The Unwritten Law of Discipline and Order of the Adyghe

A woman has the power to force disputing families to reconcile. Men cannot continue disputing in the presence of women. Guests, even if they are your enemies, must be treated with sacred honor when they enter your home. You have to stand up every time someone enters the room in order to make room for them. These and other unwritten laws govern the day to day lives of the Adyghens who live in The Republic of Adyghe in the Russian federation. Adyghe Xabze is the code of honor among the Adyghens and describes the unwritten culture and conduct of the community. Everyone in the community is expected to adhere to the code.

Adyghe, also known as West Circassian, is the official language of the Russians who live in Adyghe. It has a high degree of similarity to Kabardian. About 500,000 people in the whole world speak Adyghe, otherwise known as Adygei or Adygean in English. Most of the people who speak Adyghe are based in Turkey. A few speakers are scattered in Israel, Syria, Iraq, Macedonia, Jordan, Europe and the USA. Currently, the language uses Cyrillic alphabet. Latin and Arabic have been previously used to write the language. The language has twelve dialects, but four are the ones that are most commonly used. A notable aspect of the Adyghe vocabulary is that it borrows quite a number of words from other languages such as Russian, Turkic and Arabic.

If you charge too much for your goods yet refuse to reduce your prices, then the correct term that is used to refer to you is qazar. This is one of the interesting Adyghe loan words borrowed from the Turkic speaking group, the Khazars. This and other words are what students at a Jordanian School for the Jordanian Adyghes learn. Set up with the support of the late King Hussein of Jordan, the school has about 750 Adyghen students. The school was started with the goal of preserving the culture and language of the Adyghes. It is the first institution of its kind to have been set up outside the Curcassian Republic.

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