Pierre Brochet: "Azerbaijan's subtle mixing of cultures is impressive"
French traveler and publisher Pierre Christian Brochet has lived in Russia for more than 20 years. He visited the Urals, Chukotka, the Altai Mountains, Yakutia, Bashkortostan anf Mordovia, he got acquainted with the traditions and customs of the Russian peoples. He hosts the 'Russia, my love!' show about the cultural traditions of peoples on the Kultura TV channel. Brochet shared his impressions of the Caucasus, both the North and the South, with Vestnik Kavkaza.
- Tourism is actively developing in the Caucasus. Would it be interesting for foreign citizens, including the French?
- The Caucasus is associated with mountains, but other countries also have mountain landscapes. The main wealth of the Caucasus is the culture of its peoples. By studying the culture of Dagestan, Chechnya, Ingushetia and other republics, we understand that a mix of these cultures, different approaches to life and religions is the country's main wealth. It seems to me that the Caucasus is such a core where cultures are preserved, and this is a unique case.
The aim of tourism is to get new emotions, new impressions, it makes you richer, philosophically and emotionally. That is why the Caucasus region is interesting. The main branch of the French economy is tourism. It is followed by perfume and fashion, as well car manufacturing, respectively. Tourism is not just souvenirs, it's guides, it's hotels, it's restaurants. In different regions of France you can get different impressions. It is the key to a great tourist potential.
- Have you ever visited the South Caucasus?
- I visited Georgia and Azerbaijan. Now we are preparing a film about Alexandre Dumas's trips across Russia. He traveled along the Volga to Astrakhan,from Astrakhan he went to Baku via Derbent, and from Baku to Tbilisi. I think that it is necessary to make such a trip. There are several countries that are at the junction of cultures. And Azerbaijan is the country where you feel that you are neither in Asia, nor in Europe. This very subtle mixture is impressive. I got a lot of emotions in Azerbaijan. I was invited there by fantastic people. If you want to love any country, get more emotions, then you need to communicate more, try to understand how people live there, get real pleasure of being invited to visit them.
For almost 15 years, tourism ministers from the Seychelles and Mauritius have been on television each week to explain to their citizens the significance of tourism. Culture is the bridge that is necessary for the world. If you know the culture of a neighbor, you understand that you can communicate and make friends with this person. I think that culture is the most important aspect of preserving peace.