By Laman Ismayilova
The fifth Republican Festival of National Minorities wrapped up at the Music Theatre named after Rashid Behbudov on June 30, Trend Life reported.
The festival, organized by the Culture and Tourism Ministry was held under the motto "Azerbaijan, the native land".
First Deputy Culture Minister Vagif Aliyev, addressing the event, underlined the importance of the festival.
He noted that the state has always paid a great attention to the culture of national minorities living in Azerbaijan. The culture of national minorities and ethnic groups living in the country is protected and developed as an integral part of Azerbaijani culture.
The official reminded that 2016 was declared the Year of multiculturalism in Azerbaijan, adding that this will help to further boost the country’s tradition of multiculturalism.
Then, the festival continued with a concert of art collectives.
Moreover, a photo exhibition entitled "In one family" reflecting the life of national minorities was held at Azerbaijan Carpet Museum on June 30.
The event also featured presentation of CD "Songs of national minorities living in Azerbaijan" in Azerbaijani, English, Russian, French and German languages and a roundtable discussion on the diversity of ethnic cultures and multicultural traditions.
The guests enjoyed fantastic concert with participation of talented musicians and dancers.
The performance of choirs of national minorities and ethnic groups form different regions of the country aroused great interest among the public. Each performance was greeted with thunderous applause.
Azerbaijan is a land of many national minorities. Respect for multiculturalism, ethnic and religious minorities is a national characteristic of Azerbaijani people.
The country not only respects, but also supports national minorities.
Azerbaijan can be truly called a land representing a wide range of ethnicities. According to the 2009 census, ethnic minorities in Azerbaijan represent 8.9 percent of the population, including Lezgins (the largest minority group, making up 2 percent of the population), Russians (1.3 percent) and others, such as Talysh, Tats (Muslims and Judeo-Tats), Avars, Georgians, and Ashkenazi Jews, which comprise the remaining 3.9 percent.
Laman Ismayilova is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @Lam_Ismayilova
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