Cultural Maintenance among the Circassian American Community of New Jersey

(2016). International Journal of Culture and History. 

Prof. Bader S. Dweik
(Corresponding author) Dept. of English, Middle East University, Amman Jordan.

Rana M Omar
Dept. of English, Middle East University Jordan

Abstract
This study aimed to investigate the cultural elements that the Circassians of New Jersey have preserved after being in the State of New Jersey for more than 80 years. It also sought to reveal the factors that assisted them in preserving some of Circassian cultural aspects. The researchers used a mixed approach of qualitative and quantitative research methods to collect and analyze the data. A sample of 40 participants was chosen conveniently on the basis of availability to respond to sociolinguistic questionnaire in addition to holding open-ended interviews with another 10 participants. Results showed awareness to the Circassian culture and its bountiful facets along with high appreciation to the American culture. The cultural elements that are mainly preserved were food, folklore, music and Circassian celebrations. On the other hand, they preserved “Adiga Xabza” which is a group of social refined manners that are based on respect, honor, hospitality, responsibility, self-control, discipline, and good character which is passed naturally to generations. Historical awareness was only concerned with major historical events that mainly reflected the suffering of their ancestors. The role of the Circassian associations was essential. Home and family were the major factors that helped in maintaining some of the cultural elements.

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