Background and history
The Circassians arrived in the Middle East after they were expelled from their homeland in the northern Caucasus. The Circassians, who fought during the long period (see the Russian-Circassian War) wherein the Russians captured the northern Caucasus, were massacred and expelled by Czarist Russia from the Caucasus. The Ottoman Empire, which saw the Circassians as experienced fighters, absorbed them in their territory and settled them in sparsely populated areas, including the Galilee.
The Circassians exiles established the village Rehaniya in 1873, and the village of Kfar Kama in 1876.
The Israeli Circassians, who are muslims, have had good relations with the Jewish community in Israel since the beginning of the Jewish settlement in the Land of Israel, thanks to the common language they had with the First Aliyah immigrants from Russia who settled in the Galilee. The Circassian community in Israel helped the illegal immigration (Ha'apala) of Jews from Lebanon into Mandate Palestine and fought on the Israeli side of the War of Independence.
Nowadays, the Circassian community in Israel is well integrated into Israeli society, speak Adyghe and Russian (in addition to learning Hebrew, Arabic and English in elementary school), while cultivating their unique heritage and culture.
Our guide told us for instance that babies learned to walk with the means of a wooden walking frame. As soon as they could walk by themselves, the older brothers and sisters were spreading the news in the village and treating every body to a sweet. The whole village was celebrating!
Another thing, which I find even more important, is that men and women are considered to be equal! Young women and men were free to choose their own partners. The parents do not arrange marriages. If parents did not agree with their child's choice, the man just abducted his bride-to-be and they married anyway with or without their parents'consent.
Another tradition was that guests could always stay with a family, and that it was shown in a device which hung next to the door. It was a long double cord . The left side was (in this museum) solid pink, while the right side was striped. When the guest had stayed long enough according to the host, the latter turned the cord so that the striped side hung on the left side. This was a sign that the guest had to leave.
A lot of thanks to Denise Nesbitt, who created ABC, and Roger ,who took over the management from her .Click on the logo in the sidebar if you want to see the other posts. This week we are looking for words beginning with C.