Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Re: New Year in Chechnya

Expand Messages
  • Aleksandra Wagner
    ... Regardless whether the information was exaggerated or not, it is really insollent to stress that children had the opportunity to celebrate new year. It
    Message 1 of 8 , Jan 3, 2001
    • 0 Attachment
      On Tue, 2 Jan 2001, Norbert Strade wrote:

      > a) official celebrations were only banned 3 years ago, so the mentioning of
      > 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
      > private.
      Regardless whether the information was exaggerated or not, it is really
      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,
      Aleksandra
    • Jan Mayen
      Dear Aleksandra, dear all, Aleksandra, with respect. I perhaps shared your concerns about the post of jalaludn@atma.gov.my, but your assertion that ... does
      Message 2 of 8 , Jan 3, 2001
      • 0 Attachment
        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,
        > birthday) were not celebrated does not mean that they should be
        > forbiden for the believers.

        does not take into account the overwhelming importance that the life
        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
        typical.

        > 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.

        They did not even celebrate Christmas until about 300. Christianity
        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 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.

        Don't think that Islamists care so very much about the opinion and of
        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:

        Best regards,

        Jan
      Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.