“It is a great temptation to break from tradition when they are away from their family, said Ms. Bazaeva. “They have a good time, but it is not without consequences, not in Chechnya.”
In this small Chechen village, residents talk about the teenage girl who was killed in early February after she spent a night at her boyfriend’s house.
The 16-year-old’s body was wrapped in a traditional rug and returned to her mother’s house. Her relatives are suspected of killing her in the name of family honor.
To escape the strict mores, some of the young opt for early marriage, which they view as the gateway to independence, sexual activity and societal respect. That goes for young Chechen men, also.
Abu-Khadzh Idrisov, 20, married in his teens to simply experiment, he said. His first marriage at age 14 lasted barely a year. He married a second time at 18. He spotted his future wife at a park in Grozny and, with the help of his friends, kidnapped her.
“When I married her, I honestly knew only two things: her name and the school she studied at. We talked together once,” he recalled. “But we have traditions and extremely strict rules in Chechnya, and you can’t just ignore them. I carry my family’s name, and if I tarnish it, I will have problems.”
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