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New book details lost folk traditions of Chechnya

24 January 2017

A book has been published in Chechnya detailing ancient national traditions and customs, as well as the history of their origin. On Chechen Traditions, by well-known Chechen ethnographer Said-Magomed Hasiev was unveiled in Grozny on 22 January.

Guests attending the launch of the book highlighted its importance for Chechens, especially younger Chechens, for whom the author was primarily aiming.

Hasiev lamented the decline of local customs and traditions over the generations and stressed their importance for chechens in maintaining a sense of national identity.

The book describes the basic traditions of the Chechen people in small details, including how to greet and host guests and how to behave at weddings and funerals.

The book also describes in detail the ritual for courting a girl, sending matchmakers to the bride and other customs. Chechnya’s traditions have never included written laws, however, rules have still been strictly regulated, with anyone contradicting them facing serious consequences, even expulsion from the republic.

The book was published by the public Chechen Historical Association, which was established two years ago by friends and like-minded people on Facebook. The head of the association, Uni Uspanov, says that similar events will be planned in the future.

According to Uspanov, the book is the first of many in a project aiming to publish books by Chechen historians, authors, and poets, with the aim to maintain ‘unity’ and the ‘moral and spiritual condition of the nation’.

On Chechen Traditions is published in the Chechen language. There are plans to translate the book into English and Russian.

 

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