A children's ensemble at the Kostaoba festival. Photo by Beslan Kmuzov for the "Caucasian Knot"

17 October 2018, 08:38

Ossetians mark poet Khetagurov's 159th birthday with horse races and reading poetry

In honour of the 159th birthday of Kosta Khetagurov, the Ossetian village of Georgia held a concert and horse races, while North and South Ossetia held a poetic marathon and an exhibition of paintings timed to this day.

Kosta Khetagurov (1859-1906) was the founder of Ossetian literature and the Ossetian literary language, the "osetini.com" reports.

Locals have no special needs, and are not flourishing, said Dmitry Sanakoev, the head of the Interim Administrative-Territorial Unit in the territory of the former South-Ossetian Autonomous Region.

The "Caucasian Knot" correspondent has found out that 150 children go to school located in the village of Areshperani, of which 80 pupils are ethnic Ossetians. However, only those children speak the Ossetian language, in whose families it is spoken on the everyday basis.

Mr Sanakoev believes that such events like the celebration of Kosta Khetagurov's birthday can promote the study of the Ossetian language.

Areshperani is once one of the largest Ossetian villages of Kakheti; here is a monument to the poet is established. The village began declining in the 1990s after the Georgian-Ossetian conflict. According to local residents, because of the conflict, many Ossetians moved to North Ossetia. However, every year, on October 15, Ossetians from neighbouring villages come here; for them, the celebration of Khetagurov's birthday has become a reminder of their historical roots and national identity, the "Echo of the Caucasus" reports.

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on October 16, 2018 at 10:41 pm MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

Author: Beslan Kmuzov; Source: CK correspondent

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