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Feature Story August 10, 2007
By Aslanbek Dadaev Browse author
Page 2 of 2

What are we proud of? Chechens are one of the most culturally self-sufficient nations in the world. Some may get closer to other peoples' cultures and even enjoy it, but the complex Chechen system of moral codes doesn't really allow for any alien ideas and values. The Chechen perception of the world is dominated by a philosophical category of beauty known as hozal. Everything we do is judged according to this standard. If you record even a very casual conversation between Vainakhs (any Vainakhs) in their language, do a word-for-word translation, and put it on paper, you will be shocked at the number of words which have "beauty" as the root-word. Being morally subdued or broken is the ugliest thing a Vainakh can think of. And pride in oneself is the most beautiful thing that any Vainakh can ever achieve.

Think you can spot a Vainakh? Take this photo. This whole crew shown above is made up of Chechens. But do they look like they all belong to the same tiny ethnic group? That’s where your vigilance is required. As my babushka would say: "Nothing worth doing is easy in this world!" Or as a Chechen saying goes: "It’s a hard work to be a Vainakh." So if it’s hard work to be a Chechen, why should it be easy for you to be able to recognize one?

These crafty Chechen females are camouflaging themselves as innocent graduating students from a Russian vocational school. Even the one at the far end would easily pass for, let’s say, an Armenian. But they are all Chechens, believe me. Scared yet?

And this Chechen girl? If you were a Moscow metro policeman, would you approach her and demand to see her passport? I always say that the best investment in security is through public education.

How about this guy? If you were a Russian skinheads or soccer hooligan, would you attack him with metal pipes from behind? No, you’d walk right past him, totally ignorant that you’d just missed a good opportunity.

How to tell these Chechen gopniki apart from other black-assed gopniks?

The body language and the expression can be different, depending on background and education but pride exudes from every Vainakh, as it exudes from these two masons from rural Chechnya.

I am pretty sure that you would suspect this group of guys. But how do you really know that they are Chechens, and not, let’s say, Georgians, or Armenians?

And what about this Ruslan Baisarov-type?

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