- The official name of the country is Azərbaycan Respublikası translated as the Republic of Azerbaijan.
- Ethnicity. The Azerbaijanians are a people of Turkic origin. Azerbaijani are the major ethnic group of Azerbaijan and also a substantial part of the population of Iran, Georgia, Russia (including in Dagestan).
- Geography. Azerbaijan is in the Caucasus region of Eurasia. The Caspian Sea's shoreline forms a natural boundary to the east, the Greater Caucasus mountain range to the north, and the extensive flatlands at the country's center. It is about the size of Portugal or the state of Maine. It contains the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic, which is separated from the rest of Azerbaijan by a strip of Armenian territory, and the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Region. Azerbaijan borders Georgia and Russia to the north, Iran to the south, and Armenia to the southwest and west. A small part of Nakhchivan also borders Turkey to the northwest.
- History. The earliest evidence of human settlement in the territory of Azerbaijan dates to the late Stone Age. Because it was at the crossroads of tribal migration and military campaigns, Azerbaijan underwent a series of invasions and was part of several larger jurisdictions before the beginning of the current era. The history is intertwined with that of Armenia and Persia. Present day Azerbaijan was acquired by Russia from Persia through treaties. Azerbaijan declared itself independent of the USSR in Aug., 1991.
- Etymology.The origin of the name Azerbaijan is unknown. It may be from the Old Persian Aturpatakan, from Greek Atropatene, from the Persian satrap Atropates, who ruled there in the time of Alexander the Great. It may be from local azer "fire" + baydjan (Iranian baykan) "guardian," in reference to fire-worship.
- Sports. Sport in Azerbaijan has ancient roots, and even now, both traditional and modern sports are still practiced. Freestyle wrestling has been traditionally regarded as Azerbaijan's national sport, however today, the most popular sports in Azerbaijan are football and chess.
- Language. Azerbaijani is a Turkic language spoken by about 31 million people. There are two main varieties of the language. North Azerbaijani is spoken in Azerbaijan by about six million people. It is also spoken in Armenia, Georgia and Russian Dagestan. South Azerbaijani has about 23.5 million speakers in Iran, Turkey, Iraq, Syria and by small groups in Afghanistan. The language is also known as Azeri, Azari, Azeri Turkish, or Azerbaijani Turkish. In Iran the Azerbaijani language has always been written with a version of the Arabic script and is know as Azeri Turk.
- Government. The government of the Republic of Azerbaijan is organized at the base of principles of separation of power. According to the traditional concept of the separation of power, the Constitution determines that the executive power is held by the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, the legislative power is carried out by the Parliament of the Republic of Azerbaijan - Milli Majlis of the Republic of Azerbaijan, and the judicial power is held by the independent courts.
- Culture. Some of the main elements of the Azerbaijani culture are: music, literature, folk dances and art, cuisine, architecture, and cinematography. The folk arts of Azerbaijan are multi-colored, complete and rich, as its natural resources. The folk art is connected with daily life of people and daily life occupies a very special life in the fine arts as well. Folk arks cover a long period from ancient times to nowadays and including a variety of products from garments to housing goods and decoration.
- Celebrations. Novruz Bayram is derived from the traditional celebration of the New Year in the ancient Persian religion of Zoroastrianism. Novruz is a family holiday. It is a feast of spring. There are four pre-holiday Wednesdays in Azerbaijan. According to traditional beliefs water is reborn on the first Wednesday, fire on the second, the earth on the third. On the fourth Wednesday the wind opens tree buds and spring begins.
- Carpets. The Azerbaijani carpet is a traditional handmade textile of various sizes made throughout the country. The patterns are characteristic of Azerbaijan’s many carpet-making regions. In November 2010 the Azerbaijani carpet was proclaimed a Masterpiece of Intangible Heritage by UNESCO. These are fleecy and pileless carpets, decorated with various symbols and signs, are used to decorate the walls and floors of marquees, huts, homes, nomads' tents, and other buildings.
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