Adygs' campaign banner. Photo by Shamsudin Neguch

08 October 2021, 13:32

Activists treat census as chance to unite Circassians

The upcoming population census will give Russian Circassians a chance to get registered as a single nation; and a promotion of the idea in social networks will play a big role therein, NGO activists believe. The idea of becoming a consolidated nation is popular among Circassians; therefore, most of them will take advantage of this opportunity, Caucasian scholars are sure.

The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that in July 2020, Beslan Khagazhey and Aslan Beshtoev, members of Circassian organizations in Kabardino-Balkaria, stated that Circassians living in Russia should get registered at the upcoming population census as a single nation, since they have a common language and one culture. Circassians are territorially divided, and the absence of a single name prevents them from being perceived as a single nation, says Madina Khakuasheva, a philologist.

Adygs (or Circassians) is the common name of a single nation, members of which live in Russia and abroad; they are divided into Kabardians, Circassians, and Adygs.

The idea of a single self-name arose long ago, said Valery Khatazhukov, the head of the Kabardino-Balkarian Public Human Rights Centre. However, as he said, during the past censuses, this idea was not fully implemented.

The idea of a single identity among the Circassian nations has always existed, Ibragim Yaganov, a Circassian public figure, has noted. According to his story, the new census will be the next step towards the intended goal․

Shamsudin Neguch, a Circassian activist, who is spreading the idea of a single self-name "Circassians" in social networks, said that work is being done exclusively with NGOs and at the expense of their activists.

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on October 8, 2021 at 01:36 pm MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

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