Z – Zavarka

Zavarka is a Russian word, actually, which I borrowed to pay tribute to the inheritance of the Russian language and tradition. Coming from the land of an Ex-Soviet Union Republic myself, I certainly relate to the feeling of resentment towards the long-time oppressor, but I write this to specify that this feeling does not interfere with the appreciation for its culture.

Lithuania and Azerbaijan shared a painful memory of the common history created during the Soviet regime time. Regardless, as to everything in life – there is always a bright side to the story which often can only be seen in retrospect. Though from what I gather, today Russian is not that widely spoken in Azerbaijan, especially among the youth, it still remains a language which you can certainly get-by with when visiting. And I did definitely enjoy having a chance to brush up on my dusty Russian when communicating with the locals.

Zavarka then. It’s a Russian word used to describe a strong tea brew which was commonly acknowledged to be the strongest and the tastiest one in Azerbaijan out of all ex-Soviet bloc countries.

To this day, even though you might struggle to find a coffee shop in Ganja or other places outside of the capital Baku, you will sure find a tea-haven pretty much everywhere. If not at a tea-house, then definitely some house where a hospitable host will make sure that the zavarka doesn’t run out as long as the conversation is flowing.

“Çay nədir, say nədir” is a common saying with which I would like to close the Ganja A-Z story with my sincere wish for you to find out for yourself what this saying really means.




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