Summer 1997 (5.2)
The Tables Turned
Impressions of Azerbaijani Youth Studying Abroad
Remembering Our Origins
by Natalya Ahmadova
Living in a different culture has enabled me to discover more about myself. It's so wonderful to hear the voices of my classmates when the say "A-zer-bai-jan" and when they jump in to answer that classic question, "Where's Azerbaijan?" I'm very proud that my stay in the U.S. has given me the chance to share some of our ideals. I've also learned that human beings are the same all over the world. When I show respect to them, they reciprocate.
Foreigners are surprised at the depth of our culture and historical background in Azerbaijan. I hope this is something that we will never lose. We don't need for our people to become ignorant of our ethnic values that were established centuries ago by our ancestors. Modernization should not mean forgetting our origins and who we are.
It seems to me that the most problematic issue in American society relates to the weak family unit. In every society, the family is fundamental. Without strong family relationships, there can be no healthy country. All of the political leaders in the U.S. are talking about possible solutions to this problem. I wish them success. If I could give Americans one thing from my culture, it would be the concept of stronger families
One of the most wonderful things about this exchange program is that it allows us the chance to recognize and preserve the strengths of our own country, while at the same time becoming more conscious and concerned about our weaknesses.
Bill Bradley Scholarship
La Porte High School
La Porte, Texas
From Azerbaijan International (5.2) Summer 1997.
© Azerbaijan International 1997. All rights reserved.