On 29 January 2016 there was a meeting titled “External reports on bride kidnapping assessed by local experts” which took place at the Aigine Cultural Research Center.
The reports were summarized by Christopher Edling, author and Fulbright fellow.
The following three questions were posed for discussion: 1) Is bride kidnapping a problem? 2) Is it a tradition, or not? 3) Why and in which historical, cultural, social contexts does this phenomenon get replicated over and over again?
Participants of the meeting expressed their viewpoints that bride kidnapping is one of the problems which is faced by a poor, economically underdeveloped and weak state. This opinion was partly based on personal observation and years-long research done by Doctor Russell Kleinbach, as well as, on opinions of individuals who are driven by traditional concepts and values. It is not a tradition, but an ambivalent custom (arsar adat) which can have different meaning in different contexts. The reasons of maintaining this custom are defined by the loss of traditions and lack of communication skills, especially in rural areas of the country.
Aigine Cultural Research Center plans to continue discussing this topic.