World Azerbaijanis celebrate Solidarity Day

By Amina Nazarli

December 31 marks the Solidarity Day of the World Azerbaijanis.

The main idea of this holiday is the unity and solidarity of the Azerbaijanis from all over the world, respect of national and spiritual values, as well as belongingness to the historical homeland.

The 31st of December has been a national holiday since 1991, when Azerbaijan's national leader, former President Heydar Aliyev initiated the day of Azerbaijanism unity.

Later, Heydar Aliyev described it with the need for national solidarity.

“After Azerbaijan gained independence, Azerbaijanism as the leading idea, became the basic one for the Azerbaijanis living both in the country and across the world. We should unite around this idea," Aliyev said. "Azerbaijanism means preserving national identity, national and spiritual values, and at the same time enrichment them with universal values, as well as ensuring the development of any person.”

Unification of world Azerbaijanis is especially significant as per approximate data the majority of the Azerbaijanis live outside the territory of their historical homeland.

About 50 million Azerbaijanis live in more than 70 countries, according to the State Committee for Work with the Diaspora.

Over nine million people live in Azerbaijan and about 30 million ethnic Azerbaijanis reside in Iran. Turkey, for example, is home for about 3 million, while Russia is for almost 2 million Azerbaijanis. Then follows Georgia, Kazakhstan and Germany.

Currently, a variety of entities founded by Azerbaijanis and supported by the Azerbaijani government successfully function in countries around the globe.

Diaspora organizations support the festivities to largely enforce the idea of Azerbaijanism. Gaining more power by years, the Diaspora has turned into a powerful economic, cultural, and intellectual force, becoming even more active in the political life of the countries where they live.

About 312 Azerbaijani Diaspora organizations are registered throughout the world, some 110 of them operate in Europe. The national Diaspora within Russia is the most numerous.

For many years wars, revolutions, military conflicts, social-political processes in the world destructed Azerbaijan, urging some Azerbaijanis deported, as well as leave their lands with the purpose to find work, to get education and settle in different countries.

Azerbaijanis lived in their motherland had not an opportunity to meet with their compatriots and to create the relations with them. Prohibitions of the Soviet Period created an obstacle between the relatives. At late 1980s when the soviet regime started to weaken, Azerbaijani people increased their attempts to re-establish the relations with their compatriots.

This year December 31 will bring together the world Azerbaijanis for the 24th time showing their solidarity, love to motherland and loyalty to the bright ideas.

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Amina Nazarli is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @amina_nazarli

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