Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Cultural Shenanigans-Feb2010


From February issue of the MagAZine.. I hear it offended some induhviduals.

PS Remember to click on it so you can read it.

19 comments:

  1. On my last trip to Baku 3 years ago I found myself amazed at how beautiful the women are. I didn’t see the black outfits or over plucked eyebrows (being myself guilty on both counts). I saw exotic, well-groomed, feminine creatures unlike anything I see in US or Western Europe. Yes, there were some examples of bad taste, but aren’t they everywhere? And I did notice “unhealthy” attention from the old expat farts even to my own over 30 & oh-so-married & not-interested persona. So I really don’t know who are these expat hotties that get all this unwanted attention from Azeri girls. hmmm

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  2. @ Nata: Are you talking about Avatar?

    Perhaps, you and I visited it with different 3D glasses on.

    No black colour? No thin eyebrows? No girls hoping for a foreign husband?

    Wow.

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  3. Look - good writing provokes thoughts and emotions. So even if people are offended - you are still doing a great job. xx

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  4. I enjoy very much these cultural shenanigans of yours!

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  5. Have to agree to both Nata and Scary. It probably depends on not what 3D glasses you were wearing, but maybe on when you were there. I am trying to go back to Baku once a year, so when once I was there in August, the hottest month of the year, there were almost no Bakuvian girls left in the city – there were holidaying somewhere. I saw many girls in black and... yellow!! It was a trend at that time and all shops and girls were following it religiously. My sis and my girlfriends explained that all these girls were chushkas who were trying to look and behave like the city girls! My eyes were sore!!! And yes, they were with over plucked eye-brows, but not as bad as majority of English girls have above their eyes
    But when I went in May and September – girls around were just simply gorgeous!!! I felt like an ugly duckling next to them, pale and not interesting... though in UK I’m considering to be an exotic one. It is not only expats who were drooling over them, I have to confess I couldn’t take my eye of them – was trying to remember how I looked once...

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  6. Have lots of English girlfriends, who constantly call to the guys, they are interested in, text them, text them again, and again... and I just want to scream – WHERE IS YOUR SELF-RESPECT?!?!?!? I don’t know any Azeri girl (maybe I am just lucky) who will behave with so little respect for herself!!

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  7. @ Scary: Dude, consider the source. I’m a proud owner of all three attributes described above: overplucked eyebrows – check, at least 60% of outfits in black – check, foreign husband – check. And you know, I’m an avid advocate of chushka’s rights & not a fan of colonialist jerks also known as expats in Baku (there are rare and precious exceptions of course).

    @Anonymous: I was in Baku in October 2007 for the first time in 10 years & the women took my breath away. They were beautiful to begin with and with the help of Turkish hair and make-up know-how, they took it to the next level.

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  8. @Nata..

    Once in 10 years, in 2007? That explains a lot! :)
    Your breath was taken away not by Avatar-like exotic sexy creatures, but by your homesickness. My advice: Go more often. Sit in Mcdonalds on the Fountain square and watch the crowds.

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  9. I would love to go to Baku more often. Unfortunately, I have no family left there, only friends. I think my outlook is influenced not by homesickness, but by the experiences I’ve had in the past 11 years working for a truly global company, alongside with people from 30+ countries, traveling all over. I learned to appreciate diversity in a way that I never had before. And in the process, I learned to appreciate the people I came from. People often ask me if I’m Lebanese, the old me from Baku would have gotten offended, now I take it as a compliment.

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  10. I didn't read this magazine, only this page but I wonder if the questions they selected for you reflect their entire publication. It really does a disservice to Azerbaijan to talk so much about desperate Azeri girls who want to marry a foreigner (I see these questions re-appear often). There is more to Azeri culture, really, don't you agree?

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  11. @Marianna: why u taking this so seriously.In all times many writers(Gogol,Griboedov,Chehov itc) described hunting for husbands and nobody was worried about the reputation of the whole nation,nobody was insulted personally.

