The largest gathering on 21st May in memory of “Circassian Genocide and Exile” takes place in Nalchik

This year the largest gathering on 21st May in memory of “Circassian Genocide and Exile” takes place in Nalchik, the capitol of republic of Kabardino-Balkaria!

“The Circassian Genocide and Exile”, symbolised by the date of 21st May 1864, has been commemorated in many locations around the world where sizeable Circassian communities reside. While tens of marches and gatherings of all kinds have taken place in Turkey, which is home to the largest Circassian diaspora community in the world numbering around 3 million, making the country once again the centre of 21st May-related political activism in the diaspora, Nalchik, the capitol of the Circassian-majority republic of Kabardino-Balkaria in the Circassian homeland in the North Caucasus, has taken the central stage by hosting the largest crowds and march-goers to remember those who lost their lives in the Russo-Circassian Wars of 1763-1864, chanting slogans stressing Circassians’ determination to protect their political and cultural survival.

The main procession took place in the central streets of the town on Monday, 21st May, which is officially a bank holiday in the republic, headed by hundreds of horse-mounted Circassian activists in their traditional costumes descending onto the town, a visually impressive act that has been become a must-have ingredient for any Circassian political march or event in recent years. The horsemen were followed by thousands of ordinary march-goers who were there with their families and children simply to remember their forefathers who died in battle or had to leave their homeland for good.

As had been the case in the previous few years, the procession was joined by activists from the Circassian diaspora communities around the world, the majority of whom had travelled from Turkey.

Below are pictures and videos of this event.