“The “Motherland Garden” is full of flowers, but there is no Kharibulbul among them…” So go the words of an old Azerbaijani folk song. According to the lyrics, a man living abroad and homesick for his native Azerbaijan decided to plant a garden with flowers indigenous to his homeland. He succeeded in growing each of them except for the Kharibulbul, a flower associated with the town of Shusha.
The Kharibulbul is a very beautiful ornamental flower. In the Azerbaijani language, “khari” means bee, and “bulbul” means nightingale, the bird considered to have the most melodious song. If you look closely at the flower, you’ll see its close resemblance to both a bird and a bee.
The Azerbaijani song lyric about the “motherland garden” has given rise to the legend that the Kharibulbul flower can only grow in Shusha. In the minds of Azerbaijanis, the Kharibulbul represents Shusha.
It is not a coincidence that music festival that held in Shusha since 1989 gets its name from the flower Kharibulbul that grows only in Shusha. The “Karibulbul” Music Festival was held for the first time in 1989, bringing together musicians from Japan, the USA, Turkey, Germany, Israel, Italy, Spain and other countries.
The opening ceremony took place at the stadium in Aghdam. The gala event featured spectacular concerts and performances in Jidir Duzu, Isa Bulagi (spring) as well as the streets and squares of Shusha city. Scientific and theoretical discussions were held as part of the event. The festival’s guests also visited the sights of Karabakh, beautiful nature surrounded by amazing mountains, participated in various events, accompanied by performances of musical and dance ensembles. The festival’s closing ceremony took place in Aghdam, near the spring garden of the poetess Khurshidbanu Natavan, called “Bouquet of Kharibulbul”. The concert programs were also held in Agjabadi, Barda and Baku.
The 4th “Kharibulbul” Music Festival was supposed to gather musicians from more than 30 countries. However, Shusha was captured by Armenian Military Forces on May 8, 1992.
After 29 years, with the liberation of Shusha on November 8, 2020 at the result of 44 Days War, the “Kharibulbul” Music Festival has been resumed once again and welcomesd talented musicians in Shusha.
On 12 May, on the first day of the “Kharibulbul” Music Festival, the musical compositions of different peoples living in Azerbaijan were featured in the concert themed – “Multiculturalism in Azerbaijani music.” With their performances, music groups and performers of different nationalities living in different regions of the country conveyed the message to the whole world that everyone, regardless of nationality or religion, has a single homeland. Speaking at the opening of the festival, President Ilham Aliyev said: “All peoples in Azerbaijan live in an atmosphere of friendship, brotherhood and solidarity, and this 44-day war has once again shown that there is national unity and solidarity in our country. It is no coincidence that the first festival features representatives of the peoples living in Azerbaijan. So we are sending another message to the whole world from here, from Shusha, from our ancient land.”
The Music Festival, held on the initiative of President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and organized by the Heydar Aliyev Foundation on Jidir Duzu plain of the country’s cultural capital Shusha, has wrapped up with a gala concert.
President Ilham Aliyev, First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva, their daughters Leyla Aliyeva and Arzu Aliyeva listened to the performances of festival participants.
The gala concert featured performances by the People’s Artists Rauf Abdullayev, Yalchin Adigozalov, Meritorious Artist Fuad Ibrahimov and the Uzeyir Hajibayli Azerbaijan State Symphony Orchestra conducted by Murtuza Bulbul, the Azerbaijan State Choir Capella under the artistic direction of People’s Artist Gulbaji Imanova. Also featuring in the concert were works by Uzeyir Hajibayli, Fikrat Amirov, Gara Garayev, Alakbar Taghiyev, Muslim Magomayev, Niyazi, Tofig Guliyev, Vasif Adigozalov and other composers.
The audience also acclaimed the performances by People’s Artists Alim Gasimov, Azerin, Dinara Aliyeva, Elchin Azizov, Alikhan Samadov, Farhad Badalbayli, Mansum Ibrahimov, Murad Adigozalzade, Natig Shirinov, Polad Bulbuloglu, Samir Jafarov, Teyyub Aslanov, Yusif Eyvazov, Meritorious Artists Fargana Gasimova, Miralam Miralamov, Sahib Pashazade, Shahriyar Imanov, Shirzad Fataliyev and others.
The concert featured the screening of a video clip showing the national leader of the Azerbaijani people, Heydar Aliyev’s speaking of the occupied territories: “I want to go to Shusha together with you. We will go there, believe me, we will. Shusha is the pupil of the eye for Azerbaijan, a source of pride for every Azerbaijani. Shusha is a symbol of our culture and history. Shusha is dear to everyone. But it is not Shusha alone – the mountains of Lachin are also very dear. We can never live without Lachin. Beautiful cities like Aghdam, Fuzuli, Jabrayil, Zangilan, Gubadli, the springs of Kalbajar, that hot water spring of Kalbajar. We cannot live without them.” Also, the video featured the statement of the victorious Commander-in-Chief, President Ilham Aliyev, he had made during an address to the nation on the day of Shusha’s liberation – 8 November 2020. “I am happy to have fulfilled my father’s will. We have liberated Shusha! This is a great victory! The souls of our martyrs and of the Great Leader rejoice today! May you rejoice, Azerbaijan! May you rejoice, Azerbaijanis of the world! Dear Shusha, you are free! Dear Shusha, we are back! Dear Shusha, we will revive you! Shusha is ours! Karabakh is ours! Karabakh is Azerbaijan!”
The “Kharibulbul” Music Festival, held for the first time after the liberation of our lands by Azerbaijan’s Army under the victorious Commander-in-Chief Ilham Aliyev, ended with a collective performance of the song “Azerbaijan” by artists.
After the concert, President Ilham Aliyev and First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva met with the performers participating in the festival. Everyone chanted, “Karabakh is Azerbaijan!” on the Jidir Duzu plain.