Lala Aliyeva

 During the centuries Molokans could keep their language, traditions and religious because of what they were exiled. Ivanovka, is the oldest and biggest molokan village in Azerbaijan. Beside that their native language is russian, many of them knows azerbaijani language quite well.

 Molokans did not accept the icons and worship God and refused to obey the Russian Orthodox Church. For this reason Catherine the Great sent the heretics away from the center of the country into Caucasus, especially Armenia, Azerbaijan, Ukraine, central Asia, and Siberia.

Ivanovka is the only place in Azerbaijan where the collective farm, so called “Kolkhoz” still exists. In 1930, a collective farm was established, specialising in growing table grapes and cattle farming on the fertile, black soil. In 1953, the 20-year-old Nikolai Nikitin was chosen as chairman of the collective farm. He helped and  improved the collective farm. Much later, he was proclaimed “Hero of Socialist Labour” and went on to become a Deputy of the Supreme Soviet. Nikitin died in 1994 and the situation in this village has been changed since. The benefit from the collective farm became so small that the inhabitants have to leave Ivanovka and go to Russia for living. The village seems empty, and besides the old generation it is unusual to see the young or middle ages people. Mostly, students from Ivanovka are going to Russia for study and never come back from there and their parents go to work.  They have an advantage from Russia to get the russian  citizenship without any troubles.

Old generation still keep their traditions and their ways of life. In every home you will find stove, so called russian pechka, and a chest with dowries. Old people, especially, “babushkas” complain that their traditions are disappearing, and other generations do not want to learn and use them in their daily life.

Ivanovka is an exciting reminder of Soviet time that passed into history and located only the three-hour from Baku.


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