To enhance students’ understanding of the values of cultural diversity, and to mobilize them to ‘Do One Thing for Diversity and Inclusion’, UNO Baku – Department of Public Information (UNDPI) teamed up with the Information Resource Complex of the Azerbaijan University of Languages (AUL IRC) on 21 May for an educational and cultural festival which was rich with vivid colours, dances, and national costumes, as well as traditional foods, songs, and poems laced with vibrant history.
“Today I am delighted to see so many talented and enthusiastic Azerbaijani young people raising their voices for cultural diversity,” said the UN Resident Coordinator, Mr. Antonius Broek, in his speech. “Beyond the well-known tolerance of the Azerbaijani people, Azerbaijani society can set an example with its strong belief in multiculturalism and diversity,” he added.
The festival brought together representatives of the Azerbaijani Parliament, heads of diplomatic missions, local authorities, civil society activists, linguists, and other prominent personalities, with the purpose of highlighting the value of cultural diversity – both as a means of communication and as an expression of identity in a tolerant society.
“I am really honoured that the Azerbaijan University of Languages is hosting this wonderful festival to further encourage everybody – families, co-workers, neighbours - to ‘Do One Thing’ to support diversity and inclusion in the pursuit of constructive and vigilant dialogue. We are really proud to live in a unique country like Azerbaijan, where different cultures and civilizations meet at the crossroads between East and West, North and South,” said Samed Seyidov, the rector of AUL.
“We are really happy to be part of this world campaign”, said Firuza Aliyeva, one of the AUL students dressed up in a Japanese kimono. “Our university may, for one day only, flourish with the spirit of diverse cultures, but we will remember this for a long time”. Commenting on the day’s events, the students’ language tutor Aynur Amirova noted that, “the eye-catching costumes, astonishing performances, vibrant monologues, great artistic skills and all-around ambience were results of long preparation and training from students ready to utter their love and respect for this language.”
The head of the Information Resource Complex, Ms. Shahla Khudiyeva summed up the festival. “Today we carried the message to the heart of our society, so that cultural diversity may become a shared wealth. I would like to express our collective gratitude to all our partners and to the UNDPI office in Baku in particular, for their continued support and long-term cooperation within the United Nations Academic Impact initiative.”