Our ancestors, especially Chechen people have been in war for more than 400 years. War times are probably the worst times of nations. During these times, there are only two strong feelings; to survive and destroy. Other feelings are always - normally and absolutely – postponed for peace times. While struggling your enemy (in every part of your country without finding a place to have a rest for a while) people are not expected to create an emotional poem, or warriors don't have pencils and papers on them to write a thoughtful article ... etc. A war element is always dominant to other elements in culture. I have read some articles on Circassian Genocide, but nobody mentioned yet about “Circassian Cultural Genocide”.
Before and during the Great Circassian War, most of the Circassian people couldn't write or read. Circassian languages were spoken (not written) languages, because of which they were evaluated to speak, not to write. Stories and knowledge of people were transmitted to the youngs from the elders by the help of oral words. There weren't any real libraries. But, the elders (because of their age finding a natural chance of collecting more information) were thought as an individual library. This caused the elders constituted the strongest elders council in history. They were so powerful that nobody even the leaders always had to obey them. They could never be criticized because of their decisions. For a leader the main step to be passed was to persuade the elders. So, during the Great Circassian War not only people but also a non-written rich culture died. With every death a transmitted stories also ended. During that war, it was recorded that 2.000.000 people were died. It means that 2.000.000 or more stories died. They were the stories of not only Circassian people, but also they were stories of the whole world, because those stories went back to the creation of Earth, as Nart Sages. This was the sudden ending of a culture.
But also there is another important point which is not mentioned before; having a war time life style. As I have said before war times are not ideal times for a literature or culture to progress in a positive way. It is true that war poems, stories, ... expressing the anger to enemy, the sorrow of losing a friend, or praise the courage of a hero ... are often produced but they are all related or on war. As our ancestors were nearly always in war, they first taught their children how to protect themselves and destroy the enemy forces in a perfect way. Nearly all Circassian children had a perfect feeling of destroy, fight and had a war knowledge than any other non-Circassian adult soldier, because of which a Russian Czar said every Circassian soldier is equal to 7 Russian soldier. A Circassian people was born and died as a soldier. (Even today, martial arts and wrestling are favorite sports among Circassian youths.) Why? Because, this was the only way for Circassian people to survive and protect their lands. Nearly every culture has something about war in it. But, Circassian culture mainly based on War. Even today we can see the famous dagger dancings, and also stories and plays on War. Circassian culture can be thought as a culture of an army. But, this army is not a part of a nation but the only element of a nation. War times are described as crisis times and temporary, so Circassians had a 400 years crisis so we can not call it as temporary anymore.
Circassian people are excellent soldiers. They are brave but you can not explain their success only with to be brave, they are also very clever people. Literature and artistic materials creation can be only achieved by wiser minds. If war is not a life style for them. They could create wonderful masterpieces. Today in Diaspora we can see lots of famous outers, artists, ... etc just in a half and one century. They are excellent and very famous masters on their fields. Last month one of them exhibited a collection of his paintings. They were wondrous. And I thought on the things we could have created in 400 years. Every Circassian people I know write , read, paint, act or do something. They always want to be the first. During wars they want to be the first in the battle grounds, and in peace times they try to be first in what field they are in, which is the main quality of being a Circassian.
The ones, who exiled us from our homeland were guilty because of sorrows of us. But, they were also guilty of destroying a rich, world heritage culture. They are guilty of preventing Circassian people from contributing to World Culture. They were not only murderers of lives, but also they are murderers of stories, poems, literatures, paintings ...etc. Today every part of Circassia is not only a cemetery for 2.000.000 people but also a cemetery of at least 2.000.000 poems, stories, articles, books, paintings, sculptures, songs and dances. The murderers burned one of the richest and oldest library of the World with the librarians.
Kenugi J. UBYKH