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Tuesday, December 27, 2005


Christmas in Baku

Christmas in a Muslim, post-Soviet country home to thousands of British and American ex-pats is a bit schizophrenic. December 25th is no big deal, but most Azeris celebrate the New Year on January 1st (although the REAL new year is Novruz in March), and sometimes even the Russian Christmas on January 6th.

A lot of mixed messages get sent and there's a lot of hollow iconography, like this rather bedraggled Santa.


I've also noticed a lot more artificial Christmas trees in the shops this year. Vendors on Fountain Square sell long stings of metallic garlands, gaudy lights. grotesque Santa masks and lots of stuffed toys.


It took me a moment to realize the inflated Santa's were carrying candy canes and not clubs. That would have been some interesting iconography!
Shannon- Uh, yeah.

I LOVE the guy selling the Novi God stuff. If we transplanted him, hat and sparklies and all, here to Dushanbe, nobody would notice.
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