Archive for June, 2009

Place of birth: My land

When I was 11 I went with my best friend and her sister to her granpa’s place. We had a great time talking about books and tales of his life, listening to the poems in Farsi. I absolutely loved him. At some point I mentioned that both of my granpas have passed away (one of them even before I was born). He turned to me and said: “Then, I will be your “baba” (granpa), u can call me that”. And I do, ever since.

While reading my previous posts you’ve probably been wondering why am I so negative and critical about Azerbaijan. My answer is: the same reason our parents would punish us for bad behaviour – they knew we could do better.

But I must admit – there are reasons that keep me attached to this land of injustice, stubborness and stereotypes. The natural acts of love led by “want” not “must”.

Yes, Azerbaijan can be in the middle of nowhere, but it is also a place where people never keep feelings to themselves and argue so loudly their neighbors get deaf. And this is actually the best therapy.

Where orphans don’t usually get abandonned but are raised by the realtives of their late parents and aging parents are always looked after by their kids.

Where you never feel lonely, because there’s always someone to call and meet up. And wherever you go there’s always someone you know. Some might call it a lack of privacy but for me these are the memories of the best spontaneous hang outs.

Where it is a summer tradition to gather all the close realtives and friends under one roof on “bagh” (summer house), feed them with kabab, watermelon with white cheese, samovar tea and endless types of “murebbe” (jam) every weekend. And, of couse, guests are always welcome to stay over.

Where your DJ friends cheer you up by saying “hi” live on radio, reading your MSN messages as if they were from listeners and make you laugh so hard you actually fall down the chair and forget about the sleepless night and the overwhelming day.

Where people secretly miss their armenian friends and neighbors using internet to stay in touch and celebrate Muslin, Christian, heathen and Hallmark 🙂 holidays because this land has always been multiethnic and synergic.

One of my late granpas was a public prosecutor. Every single day after work he would travel to the bordering town to bring Moscow sweets for his niece. He would also take care of the aging mother of some guy he had to imprison by buying her grocery every week for several years until the day he drowned. He never told anyone. The woman showed up crying at the funeral and told the whole story to his family.

So, yes, we can be stubborn, passive, childish but I know we can do better.

And I will never stop hoping for the change.

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