Skip to comments.Russia's Sochi Olympics awakens Circassian anger
Posted on 08/14/2012 3:24:20 PM PDT by NormsRevenge
On the surface, the Russian resort town of Sochi provides an ideal setting for the world to convene for the 2014 Olympics.
Its subtropical coastline on the Black Sea offers beautiful palm-lined seashores for the tourists February temperatures should be in the 10 C range while the nearby snow-covered mountains present an ideal staging ground for outdoor winter sports.
"But historically and politically, it's a loaded area," warns John Colarusso, a professor of humanities at McMaster University and a freqent writer on the language and culture of the Caucasus, the mountainous region between the Black and Caspian seas.
Indeed, as Russian authorities scramble to prepare Sochi for the Winter Games in 18 months time, a little-known indigenous group from the region is raising its voice in protest.
It turns out that the year 2014 is not just of Olympian importance. It is also a symbollic lightning rod for the Circassian diaspora.
The year marks the 150th anniversary of the mostly Muslim Circassians defeat and expulsion by the Russian empire from their homeland the Sochi area and the diaspora is intent on having its message heard.
"We don't want the Sochi Olympics to happen on our ancestors graves," argues Zack Barsik, a Circassian-American member of the Circassian Cultural Institute. "It's an injustice."
An estimated 90 per cent of the Circassian population, ranging from five to eight million worldwide, live outside Russia, most of them from families that were driven out at the point of a gun over a hundred years ago.
Most reside in Turkey, but smaller populations are strewn across many countries, including the U.S., Syria, Jordan and Canada.
Georgia, whose relations with Russia are tense, has officially called the killings in 1864 a "genocide." ..
(Excerpt) Read more at ca.news.yahoo.com ...
I caught a couple of minute blurb on the preparations in Sochi the other night. Evidently, the area where they are building the Olympic village, is devoid of any structures. They showed the area, and it was nothing but wilderness as far as I could tell. They are starting with nothing, and building a complete venue.
While I want to be sympathetic to the indigenous people’s of the region, what are folks supposed to do today about their complaints?
If we tried to do something just about anywhere in the U. S. these days, we’d have our own set of problems along these lines.
The United Nations is trying it’s best to drum stuff like this up too, seeking to demand massive reparations for various indigenous groups, and hobble any progress by current nations by demanding they deal with those groups to get anything done.
I’m not convinced this is something we should play along with. Course that’s unless we want to totally surrender, give up, and die.
The USSR was in the Palestinain’s corner, a tradition Putin continued. Hard for me to be overly sympathetic.
People really need to get over what happened long before they were born.