What surprised Alexei Naumov in Azerbaijan

By Vestnik Kavkaza
What surprised Alexei Naumov in Azerbaijan

Russian expert and journalist Alexei Naumov wrote an interesting Facebook post: "That's me standing in front of the monument to Pushkin in Pushkin’s garden on Pushkin Street in Baku. Behind me is the house of Russian books, the State (!) Theater of Russian drama and the Molokan settlement are nearby. Today I will give an interview to the most popular Russian-language TV channel in the country, we will go there through Lermontov Street. My interlocutors say: five Russian-speaking groups in the kindergarten account for two Azerbaijani-speaking groups. The situation is the same in schools: the Russian sector is more promising and more prestigious, there are not enough places for everyone. This is, let me remind you, "gray-wolf pan-Turkist Azerbaijan sold out to Erdogan, where there are no Azerbaijanis left, only Turks".

What surprised Alexei Naumov is not a secret for those observing the humanitarian situation in Azerbaijan. Historically, all languages were respected here, and especially Russian. There is a Slavic University in Baku, there are branches of Lomonosov Moscow State University and I.M. Sechenov First Moscow State Medical University. Hundreds of secondary schools teach in Russian, and most of the country's universities have Russian-language departments. Azerbaijan has the largest Russian community in the South Caucasus of over 120 thousand people. The Russian community has preserved its national and religious traditions and customs, ethnic originality, language and culture. "Today, at all weddings in Azerbaijan, Russian songs are sung, and the most amazing thing is that young people sing, so they know the words," Doctor of Technical Sciences, Professor, Honored Worker of Sciences of Azerbaijan, foreign member of the Russian Academy of Architecture Kamran Rustamov told Vestnik Kavkaza. "My Russian friend was in Baku and told how he liked the fact that some young people were sitting on the boulevard drinking tea, they offered him tea, moved up their table to him and sat down next to him. And he was extremely impressed by their knowledge of the Russian language and their attitude to it as Russian." 

According to him, "this year it was difficult to enroll in Russian schools in Baku because of the high competition, the demand for knowledge of the Russian language is so high there. The Russian language is very important for Azerbaijan, not least because it is easier to teach it than English, since we have a corresponding teaching history. In addition, Russia is actively translating world scientific publications, which means that investing in Russian language learning in Azerbaijan is justified. Indeed, the overwhelming majority of people study Russian as a language of knowledge, it was not without reason that Heydar Aliyevich Aliyev once said that Russia was a bridge to European civilization for Northern Azerbaijan, when these territories were part of this country."

"In Russian schools, all subjects are taught in Russian, and the Azerbaijani language is studied as the state language. At the same time, in Azerbaijani schools, Russian is taught as a foreign language," Russian Senator Lilia Gumerova said.

"Azerbaijani children are regular participants in the international Russian language Olympiad among schoolchildren. They are very bright children who speak excellent Russian literary language, sometimes without an accent. Very often, Azerbaijani children become prize-winners of this Olympiad. Usually, they speak Russian at home. That is, the Russian language is not only the language of official communication in Azerbaijan, but also the language of real life, real perception of reality," the Vice-Rector for Science at the Pushkin State Russian Language Institute, Doctor of Philology Mikhail Osadchiy is confident.