Expressing Ethnic and Cultural Identity in Chechen Poetry: a Case Study of Chechens in Jordan

Mohammad Hadi M. Al-Malkawi, Naser N. AlBzour


The major purpose of this paper is to investigate how Jordanian Chechens premeditatedly try to maintain major characteristics and components of their language and identity in their folk lyrics. The study evidently reveals that such poems substantially contribute to the preservation of major features of Chechen cultural identity. The researchers collect and analyze data using descriptive qualitative research methods. The data in question were gathered through observation, participation, and field notes; in addition, a gatekeeper (friend-to-friend contact) facilitates the entrance to this isolated ethnic society over the course of a year. This study is mainly dedicated to examining how this can be attained with relevance to the seven types of meanings presented by Leech (1981). Therefore, it aims to illustrate how these seven types of meanings exist and operate in three selected Chechen poems; mainly, Death or Freedom, Lonely Night, and Little Soldier, by exploring the ethical and cultural background and dissecting the themes found in these poems. Furthermore, this study draws upon the integrated framework which is based on Leech’s (1981) seven forms of meaning: Denotative, Connotative, Collocative, Affective, Stylistic, Thematic, and Reflective meaning. The study clearly exhibits that Chechen poems typically and primarily comprise a major range of topics such as war, country, romance, migration, masculinity, and bravery, as well as essential features of family and household matters that help to preserve Chechen culture in all aspects of everyday life, including food, home, neighborhoods, festivities, rituals, clothing, and music.


Language, Culture, Chechens, Identity, Semantics, Gatekeeper

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