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  12. @ Anonymous: I said that because I noticed this magazine posting the same questions in their previous publications shared here, and I know that Azeri women are defined by so much more than a group of desperate and unintelligent man-hunters :). After all, this is how images are created overseas, by these expats going back to their countries and telling stories about loose women they saw around them in Baku. Maybe I am taking this more seriously than I should but I would like for expat-oriented local publications in Azerbaijan to, instead, do more to promote the wealth of culture Az-n has to offer.

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  13. @Marianna: I have to disagree. I have NEVER written about Azeri women being desperate before. And I have not actually said that now, either. What I think is the problem here, and I find it incredibly frustrating, is this strange inability to accept any criticism or light-hearted mockery. I notice that a lot, and not just when it comes to us, Azeries. Not sure what it is. Some sort of feeling insecure, paranoid or worried about what others might think of us? First of all, when I said some girls fancy a foreign husband, can you honestly look me in the eye and tell me it does not ever happen? As Visotskiy wrote- when? Back in 70s? -“Devochki lyubili inostrantsev” (“Girls loved foreigners”) And there is no need to start defending the whole nation. If you read it more carefully, you will notice that I said No, it is not the norm for Azeri women to chase men. We don’t normally do that. And not EVERYBODY fights for a “hot”expat, Nata. Of course, of course, of course not.  Some prefer them to be rich locals. 
    But that is not the main thing that I find frustrating. Of course there is more to Azeries. Of course we have great food, cultural stuff, blah-blah-blah. Assuming that all those expats who happen to read it are so shallow and narrow minded that from reading one light-hearted column in a local publication they are just going to make an assumption about EVERY girl in Azerbaijan is just something I find very strange. Do you honestly believe that my article in MagAZine is going to affect the way foreigners view us? Also, MORE importantly: do you honestly believe that if all we write about is how great we are, how cultural and sophisticated, independent and whatever else, then THAT is what the expats going to see and believe??? Come on!

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  14. No, I am not for extremes, just advocating a happy medium. Light-hearted stuff is good, I just think it has to be balanced with a more educational information, so to say.

    Anyway, I know many women in Az who do not want to marry foreigners. And I know for a fact that they won't behave like bimbos to tie up a man of any nationality because they respect themselves. I personally would prefer to read more about women like that, once in a while, for a change.

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  15. @Nata: As one of those "colonialist jerks also known as expats" for several years now, I have to agree with Scary. Girls here are well groomed and quite striking from a distance but get close to see the layers of caked-on makeup and the moment is lost. Are there exceptions ? "Of course." And I have one of them !

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  16. I never worked for any foreign industries located in Baku, my job was mostly concerned with education, but I somehow developed a kind of "dislike" for expats. I really thought very bad of anglo-saxons, until I came to Australia and saw normal people around me. I think expats comprise some type of microculure with a certain type of impression they make and a certain type of impression they perceive. So everything is very subjective.

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  17. @ Sofisticos and some others:
    I am not sure why you girls think that claiming expats are "colonialist jerks", or that you disliked them is an OK thing to say. I dont get it. :)
    I got told off for suggesting that some girls like a lot of black colour and would like to marry abroad. That to me, is not a huge insult to EVERY woman in Azerbaijan. I got told I was biased. And to say that you dislike expats is not?

    I saw some very trashy expats in Baku, and somehow last time I visited, it seemed worse.
    But, I met a lot of expats back when I lived in Baku. And a few were really interesting, cool people. In fact, some of those people are to me, more unusual and interesting because of their international outlook/experience. They are not your average suburban "go to work come home mow the lawn" bunch. And if you say you never knew them, how can you say you disliked them? :) Oh, well. anyway.

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  18. I didn't know the expats, this might be the reason I disliked them:) The ones I met seemed arrogant and not interested in the culture at all, and they WERE surrounded with women desperately seeking their attention. I agree with you on that point. Certain types of women (some of them apparently nymphomaniac) are often attracted to the rich and successfull. Expats are paid quite well, which makes them very attractive. I never meant to offend you or anybody else. If I did, I apologize. And Marianna is right, there seems to be some kind of fixation on this subject in the magazine.

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  19. If it’s ok to say “chushka”, it should be ok to say “colonialist jerk”. Just sayin’.
    If we’re going to do this, lets at least be consistent.

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