Hotmail  |  Gmail  |  Yahoo  |  Justice Mail
powered by Google

Add JFNC Google Bar Button to your Browser Google Bar Group  
Welcome To Justice For North Caucasus Group

Log in to your account at Justice For North Caucasus eMail system.

Request your eMail address

eMaill a Friend About This Site.

Google Translation



Window on Eurasia: Circassians Were Original Population of Sochi, Olympic Guidebook Says

posted by eagle on September, 2013 as CIRCASSIA ADIGA

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Window on Eurasia: Circassians Were Original Population of Sochi, Olympic Guidebook Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, September 7 – Despite the Russian government’s reluctance to talk about the genocide its tsarist predecessors committed against the Circassians in 1864, a new pamphlet prepared for guides for the Olympiad next year specified that the Circassians are "the indigenous population” of Sochi and that Sochi and many nearby names are Circassian words.

            In his "Olympic Names of Sochi” (in Russian), which has been published in 1500 copies, Igor Sizov, a journalist there, says that everyone should remember that "the majority of geographic names in Sochi have arisen as a result of a mixingof lnguages, customs and cultural traditions of various peoples.”

            "The terms ‘Sochi,’ ‘Laura,’ and ‘Fisht,’” for example, were given by "representatives of the Circassian tribes of the Abaza, Ubykhs, and Shapsugs.” The name ‘Adler’ "appeared thanks to a mixing of words from Circassian and Turkish.” "’Kranaya Polyana,’ ‘Veseloye,’ ‘Kazachiy Brod’ are Russian.” And the place name ‘Rosa Khutor’ has "Estonian roots.”

            Sizov told Russian news agencies that a a native of the city, he had grown up with stories about the ethnic diversity of the names of the Sochi region, but in compiling his book, he drew on the works of some of the best onomasticians working there, including Kasim Meretkuov, Vladimir Vorozhilov and Grigory Chuchmay (

                In the introduction to his pamphlet, Sizov says that representatives of 102 nationalities now livein Sochi but that the Circassians "are considered the indigenous population.” They were followed by the Turks in the 16th century and by Russians, Belarusians, Moldovans, Ukrainians, Estonians, and Greeks in the 19th.  Most left their mark in the placenames of the region.

            Sizov divides his booklet into two parts. In the first, he provides a detailed discussion of the history of the names of some of the sites most closely connected with the Sochi Olympiad.  In the second, he gives briefer background information on 17 other, less prominent places that visitors may nonetheless encounter and could be expected to ask about.

            The name "Sochi” itself, he says, is unquestionably Circassian and specifically Ubykh, one of that nation’s subgroups. In Ubykh, the word means "the family group which lives near the sea.” Sizov dismisses an alternative explanation that it comes from another Circassian term for the river because the etymology is wrong: that river has no branches as the name would suggest.

            "Krasnaya Polyana” is a purely Russian term, Sizov continues, but it wasn’t given to the place by Russians but rather by Greeks who sought asylum from persecution in the Ottoman Empire and, having acquired some Russian, called their village by the Russian words for beautiful field.  
            The main Olympic stadium in Sochi is called Fisht, a Circassian word that in translation means "White Head” and refers to a snow-capped mountain that the Circassians in medieval times viewed as sacred. Adler of Adler Arena comes from a combination of Ubykh and Turkish, not from German as some think.

            One of the most interesting ethnic backgrounds of a name in the region is that of "Roza Khutor” where several Olympic competitions will take place. It has nothing to do with colors but rather with Estonians: It was named for one of their number who settled there in an oak grove in the 19th century and who was visited by the great Estonian writer Anton Tammsaare.

            And yet another intriguing name is "Laura.” Despite the assumption of many that it is of Russian origin and was the daughter or wife of some Russian commander during the Caucasan wars, in it fact "has Circassian roots” and comes from the name of an Abaza prince who livedin the area.

            Among the 17 brief entries, most are of Circassian origin as well, Sizov says, including Aibga, Akhun, Akh-Tsu, Achipse, Matsesta, Mzymta, Psekhako, Chvizheptse, and Chugush. Others are of Moldovan, Cossack or Russian origin. As for the Black Sea, he adds, that too is Russian but has less to do with color and with its waters being rough.

comments (290)

1 - 1 of 1


New Posts




 december 2014

 march 2014

 february 2014

 december 2013

 november 2013

 october 2013

 september 2013

 august 2013

 june 2013

 may 2013

 april 2013

 march 2013

 february 2013

 january 2013

 december 2012

 november 2012

 october 2012

 september 2012

 august 2012

 july 2012

 june 2012

 may 2012

 april 2012

 march 2012

 february 2012

 january 2012

 december 2011

 november 2011

 october 2011

 september 2011

 august 2011

 july 2011

 june 2011

 may 2011

 april 2011

 march 2011

 february 2011

 december 2010

 november 2010

 october 2010

 september 2010

 august 2010

 july 2010

 june 2010

 may 2010

 april 2010

 march 2010

 february 2010

 january 2010

 december 2009

 november 2009

 october 2009

 september 2009

 august 2009

 july 2009

 june 2009

 may 2009

 april 2009

 march 2009

 february 2009

 june 2008

 may 2008

 april 2008

 july 2007

 june 2007

Acknowledgement: All available information and documents in "Justice For North Caucasus Group" is provided for the "fair use". There should be no intention for ill-usage of any sort of any published item for commercial purposes and in any way or form. JFNC is a nonprofit group and has no intentions for the distribution of information for commercial or advantageous gain. At the same time consideration is ascertained that all different visions, beliefs, presentations and opinions will be presented to visitors and readers of all message boards of this site. Providing, furnishing, posting and publishing the information of all sources is considered a right to freedom of opinion, speech, expression, and information while at the same time does not necessarily reflect, represent, constitute, or comprise the stand or the opinion of this group. If you have any concerns contact us directly at:

Page Last Updated: {Site best Viewed in MS-IE 1024x768 or Greater}Copyright © 2005-2009 by Justice For North Caucasus ®