May 21 in Abkhazia: Commemorating the Day of Remembrance of the Caucasian War
SUKHUM -- In Abkhazia today they are commemorating the Day of Remembrance of the Caucasian War. On Sukhum’s Promenade of the Makhadzhirs there took place a ceremony of flower and wreath laying at the monument to the Makhadzhirs (Exiles).
On 31 May 1990 on Sukhum’s waterfront was laid a stone on the spot where it was planned to erect a monument to the makhadzhirs. War and the complexity of post-war life prevented implementation of this plan. And only on 27 September 2010 did the solemn opening ceremony of the monument by Abkhazian artist Gennadi Lakoba take place.
Until this year, the Day of Remembrance of the Makhadzhirs was commemorated in Abkhazia, in contrast to the North Caucasian republics, on 31 May.
At 11.00 a.m., a volley of 24 rounds was fired into the sea.
To the sound of the sad "Lullaby of the Makhadzhirs" flowers were laid at the monument by Vice-President Alexander Ankvab, Speaker of Parliament, Nugzar Ashuba, Prime Minister, Sergei Shamba, members of parliament, members of the government, heads of the city and regional administrations, descendants of the exiles who have to their homeland, representatives of different political parties and movements, and school-children. The action to remember the exiles continued at sea, where wreaths with lit candles were dropped from boats onto the water.
In the XIX century, as a result of the Russo-Caucasian war, thousands of Abkhazians abandoned their homeland and found refuge in Turkey and various Near Eastern countries. Descendants of the Abkhazian exiles live in 50 countries. The largest Abkhazian diaspora is in Turkey.
"We are very overjoyed that despite everything, we have managed to return to our historical homeland. We have implemented the cherished dream of our grandfathers and great grandfathers who were forced in the harsh times of the Russo-Caucasian War to leave Abkhazia by returning to the home-country. Now our children are growing up, will live and raise their own grandchildren here. They hear and speak the native language, and they are absorbing the native culture," one of the descendants of the mahadzhirs, member of Parliament, Soner Gogua, told a correspondent of ApsnyPress.
He believes that in Abkhazia today there exist the conditions for the return of the people who, by the will of destiny in the XIX century, found themselves in Turkey and countries of the Near East. According to him, Abkhazians who want to live in the republic should not be afraid of the material difficulties in everyday life, because they are surmountable.
At 19.00. an evening of remembrance is to be held at the waterfront Monument to the Makhadzhirs.
Gallery: May 21 in Abkhazia