Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Chechen Music and Mairbek Khaidarov

    The former Soviet Union spanned 12 time zones and a multitude of languages. If I were to go there as a tourist, it would be with the desire of going on a musical tour. We read a lot about the war in Chechenya, a part of the Russian republic that wants to break away and live under their own government. The Russians are afraid that it could lead to a multitude of other non Russian ethnic groups demanding independence, inspired by the Chechens.

Any time I read about a hot spot in the news, I wonder what sort of music the people who are at war listen to.Thinking of Chechenya,I looked for some Chechen music on You Tube. Fortunately, there is no shortage of it. I was fortunate enough to find some songs by Mairbek Khaidarov, for whom there was no fan website or Wikipedia page. Chechen is also not listed among the langauges translated by Google.

I do know that Chechen, though it sounds to me like Turkish, is not Turkic at all but belongs to the Nakh family of languages, and that Islam in Chechenya is influenced by local traditions. The picture of Chechens painted in the Russian media has a lot of inaccuracies. Unfortunately, Islamic radicals from abroad will probably be all to happy to push Chechens and Chechen Islam in a radical direction.

I found some really nice songs by a Chechen singer named Mairbek Khaidarov. The audience in the video was attired in moderate Islamic attire. Some women had headscarves, but no covered faces. Khaidarov himself was dressed in a suit that was unremarkable. It was his voice that stood out.

I hope to hear nothing more in the news about Chechenya, because when I do hear about the Chechens, it is not usually good. Here are some songs from Mairbek Khaidarov. I hope it is all we hear from Chechenya for a while, and that my listeners enjoy his music.

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