Re: New Year in Chechnya
- On Tue, 2 Jan 2001, Norbert Strade wrote:
> a) official celebrations were only banned 3 years ago, so the mentioning ofRegardless whether the information was exaggerated or not, it is really
> Chechen children who never had a chance to celebrate Russian New Year sounds
> slightly exaggerated, and
> b) it is said explicitly that people were free to celebrate what they want in
insollent to stress that children had the opportunity to celebrate new
year. It looks as if destroying their homes, killing their relatives had
the only purpuse - to enable children to celebrate New Year. This would be
ridicolous if it wasn't so tragic.
Another point is more general. I think jalaludn@... was too
emotional in writing about holidays that are foreign to Islamic tradition.
The fact that at the beginning of Islam some holidays (new year, birthday)
were not celebrated does not mean that they should be forbiden for the
believers. For example, first Christians did not celebrate the beginning
of New Year or any birthday now they do and they do not see anything wrong
in it. Transferring elements from different cultures is a normal thing. It
happened many years ago with some customs, which nowadays look as if the
have always been in a national or religious tradition and it is going on
now. I am from Poland and I can see that some holiday celebrations have
appeared only 1o years ago - for example Valentine's Day or (to less
extent) Halloween. Some people oppose to this, but nothing can be done in
an administrative way.
Coming back to Chechnya, in spite of the fact that New Year was a
holiday imposed by the Russians - observing my Chechen friends living in
Poland I noticed that they like New Year celebrations. They also celebrate
one's birthday and (typically Soviet holiday) 8th March - Women's Day.
They do not seem to see those holidays as imposed by their opressors.
Wishing everybody a happy New Millennium and/or Aid al Fitri holiday,
which extraordinarilly coincide this year,
- Dear Aleksandra, dear all,
Aleksandra, with respect. I perhaps shared your concerns about the
post of jalaludn@..., but your assertion that
> The fact that at the beginning of Islam some holidays (new year,does not take into account the overwhelming importance that the life
> birthday) were not celebrated does not mean that they should be
> forbiden for the believers.
and the example of Muhammad has for Muslims all over the world until
present days. His way of life is regarded as the plainly perfect one,
worth being copied in all details by pious believers. This is
sometimes difficult to understand for people with a Christian
background. (Though there were similar phenomenons in Christianity as
well. Thing of St. Francis' 'imitatio Christi'.)
And keep in mind that a few days ago Emmil in a posting to this list
pointed out that in the NIS and in Russia everybody who is following
the prescriptions of Islam is regarded a Wahhabite. This is true for
other states of the Islamic world too (though there they are called
Fundamentalists, integristes, islamists etc.). The governments in all
these countries are well aware of the fact that among the details of
the life of Muhammad that are considered worth copying there is also
the *political* organization Muhammad established in Yathrib/Madina
after 623. Since the emergence of political Islam in the middle of
the 20th century the return to the 'roots' of the first Umma lead by
Muhammad and his first successors has been a constant claim of the
islamists. So IMO jalaludn@...'s posting is as interesting as
> For example, first Christians did not celebrate the beginning ofThey did not even celebrate Christmas until about 300. Christianity
> New Year or any birthday now they do and they do not see
> anything wrong in it.
as we know it if incredibly further away from the historical Jesus
than Islam is from Muhammad.
> Coming back to Chechnya, in spite of the fact that New Year was aDon't think that Islamists care so very much about the opinion and of
> holiday imposed by the Russians - observing my Chechen friends
> living in Poland I noticed that they like New Year celebrations.
> They also celebrate one's birthday and (typically Soviet holiday)
> 8th March - Women's Day. They do not seem to see those holidays as
> imposed by their opressors.
the customs of the majority, though they certainly *can* win
majorities by peaceful means as they a few years ago did in Turkey
and in Algeria. But there are historical situations in which the
opinion of the majority is simply unimportant. It was not the
majority of the Chechens who intruded into Dagestan.
As far as I know, the Prophet used to add greetings to his letters
and used to sign them. I shall follow this praiseworthy example
accustoming it to the circumstances of the presence: