Piano Lessons in Azerbaijan

Every Tuesday and Thursday, I attend a one-hour piano lesson at a music school in Azerbaijan. Although some students favor picking up an entirely new activity during their time abroad, I preferred to bring with me an activity that was already quite familiar. In the midst of cultural, language, and even time differences, playing piano …

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Russian Dance Class

As part of our language learning on program, we have a Russian dance class twice a week. The first dance we learned is called Кадриль (Kadril) which was very popular in Russian cities and villages during the 19th century, although the dance did not originate in Russia. By learning the dance, we learn different verbs …

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Aikosh’s First Step

“Tusau Keser ” (in Kazakh), or “cutting the rope,” is the celebration of a child’s first steps, a nomadic tradition originating from tengriism. The ceremony is performed when the child first learns how to walk. Kazakhs believed that an invisible rope was tied around the child’s legs preventing the child from walking. A rope had …

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Fulbright-Hays Scholarship Recipient Profile: Margarita Valkovskaya

Margarita Valkovskaya reflects on her summer on the Eurasian Regional Language Program in Dushanbe as a Fulbright-Hays Group Projects Abroad scholarship recipient and the connection between language and culture. During my time in Tajikistan, I understood that language does not live in isolation from culture. A sentence may mean something to an American in direct translation, but …

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Fulbright-Hays Scholarship Recipient Profile: Lindsay Saligman

Lindsay Saligman reflects on her semester on the Eurasian Regional Language Program in Dushanbe as a Fulbright-Hays Group Projects Abroad scholarship recipient and magical realism in Tajikistan. In order to get an idea of what Tajikistan is like, (or rather what it was like in my experience) I should start by talking a bit about what it …

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The Living Tradition of Music in Georgia

One thing that has always struck me about Georgian culture is that it is a culture of song.  It is often said that one out of every two Georgians are musical, either singing or playing an instrument (such as the traditional banjo-esque “panduri”).  Musical talent is highly respected, as it is integral for unlocking a …

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