The words of this song that you listened belong to a language which is second in UNESCO Atlas of the World’s Languages in danger. Probably, at the near future it will be extinct. Perhaps, those who listened to this song are the last persons who will hear the echo of this language on this planet. Who knows? In fact it is not called just a song, it is wail and guidance for next generations from Circassians ancestors.
Circassians are one of Turkic nations who are living in Central Asia. Today, minorty of them lives in Republic of Adygea, Karachay-Cherkessia and Kabardino-Balkaria. Why? Because, there is majority in Turkey except their mother land. And the mother language of Circassians is Cherkess. This language and nation are called same in both Turkey and Russia. Let’s see the history.
Big Circassian exile or Ethnic cleansing of Circassians- May 21, 1864
After the occupation of Circassians by Russian Czar II. Alexandr, Circassians who fought for years, were defeated and exiled by the tsarist policy. According to Russian sources during the exile, 418.000 Circassians were sent home away. But according to Turk, British and American historians, this number is the number of people arriving in Turkey. In fact, 1.2 million people have been sent, 800.000 people died on the road; due to hunger, disease and the consequences of attacks.
The houses of Circassians who were put the ships from the port to go from north to south, were set on fire. Against the possibility of turning them back, their fields and fruit trees were burned. Circassian lands had been empty, there were no live tracks.
This year is the 151 anniversary of the Circassian exile. They threw carnations to the sea as every year, to commemorate the deaths.
This song was made by Circassian-Turkish singer who born in Turkey. The song is originally a 150 year-old poem. Artist-singer Gülcan Altan has become a song to this poem by compiling with other artists. Lyrics of the song as follows.
in Cherkess: КlЭЛЭ ЕГЬЭКlО (Çel’e Yegek’o)
Read my child, read well,
You enlighten your people with information,
My hardworking baby, my knowledge ball,
I hope your road would be open and bright
Now you are seven years old,
You came to the educational path,
You grew up and become conscious,
Your mother and father trust you,
Work your lesson too much.
Day and night,
You learn world and science,
And you teach us what you learned.
Read, you read today,
Keep in your mind that you read,
Do not forget what you have learned.
A person who doesn’t read, write and learn,
could be enlightened, knowledgeable?
Learn science, enlightenment.
You should be the dignity of your people.
No lofty except science.
Those who are ignorant, do have nothing.
Without saying rich, poor, disabled,
Without saying black, white, yellow,
You love all people without exception,
Do not leave from humanity.
In an interview Gülcan Altan says about this song that:
“And when it comes to poetry, when a nation were exiled, they’ve written a poem at the time. They say that in the poem: read my child, my beautiful son or daughter. if you do not read it, disaster will come. If education wouldn’t be, a public can not go to light. This is a language that was written in exile on hundred and fifty years ago, that is a thought. “
Imagine a nation. They’ve been thrown out of their homes, exiled. The people who couldn’t see their lands for a century; the people who considered ignorance responsible for these pains; the people who said to next generations “take education”. This nation says to future “learn science, you have to be educated and you never live these experiences and pain anymore. Is there any more beatiful universal advise?