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Waterfall and traditions
September 14, 2008

On the free day, a large group of WWCC participants, including Hou Yifan and Pia Cramling, officials, organizers made a side trip to the waterfalls in the Chegmet district and also enjoyed a traditional warm welcome reception.

The excursion to the waterfall was with full of fun. It was not only very nice when we could see the water coming down in a huge gorge from above on certain places as a tight block and on other places as a veil pushed by the wind to and fro. There were many local people there, too. Some for the reason just like us: looking around at a beautiful place and enjoy the nice whether, while others pushed their goods for selling to the visitors. Pia Cramling and Hou Yifan experienced donkey riding, rock climbing, put on national dresses and posed for the cameramen. The dresses have been traditional for women and men and we got the taste of the variety of their form and color when we arrived to the reception given by the village people of Kabardian origin. The dancers were in similar dresses but the color for women was beautiful light blue with decorative silver stitches everywhere. Men had traditional black and white arrangement.

On the way to the waterfall, at the border point of the district, there was another form of traditional greeting: drink and pastry. Those who tasted told that the cake was sweet and the drink was somewhat light acidic and pleasant. By the way, at the original arrival in the airport, the guests were also greeted in a similar traditional way as you may see it on the pictures. Anyhow, traditions are strongly rooted here and have been kept for many centuries. No doubt that they contributed to and supported people of Kabardino-Balkaria to survive in the stormy centuries they lived through.

The reception and the lunch run for about two hours with many dances, songs and toasts under the supervision of a local "tamada" who governs the order of food, singing and speeches. The largest group was that of the Chinese participants with Hou, her mother, three coaches (two remained in the hotel), the leader of the group and as she told me, Hou Yifan really enjoyed the dancing and games played there. No surprise that the Chinese delegation also appraised the organizers for the excellent conditions they created for the World Championship and hinted that they might be ready to come back to another chess event here. Has FIDE established a new tradition of having international chess events in Nalchik?

Peter Rajcsanyi
Press Director

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Free day on the waterfalls
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