The «Abaza» festival in Karachay-Cherkessia gathered more than three hundred participants from the countries of residence of the Abkhaz-Abaza people. 

Said Bargandzhia

The Abkhaz-Abaza Games opened the fifth cultural and sports festival "Abaza», which this year is held jointly with the Association for the Promotion of the Abaza-Abkhaz Ethnos "Alashara" and the «World Abaza Congress" (WAC).

The Chairman of the Supreme Council of the WAC, the President of the «Alashara» Association Mussa Ekzekov noted that thanks to the participation of the Congress in the organization of the event, it was possible to do a great job, as a result of which the delegates from Turkey, Syria, Jordan, as well as the team from Kabarda participated for the first time in the games.

«The ideology of the Abaza games is simple: through sport, through such games, we exchange a good mood, without even noticing we become closer, we become one big family. We learn together to do one great thing. It becomes a tradition for us to be healthy and strong,» said Mussa Ekzekov.

One of the main goals of the games is that the Chairman of the WAC believes that they form a healthy stereotype among young people: «Sport is the norm of life».

Noting the dynamics of the development of games for five years, Ekzekov stressed the improvement of the quality of the organization of the competitions. According to him, previous mistakes were corrected, geography was expanded, and the number of participants increased. Today national games have gathered more than three hundred participants from different countries of the world, where representatives of the Abaza people live.

The Minister of Culture of Karachay-Cherkesia Ramazan Borokov, speaking at the opening ceremony, welcomed all participants and conveyed sincere congratulations on behalf of the head of the Republic Rashid Temrezov.

«Thank you for the holiday that unites us. This is an open heart holiday, and it is confirmed by the widest geography of the participants,» - Borokov said.

The Fifth Abkhaz-Abaza Games were attended for the first time by a team representing the regional public organization «National-Cultural Autonomy of Abazins of the Stavropol Territory Abaza».

«This is a great opportunity to talk, meet and make new friends. We are very glad that we became participants of this holiday and we hope that this is not our last participation,» said the head of the Stavropol delegation, the Chairman of the regional public organization, the member of the Supreme Council of WAC Armida Chagova.

The opening ceremony was also attended by the member of the Supreme Council of the Congress Nuri Kvarchia, who headed the delegation from Abkhazia. The head of the Abkhaz delegation expressed gratitude to the organizers of the cultural and sports festival and noted that such holidays should be held more often, since they, first of all, contribute to bringing the representatives of the Abkhaz-Abaza ethnic group from all over the world.

«This is not the first time I’m taking part in the games, and I'm very happy about that. Here we see how the friendship between the younger generations arises, which is very important for preserving the identity of our people,» - Kvarchia added.

The organizers of the competitions decided to establish a special prize this year: a cup in honor of the 80th anniversary of the famous scientist, public and political figure Taras Shamba.

«We were happy to play this cup. Since Taras Mironovich in his youth professionally engaged in football, we decided to give it to the best football team, thereby expressing our deep respect to him,» - said Mussa Ekzekov.

Games of the people of Abaza are held in the Karachay-Cherkess Republic for the fifth time. The geographical boundaries of the participants of the competitions are expanding every year, covering new regions of Russia and abroad.