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Abazinia, Karachay-Cherkessian Republic, Russia


Last modified: 2013-12-05 by zoltán horváth
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Chrystian Kretowicz, 15 Feb 2009

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The Abaza people

After many failed attempts in the past, a part of the Abaza nation living in Karachay-Cherkess Republic of the Russian Federation, will finally achieve a self-government (albeit sharply limited) on January 1, 2009, when the Abazin Autonomous District will be inaugurated.
Having lived under Abkhazian, Kabardin, Crimean, Russian and Soviet yoke for centuries, the Abaza people were hoping to break free in the new Russia and unsuccessfully demanded the creation of their own republics since 1991, but only in 2006, when 99% of the population voted for it, the 13 villages in 5 different districts of the Karachay-Cherkess Republic were granted the right to form the new autonomous district with the capital in Psyzh village. There are about 37,000 Abazins in Russia and an estimated 150,000 in Turkey (out of that number only around 10,000 of them still speak the Abaza language). Most of Russian Abazins live in the Karachay-Cherkess Republic, but some also live in Stavropol Krai, Adygea, Abkhazia and elsewhere. The diaspora, besides Turkey, can be found in Jordan, Syria, Egypt and other Arab countries. Most of Abazins are Sunni Moslems. The Abaza language (Abaza Byzšwa) belongs to the Abkhaz-Adyghe branch of Caucasian family, although there are questions about that. It was considered the most difficult of all the languages of the former Soviet Empire. The T'ap'anta dialect serves as the literary standard written in modified cyrillic alphabet. It is rich in consonants (63 phonemes) and has only 2 vowels.
Chrystian Kretowicz, 2 Jun 2008

The Flag

Wikipedia shows a rather squarish flag - red with the white palm of the hand surmounted by an arc of seven white, five-pointed stars. Some other Abazin websites display the same flag but much longer - obviously variants.
Chrystian Kretowicz, 2 Jun 2008

Viktor's site shows the elongated, not squarish, flag of Abaza (supplied to him by Valentin Poposki). That flag, according to numerous photos of current events, is a preferable one among Abazinians, although, as it is not prescribed by the law, variations are bound to appear here and there.
Chrystian Kretowicz, 15 Feb 2009