According to Wikipedia, there are over 100 languages spoken in Russia today. Azerbaijani is one of them, and I know a few Gaelic speakers who have been there!
Over the past year, Azerbaijan has had quite an influence on me, and it all started when I was working in the same team as Orkhan Sultanov during a Common Purpose Global Leadership Challenge about Smart Cities which took place at Glasgow University and was supported by the Wheatley Group.
Impressed by my passion for the Gaelic language, Orkhan Sultanov, president (2015) and founder of Glasgow’s Azerbaijan Society, invited me to an evening of Azerbaijan culture. While I was there, I asked him for a few words about the organisation, his experience in Glasgow, language and how he sees Scotland in comparison to his home country with regards to energy.
Here is what he told me:
Orkhan introduces himself and Glasgow’s Azerbaijan Society
Orkhan talks about some of the events he has helped to organise and taken part in
Orkhan on his impressions of Glasgow and Scotland
Orkhan talks about language in Glasgow and Azerbiaijan
Orkhan talk about oil, renewables and energy security
Thank you for everything (Glasgow) – in Azerbaijani!
Since then, I have been invited along to Celtic Park as an honorary guest to watch Celtic play against Qarabag and that’s where I met a Scottish-Azerbaijani who works a lot as a Humanitarian and has a mum and sister who speaks Gaelic!
Through this new friendship, and following on from that of Orkhan, I was asked to attend a Aberdeen Azerbaijan Society for an event though this has still to happen.
The interest for the Gaelic language, and so some extent my passion for it I guess, has brought about these international links, friendships and opportunities. I suppose it is mostly connected through a mutual appreciation of languages and cultures.
Today though with both either far away, travelling around all the time or both, the medium that keeps us connected today is Facebook.