A street in Baku on December 31, 2020. Screenshot of the video by Спутник-Азербайджан https://az.sputniknews.ru/video/20201231/425842218/Novyy-god-v-usloviyakh-pandemii-atmosfera-Baku.html

01 January 2021, 22:34

Azerbaijan celebrates New Year under strict quarantine

The quarantine conditions do not allow for crowded feasts, but some residents of Baku have found a way to bypass the restrictions and invite their relatives and friends. The holiday is overshadowed not only by the drop in incomes and the complicated epidemiological situation, but also by the grief over the thousands of deceased soldiers. Residents interviewed by the "Caucasian Knot" say they believe no celebrations are appropriate soon after the bloody battles.

In Azerbaijan, the strict quarantine is in force until January 18. It is forbidden to enter some cities and districts, as well as to exit them.

The cancellation of New Year's events deprived restaurateurs and merchants of New Year's accessories of their incomes. An administrator of a large restaurant called 2020 "the black year" for the restaurant business. The authorities compensated only for a small part of the losses, the administrator of the restaurant said.

Khidjran Salimova, a resident of Baku, noted that the New Year's table was modest amid the pandemic.

40-year-old Teimur Sadykhov has complained that he lost his business and that his new job brings only minimal income. "To feed my family, I started to work as an Uber driver and take passengers. At present, many people have lost their jobs and begun to provide taxi services. Therefore, the competition is great, and incomes are scanty. There is only enough money to buy some food," said the resident of Baku.

Rasim Mamedov, an elderly resident of Baku, refused to celebrate the New Year, because he grieves for the people killed during the autumn aggravation of the Karabakh conflict.

Pensioner Bikyakhanum Muradova also considers it inappropriate to celebrate the New Year holiday soon after the bloody battles. "How can I celebrate a holiday when my friend's eyes have not dried up from tears because of the grief over her deceased grandson? We must respect the memory of shekhids (the people who died for their homeland, – note of the "Caucasian Knot"), the pensioner emphasized.

However, student Sevindj Rustamova does not share the opinion of those who refused to celebrate the New Year. "Our task is to preserve the memory about the deceased and to take care of their families. And what's the point in cancelling the New Year holiday?" the student noted.

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on January 1, 2021 at 02:36 pm MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

Author: Faik Medjid; Source: CK correspondent

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