October 11, 2009

A Paradise on the Earth

There are a lot of paradises on the earth. I don't mean or call them as real paradises. The word “paradise” is used here to describe the most beautiful land on someone's mind. On an Indian people's mind paradise is the holly waters and seaside of the river Ganj. But, most of the people like me couldn't understand the difficult travels of poors to those lands just to have a bath in the muddy water of the river. It is really a strange thing for me (but not for them). Our paradise is Circassia. Maybe some others can't understand this, some others can't understand the idea of coming back to homeland after 145 years, as they couldn't understand us. Like in a religion, to have a hope to go there you must do whatever must be done as a duty. The first step is to have a paradise-like lifestyle.

Circassia and being a Circassian must be recovered again one more time in our heart and mind. There are still Circassians on this world, one day (I don't know exactly when) mother and their lost orphan children will come together again. While waiting for the proper time to come back home, as the time is not definite, we must try to recover our Circassian culture in Diaspora. We must try to maintain permanent affairs with the people in homeland. We must hold international activities every year. Especially the young generation must be encouraged to join these activities. The regular short term trips to homeland has already been done successfully. The numbers of attendants and the frequency of these trips must be increased. But, on the other hand to recover the culture in Diaspora must be also another vital target which must be always considered. Local meetings among Circassian people to know each other well must be hold regularly. I mean we must come together even without needing any reason, just for drinking a cup of coffee, having a picnic, visiting each other... We must sing Circassian songs together in Diaspora. We must tell a joke in Circassian language. We must cook delicious Circassian meals. We must listen the stories of Circassian old stories told by the olds. Circassian language reading and writing courses must be hold. And we need professional (not volunteer) teachers to do them. Yes, they have been already done, but we need more. We must try to look and see the life with the view of Circassians. It is really strange that although we, Ubykh people, forgot our language and couldn't find a chance to live together in the same areas, we are more eager than other Circassian folks to do it. Maybe as we lost more than others, we needs more. In my opinion lots of our brothers and sisters think that when we come homeland, all kinds of problems of Circassians will be solved immediately. I am not agree with them. The problems must be solved here. Because, the problem is not related with Circassia but with the Circassians. The answer is in our history, language and traditions. In Diaspora countries different Circassian folks live together in peace. So, this is a good quality to be transfered to homeland.

To immigrate to homeland firstly in our minds is a necesssity and the first step. Circassia is just land not a holly area which makes you real Circassians by just entering. If it was, some of the Russians and Cossack people had lived there since our exile would be more Circassian than us. If we lost our culture, although we were in the homeland, there would be no difference between us and the other nations living there. So, we must begin to live as a Circassian here and go on our lives in the homeland. If the 4.000.000 Circassian people in Diaspora come back to homeland in their minds, nobody can dare to stop them to have whatever they once had.

And also we must really want it. We always have lots of problems to say on this subject. What is "to want" something? Look at these two statements and say please, which is ours?
A) We have just drunk three bottles of water. We are not thirsty. And someone asks us to drink more. We say OK to be polite. I want it. If it is not, what will happen? Probably nothing.B) And suppose that we are in a desert. It is too hot and we haven't drunk anything for 3 days. Some water is the only thing to continue our life in a short term. Someone comes and offers us to drink water by showing some water in a (dirty) glass. We say OK to live more. I WANT IT. If it is not, what will happen? Probably we do everything to get that water. We can even kill the owner. And probably we would ignore the dirtiness of the glass. So do we really want to do it? Or is it just saying OK to be polite. So there will be always excuses. We must get rid of these excuses in our minds.

To live in paradise, try to be a person who lives in paradise. Begin living in paradise in your minds. Have a paradise-like life style, recover your culture, come together, and really want it. Although you are not there physically, you are there. And don't be lazy, and don't commit a sin, there isn't anywhere in paradise for lazy and sinful ones. When did you last see your yourself on Circassian mountains on a horse in your dreams?

Kenugi J. UBYKH

October 4, 2009

A Not-Mentioned Cultural Genocide

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.

Sincerely yours
Kenugi J. UBYKH