An action in memory of the deportation of Balkars. Nalchik, March 8, 2019. Photo by Lyudmila Maratova for the "Caucasian Knot"

09 March 2019, 09:28

Balkars prefer commemoration of deportation to March 8 celebrations

On March 8, a memorial event was held in Nalchik on the 75th anniversary of the deportation of Balkars. Some locals found it inappropriate to celebrate the International Women's Day on a tragic date for the nation.

The operation to evict Balkars began on March 8, 1944, and lasted for only two hours. Almost 38,000 Balkars were exiled from Kabardino-Balkaria to Kazakhstan and Central Asia. Only in 1957, Balkars were allowed to return to their homeland.

Ismail Sabanchiev, the head of the Council of Elders of the Balkar People, has recalled that during the war, 16,000 Balkars perished at the front.

Six out of ten Balkars interviewed by the "Caucasian Knot" correspondent said that they did not celebrate the International Women's Day. At the same time, some of the respondents expressed the opinion that the two dates should be separated.

Almost all respondents had their relatives perished in exile. Svetlana Mottaeva, a poetess and journalist, treats the deportation day as one of "fundamental" days in her life.

At the same time, according to her story, she wants the March 8 holiday to be moved to another date, since "women, and Balkar women especially, deserve the holiday."

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on March 8, 2019 at 09:06 pm MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

Author: Lyudmila Maratova; Source: CK correspondent

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