Azerbaijan - the Country of Traditions
Azerbaijan is a country with plenty of traditions. These traditions are necessary attributes of all Azerbaijanis’ lives, starting with the moment of birth – till last days of their lives. Birth of children, harvesting, feasts and others – are all important, even sacred traditions. Furthermore, lots of Azerbaijan traditions are embodied in their culture, beliefs, national closes and nation hospitality. It took many ages and a lot of positive and negative has happened to form the traditions we might observe now. Ideological and religious views, mentality, and influence of another cultures has also found their reflection in Azerbaijan traditions. The 20th
century was the time when the Soviet Union government was trying to eradicate most of these traditions, but they had failed, because no one can destroy a part of human being. That’s the main reason why ancient traditions are still up now.
If you are going to visit Azerbaijan, you should know that pretty much in this country subjected to special customs and traditional behavior norms of Islam. In society, they do appreciate keeping neatness in clothing, but there is no restriction of wearing European or sport clothes at all. As for traditional closes, national Azerbaijan clothes are beautiful and original. The locals, especially women, dress pretty strictly, preferring dark colors. However, they pay attention to shiny accessories and ornamentals.
Hospitality of Azerbaijan
Azerbaijanis has long-history traditions in accommodating guests. Their hospitality is well known all over the world. Declining an invitation could be regarded as an offence to a house owner. However, no one would impose his hospitality — guests' wish is a law, so you could always schedule an appointment of another visit. Also house owner, or his companion, prefer to give gifts or presents to a guest, so it’s better for guest to keep a kit of presents on hand.
Hospitality customs have deep historical roots which basically inherent to all world nations. In Azerbaijan an appearance of hospitality goes deep into primitive society, the times, when with no questions people were providing shelters to wanderers who was needed it. For those who have lost in mountains, astray and tired travelers, in former times they have built shelters, named “aman evleri”, extant till nowadays as monuments. It’s an evidence of Azerbaijanis hospitality not only inside their houses, but also outside, even in remoted from village areas.
First things first in any of Azerbaijan houses owner will offer a tea to a guest. Tableful always begins with tea, and with tea it ends. Besides, tea may be offered even in case of formal meeting, which lasts a few minutes. There is only one exception from “tea tradition”: house owner will not offer tea in case his guest is not welcomed there, or an enemy.
Wedding ceremony is the most saturated with rituals and customs tradition. It starts with advance notice… Fiance’s relatives send close one relative to girl’s house. He should tell about fiance’s intention to come at matchmaking. It also happens that in the lady's house he won't get an agreement. In that case, the oldest one of fiance's family will be trying to get an agreement from girl’s parents.
Choosing names for newborn baby also may be considered as a custom. It usually combined with some kinds of difficulties. Choosing may be stopped with the name that rhymes with previous baby’s one, without paying a special attention to it’s meaning, or just at the discretion of parents or another one relative.