Staunton, Sept. 26 – Young women in the North Caucasus constantly talk about love because of what they see on television and in other media, Svetlana Anokhina says. But at the same time, they are very much convinced that “tradition requires women be obedient and restrained, that duty be above love, and strong passions viewed as an illness and misfortune.”
Anokhina, whose Daptar portal reports on the lives and problems of women among the non-Russian nations of the North Caucasus, surveyed women in that region on what their views are about love both for themselves and for others. Below are some of the most interesting responses (daptar.ru/2021/09/21/pro-lyubov-na-kavkaze/).
· An elderly Daghestani said that her parent’s relationship was better characterized by the word “respect” than by “love.”
· Chechens in general don’t speak about love, one young Chechen woman said. People may feel love, but they don’t talk about it or even aspire to it.
· One elderly North Caucasian women said that “if a woman falls in love, she is unfaithful by defintion” and that such a path shows that she is not able to control herself as she should.
· Young North Caucasians sometimes hear that their parents really were in love before marriage but most do not.
· “When I was 17, I went to study in Moscow,” one young North Caucasian woman said. The only advice she received from her mother was “don’t fall in love! Especially with a Russian.”
· A young Ingush woman with her parents on the Moscow metro saw a couple kissing. Her father said, “don’t look! Look at the floor!” She said that “for Ingush, such actions are taboo. They are impossible.”
· “It is forbidden to speak about [love],” many North Caucasian women said.
· Women who marry for love often come to a bad end and are cast off by their husbands, several said.
· One elderly Avar woman said “What is this love? We Avars don’t have love. Only Russians do and people on television.”