C – Caucasus

Ok, I’ve gotta admit I’m cheating here cuz’ the letter ‘C’ was supposed to represent carpets, but as I sat and thought about it – there really wasn’t much I wanted to say about that. Don’t get me wrong – I love carpets, who doesn’t? They’re soft, warm, and pretty (though a hell to hoover) and it’s a well-known fact that Azerbaijan is much appreciated for its picturesque carpet weaving skills, but to be completely honest with you – having to write about carpets, didn’t exactly strike a chord in me. Caucasus, though, is a completely different matter.

Caucasus then. I cannot recall when was it that I first encountered this word, but the name has left an indelible trace in my memory. First, of course, because it refers to a strip of mountains I cannot help, but adore. Coming from a ridiculously flat Baltic land (with the highest peak of a hill reaching just under 300 meters), I have an almost obsessive fascination with mountains. The Lesser Caucasus, or Caucasus Minor which I was fortunate to visit, is a mountain range near Ganja that runs parallel to Greater Caucasus. By far the most important fact to mention here, though, is that the Caucasian mountains are the natural border between Europe and Asia.

There is a whole discussion about what is Caucasian race or culture for this region is considered to be the origin of so many ethnic groups that I wouldn’t dare subscribing to any opinions. When facing the breathtaking views of the Caucasian mountains, though, it really became of the least importance to me who’s right and who’s wrong and whom all this beauty belongs to in the first place. In my mind, Caucasus remains the home of kroy-khasis (“ice-shining, white with snow”) peaks as its name, presumably derived from Scythian language, suggests. White with snow mountains that turned into a dividing line between two continents. As I stood looking at those peaks, there was only one question that crossed my mind – why is it that we forget that the boundary dividing things always connects them too?


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