Jubilee events dedicated to the 105th birthday of Balkarian poet Kerim Otarov. Photo by Lyudmila Maratova for the 'Caucasian Knot'.

19 June 2017, 18:27

Residents and guests of Nalchik pay tribute to deported poet Kerim Otarov

Poets and translators from a number of Russian regions, and from Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan took part in the jubilee events dedicated to the 105th birthday of Balkarian poet Kerim Otarov. They noted that Otarov took part in the Great Patriotic War (WW II) and survived the deportation; he was one of the few who did not hesitate to speak out in defence of the Balkarian people.

Svetlana Mottaeva, a poet from Kabardino-Balkaria, noted that Kerim Otarov "belongs to the first galaxy of literature in the Bilkarian language that acquired its written form not long ago."

"He sought to add new accents to the Balkarian literature; in particular, he first began to write ballads in the Balkarian language. He wrote about deportation in a heartfelt manner – his pen exuded tears, resentment and pain," Ms Mottaeva told the "Caucasian Knot" correspondent.

She said that while in exile, Otarov wrote a letter to Stalin, reading that the Balkarian people "had innocently suffered a civil execution." He was "one of the few who raised his voice in defence of his people," she has added.

The mass deportation of Balkarians occurred on March 8, 1944. At least 37,713 Balkarians in 14 echelons were transported to new places of settlement in Central Asia. In 1957, after 13 years of exile, Balkarians were allowed to return to their homeland.

Full text of the article is available on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’.

Author: Lyudmila Maratova; Source: CK correspondent

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