Mukhtar Imanov: “ Azerbaijan gives the fitting rebuff to Armenian cultural theft” – INTERVIEW

    Azerbaijani folklore is the folklore of our people, which reflects the tradition, the historical spirit of chivalry, patriotism, love to the native land, love to the parents, the gentle lyrical feelings of Azerbaijani Turks. The initial stage of the national folklore recording period covers 1830-1900-ies. The first examples of oral, folk art of Azerbaijani Turks and other peoples of the Caucasus in the broadest form were displayed in the newspapers such as “Vedomosti”, “Tiflis sheet”, “New Review”, “Caucasian Bulletin”, “ Caucasus . Beginning publishing in 1875, the newspaper “Ekinchi”, and later the newspaper “Kyashkyul” with dignity continued that work.

    The director of the Institute of Folklore of the National Academy of Sciences of Azerbaijan (ANAS) Mukhtar Imanov told Day.Az about the works done for preservation and popularization of Azerbaijani folklore, the investigations about the Garabag folklore.

    It is pity that “folklore' has been accepted as the oral folk literature and it has been investigated so. For example, the text book “ Azerbaijan oral folk literature” written and published by Professor V.Veliyev for university students was again published without any changes in its content as “Azerbaijan Folklore”. Like many others, V.Veliev also believed that the Azerbaijani folklore is nothing else like Azerbaijan oral folk literature, and all. Nevertheless the folklore is a very broad concept and this concept consists of not only folk, but it is also based on the oral tradition of other arts and culture (folk music, folk medicine, folk costumes, traditional cuisine, folk architecture and so on.). It is important to study folk literature, as well as the other branches of folk culture. Because in general the folk culture is the past, today and the future of the nation. It is impossible to investigate the nation closely without learning its folklore.

    I want to mention that the heroic epos “The Book of Dede Gorgud”, the eposes such as “Koroglu”, “Asli and Karam”, “Ashug Garib”, “Shah Ismayil” take the important place in Azerbaijan folklore. Many of them are connected with the historical events and reflect the patriotic and humanitarian feelings of the nation.

    In the preservation of folk traditions and popularization of folk culture are carried out with the extensive work on the governmental level. The main way to preserve folk traditions at the required level is the consistent conduct of the people work for the collection, systematization and publication of the collected materials, as well as in research and campaigning.

   One of the most effective means of promotion of our folklore in the world, of course, is the publication of the monumental collections of folklore and the scientific books in different languages. After the monumental books convey to the peoples of the world these books, the main points of these books by various media in the context of the current development of Internet resources are not so difficult. Every year the Institute of Folklore and the appropriate structures carry out the various activities, implement the projects, and take steps towards bringing to the international community objective information about Azerbaijani folklore.

    The investigation at the Institute of Folklore is carried out in two directions: the archaic folklore, classical folklore and modern folklore. Lately the investigations have covered folklore, from the most ancient formations till to its present state. As for the projects two projects for recent years can be mentioned: “The collection, classification and investigation of the Garabag folklore”, “Genesis of characters, etiquette, customs and holidays in the Turkic peoples, connected with the government in the aspect of folklore”.

    In the first project, we published a book “Garabag: folklore - the same story”, consisting of 10 volumes, each of them consists of 500 pages. On the basis of this multi-volume book, consisting of the collected materials, it is currently under the investigation. The stage of “Rites and celebrations associated with the state”, the second draft has been completed and a monograph prepared by us on this subject has already been submitted for publication. Over the second stage of the project – “Symbols and etiquette associated with the government” – the work in being continued.

    In Armenia , with a very poor culture and history are trying to fill this gap with the national wealth of our country. You yourself know well that they claim to cultural, historical and folkloric values of Azerbaijan . Of course, in Azerbaijan the extensive work is carried out in the fight against Armenian plagiarism.

    In Azerbaijan there is Copyright Agency and this agency carries out the hard work to preserve intellectual property, it often raises its voice against the appropriation of Armenian to the national wealth of Azerbaijan . The Institute of Folklore is also taking some steps in this direction. For example, recently our Institute issued in the form of books included in the scientific circulation derived from the funds of the Matenadaran - the Institute of Ancient Manuscripts named after Mesrop Mashtots - Azerbaijani folklore samples in the design of the late Professor Israfil Abbasli. Azerbaijan jointly gives a fitting rebuff to the Armenian theft.

Interviewed Seymur Mamedov

Newspaper “Elm” 05 (1147) Friday, March 11, 2016.

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