Copenhagen marks Azerbaijani Culture Day

By: Amina Nazarli

Danish capital, Copenhagen marked the Day of Azerbaijani Culture on November 29.

Co-organized by Azerbaijan State Telegraph Agency (AzerTAc) and the Vatan Society, the event was attended by representatives of the Azerbaijani and Turkish diaspora organizations and Danish public figures.

The event highlighted the life and works of great Azerbaijani composer Uzeyir Hajıbayli, and featured performances of his music pieces.

Uzeir Hajibeyli was an Azerbaijani and conductor, publicist, playwright, teacher and social figure. He is recognized as the father of Azerbaijani classical music and opera.

Hajibeyli composed the national anthem of Azerbaijan Democratic Republic (which was re-adopted after Azerbaijan regained its independence from the Soviet Union in 1991). The great musician was the first composer of an opera in the Islamic world.

He always sought for new ways to merge and integrate the past with the present. When Russian-influenced musicians tried to ban traditional Azerbaijani instruments like the Tar, Zurna and Kamancha, Hajibeyli and his colleagues pushed to incorporate them into the Western orchestra, thereby, giving them an even higher status and ultimately a chance to survive.

In 1908, Hajibeyov wrote his first opera, Leyli and Majnun, based on the tragic love story.

Addressing the event, Chairman of Vatan Society Safar Sadigi said such events “play an important role in bringing together our fellow countrymen who live far from Azerbaijan.”

Sadigi appreciated Vatan Society`s activities, particularly its work to promote the Azerbaijani culture and music in Denmark.

He thanked AzerTAc for promoting national clothes and textbooks to the Society, hailing this as a “sign of government support for Azerbaijanis living abroad.”

Other speakers stressed the importance of preserving and promoting the Azerbaijani cultural values, music and traditions.

Head of the Turkish diaspora in Denmark Bahadur Guler thanked AzerTAc and Vatan Society for organizing the event. “Such events open up wider opportunities for promoting the culture of both Azerbaijan and the Turkic world,” he said.

Over the past two years, AzerTAc has co-organized events to promote Azerbaijan`s culture, history, music and traditions abroad in partnership with the country’s diaspora organizations.