Alice Ganieva about Dagestani wedding

Alice Ganieva about Dagestani wedding

30-year-old writer, literary critic Alice Ganieva is a master of shock. She began writing under the pseudonym Gulla Hirachev and she didn’t disclose it for a long period of time. Alice was born in Dagestan, at the age of 17 she moved to Moscow and entered the Maxim Gorky Institute of Literature. In 2009 was awarded the youth award Debut. She participated in the competition with the story ‘Salam you Dalgat!’ on behalf of ‘‘an unfledged writer from Dagestan Gulla Hiracheva.’’ In 2012 she released another book about Dagestan, ‘Holiday Mountain’, and recently her new novel 'The Bride and the Groom' has been published.

A representative of Vestnik Kavkaza met with Ganieva on the sidelines of the Moscow International Book Fair at VDNKh. 

- What inspired you to write ‘The Bride and the Groom?’

- The name is self-explanatory. A wedding is a matrimonial theme. It is very important in the Caucasus, at least in Dagestan. Bridal boutiques and other shops of this kind are almost half of the city of Makhachkala. After the birth of a child every family is concerned how to marry off their child. The traditional approach to this matter is faced with a modern approach now. Not everyone wants to marry the girl who is proposed by their parents. Many people make acquaintances on the internet. This becomes a reason for some conflicts.

If traditional weddings were celebrated for several days in the mountains, so now the ceremony takes place in a city. Sometimes they are on an absurd scale, as often large banquet halls are rented in order that 600-700 people could attend the event. Of course, this is a huge cost for the family. Some people even sell their living space in order to organize a wedding.

All my works contain information about weddings in one way or another. But the plot is rather strange for residents of Moscow or St. Petersburg. A family rents a banquet hall for a certain date, because it must be done six months before the event. The son is informed that the hall is rented and he must find a bride by a certain date. Then he chooses a possible candidate and asks her hand in marriage.

The hero is a modern man, who works as a lawyer in Moscow. Certainly, he has his own criteria.

Naturally there are some parallel storylines associated with religious, political and domestic issues. Of course, I tried to introduce even some humorous moments. I think this book is much easier to read than the previous one, but I hope it doesn’t lose its profundity.

- Does anyone support you in your work? 

- No. Neither financially nor psychologically.

- What is your attitude towards Islam?

- I am absolutely not a religious person, but I have a respectful attitude towards those who believe in God. This is a private matter. Faith has an increasingly social scale in Dagestan, so every neighbor should change his neighbor’s mind. People judge each other, but do not see the beam in their own eyes. It's really a problem. I am writing about it.

- Have you already visited the fair? 

- I have’t managed to visit everything, but what I saw made me happy. Despite the difficult economic situation, a lot of publishers were represented here, including very large ones. They still exist, they didn’t disappear. This is a very encouraging fact.

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