If you do, that’s probably me. 😀 ) From shoes to make-up – everything is picked in a way that accentuates the beauty of the person in the most appropriate way.
The Azerbaijani people are well known for their respect for women, mothers and elders. This always makes a very strong and good impression. I feel blessed for having the opportunity to raise my children in such an environment. They are able to witness some very good examples of the way people should treat each other: with kindness, love, and understanding.
5. Work with willingness
Azerbaijani people are not lazy people. They work with willingness and will often go out of their way in order to fix a problem or assist someone who needs a bit more guidance.
No matter the job, the people are ready to help in any way they can. This has been so helpful for me so many times and in so many different situations, that, in a way, I’ve even gotten used to it.
These are 5 of the main things that come to my mind when I think about Azerbaijan and its people; things I will definitely miss one day, and things that I hope to learn myself and implement more often in my life as well.