Men know that you are mine by birth:
My nest,  my refuge,  and my hearth,
My mother,  native land,  dear earth!
Sever soul and body??  Death but can.
O Azerbaijan,  my Azerbaijan!
Samad Vurgun

  Window to Gazakh

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Ashig art

Gazakh is a homeland of many famous Azerbaijani poets and writers such as Molla Veli Vidadi, Molla Panah Vagif, Mehdi Husein, Samad Vurgun, Arif Hussein, Ismail Shikhli, Mirvarid Dilbazi and others. This is not accidental. Some genres of oral folklore prevalent in everyday life and everyday vocabulary of Gazakh residents. In daily conversations they often use poetic images, proverbs and sayings. It is therefore not surprising that  Gazakh was declared the Folklore capital of Azerbaijan in 2010. Gazakh is also known for its popular folk poet-musicians - ashigs (ashuqs). It is hard to imagine any holiday or feast without ashigs here - ashig music and art are revered by all.

Ashig art involves performance on the national musical instrument, saz, and the oral retelling of stories and poems. Ashigs always been among the people. In the past they performed music before the fights, raising the morale of the troops, and now ashigs perform at weddings and folk holidays. In Gazakh ashig art has developed, not only on a professional level, but also among the common people. Many families have a saz at home and people happy to play music at their leisure.

Ashig's folk art has come a long way through the centuries and now experiencing its heyday. In September 2009, Azerbaijan’s ashig art was included into UNESCO Representative list of Intangible Cultural Heritage.

Some samples of ahig's music (mp3):