Edi Isaev on Customs and Traditions of Chechens
"Worthy man always has friends" say a Chechen proverb. Sworn brotherhood raises friendship to its highest peak. Chechens honour the centuries old custom. This ethic norm has been passed from one generation to another. It was passed through verbal people's creations, fairy tales and legends.
The ethic of sworn brotherhood in multi-national Chechnya has long been considered foundation of relations between peoples. It is respected as kinship but toward friends it is considered much more greater than toward relations. Inattentiveness or discourtesy toward a brother can be pardoned but never toward a friend.
How a friendly union is concluded? There are three kinds of brotherhood. The first is solemn sworn before friends or elders, The second, the drinking of milk from a single cup that symbolizes faithfulness. A gold ring was put into to it so as not to "rust" the friendship. The third is mixing of blood for this purpose wanted to be brothers cut their fingers and mix drops of blood. After the performance of one of these rituals the sworn brothers exchange barbecues, felt cloaks and other things that symbolizes sworn brotherhood. The performance of the ritual is informed to all relations and friends of both sides.
Famous Russia writers Alexander Pushkin, Mikhail Lermontov and Lev Tolstoi who knew about the mode of life and customs of highlanders and wrote about the tradition of sworn brotherhood. Lev Tolstoi had friendly relations with many highlanders and described them as sworn brothers. He wrote the following about his sworn brother Sado Miserbiev: "He proved his faithfulness risking his life but this was of no importance for him, it was a custom and pleasure for him". It is well known that Sado Miserbiev presented Lev Tolstoi a sword as a symbol of true friendship. Chechens present weapons only to friends. Now the sword is In Lev Tolstoi museum in Moscow.